A Verizon spokeswoman said the carrier expects to make a major announcement next week – and based on some internet rumors that announcement may well be the introduction of "carryover" data alongside a "safety mode" that would provide users with slow-speed unlimited data service.
"We're going to have some fireworks next week – stay tuned," Verizon's Kelly Crummey told FierceWireless in response to questions on a possible forthcoming announcement from Verizon. Crummey did not provide any more information.
Users on Reddit posted images and details of what appears to be a major new service offering from Verizon slated to launch this Friday, July 1. Based on the information in the posts, it appears the carrier is preparing to launch a new pricing plan that includes several noteworthy elements, including the ability for customers to roll over their unused data into their next billing cycle. And – perhaps more importantly – the posts indicate Verizon may launch a "safety mode" for data that would allow customers to remain connected, albeit at slower data speeds, until they either purchase more high-speed data or enter their next billing cycle.
Such an offering would essentially mark a return of unlimited data to Verizon, but with major caveats. As FierceWireless reported, Verizon stopped offering unlimited data to new customers in July 2011, roughly a year after AT&T discontinued its own unlimited data service. Interestingly, AT&T earlier this year resurrected its unlimited data service, but only for those customers who also subscribe to the carrier's DirecTV pay-TV service.
Sprint and T-Mobile US, meantime, have continued to offer unlimited data options.
However, based on the information in the internet posts, Verizon won't offer a full-blown unlimited data service. By choosing Verizon's "safety mode" option, the posts say, customers can "stay connected at a reduced speed until you buy more 4G LTE data or until your next billing cycle. Enable Safety Mode in the new My Verizon app." The posts also note that the Safety Mode option is available in Verizon's XL and XXL data plans, but costs $5 per month for customers who subscribe to its cheaper S, M and L plans.
Verizon's Safety Mode is by no means unique. MVNOs, prepaid carriers and other operators for years have offered similar options to customers by offering a bucket of high-speed data and then slowing customers' data speeds – usually to 128 kbps – if they surpass their monthly data allotments. Such offerings also remove the chance that wireless customers have to pay overage penalties if they use more than their monthly data allotment.
For Verizon, a move toward unlimited "Safety Mode" data may be a response to the success of AT&T's unlimited data service, as well as T-Mobile's continued momentum. More than 2 million customers have signed up for AT&T's unlimited data offering; meanwhile, T-Mobile has continued to grow its subscriber base partly due to pricing plans that do not levy overage charges and do offer unlimited data options.
As for Verizon's rumored "carryover data," internet posts indicate the service "automatically rolls over your unused gigs to the end of the following month," and that the service is available on all of the carrier's pricing plans.
As with throttled unlimited data, Verizon is also following in the footsteps of its rivals with its "carryover data" option. In 2014, regional operator C Spire Wireless first introduced the concept of rollover data, allowing customers to apply their unused data toward their next month's data allotment. A month later, T-Mobile debuted its own rollover plan, called "Data Stash." AT&T followed suit a month after that, in January 2015, with its Rollover Data offering.
According to the internet posts, Verizon is also planning to launch free roaming services in Mexico and Canada, an option that a number of other carriers also offer.
Verizon's new offers are timed to launch immediately at the beginning of the third quarter, and may be geared toward improving the carrier's performance against its rivals during that period.
- see this Reddit post
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