The "fireworks" Verizon promised last week apparently include a rate hike for its monthly service plans.
Cnet reported that the nation's largest wireless carrier plans to increase the price of its monthly plans as well as upping the amount of data included in the plans. The data allotment for its low-end "S" plan will double to 2 GB per months as the price rises from $30 to $35 a month, for instance. And the price of its "XXL" plan will increase from $100 to $110 as the amount of data grows from 18 GB to 24 GB.
Cnet's report, which cites "someone familiar with the changes," follows reports from multiple sources that Verizon will unveil major changes to its price plans this week. Verizon's Kelly Crummey told FierceWireless last week that the company will "have some fireworks next week," and rumors indicate the carrier may introduce "carryover" data as well as a "safety mode" providing users with slow-speed unlimited data, enabling them to remain connected at slower data speeds once they've reached their monthly data allotments.
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.
Verizon again declined to comment to questions from FierceWireless regarding any changes to its monthly plans. The carrier is expected to announce new price plans later this week, however.
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, and 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 on Reddit 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 Cnet report
Verizon promises 'fireworks' next week amid rumors of carryover data, 'safety mode' unlimited service
AT&T to offer rollover data for Mobile Share Value customers
T-Mobile launches rollover data program, gives customers 10 GB for free to start
Verizon will kill 'grandfathered' unlimited data plans, push users to data share
Verizon confirms it will ditch unlimited smartphone data plans starting July 7