Verizon is trying to stamp out unlimited data customers

If you have an unlimited data plan for your phone through Verizon, you should know that Verizon is trying to put a stop to that. The company announced a plan aimed at families who have multiple phones and tablets connected to data networks. All the calls and text messages you want for up to 10 devices, but limited use of the data network.

And as of June 28th, customers who want new phones will have to either go to a limited plan or pay the subsidy that Verizon normally pays, meaning a new iPhone could start at $649.

Roger Cheng of CNET says for individual users on unlimited plans now, the new limited plans will cost you more.

Roger Cheng: You'd actually be moving from an $80 plan roughly to a $100 plan at minimum.

Moe: How about if I'm part of a family? I've got kids and teenagers.

Cheng: Yeah, it gets a little bit more complicated. The more people you add to your plan, if you've got like a large family of five, and not all of them are heavy data users, then actually, you'll get decent data savings there.

If you want to stick with unlimited you can keep your same phone forever or switch to Sprint, which still offers unlimited for now.

I asked Karen Smith, a spokesperson for Verizon, why the company was doing this.

Karen Smith: We think that people need to go to a usage-based model for data and pay for the amount of usage that they're using so that everybody is able to access the network.

Moe: So is it a matter of being afraid that you're going to run out of room on the network if people are on unlimited plans?

Smith: No, not at all. In fact, that's one of the reasons that we so aggressively keep expanding our 4G LTE network which is an overlay to our existing 3G network.

I asked if the traffic isn't causing problems, is it that Verizon is trying to make more money to pay for building the new 4G LTE network?

Smith: We made a decision to change our pricing model, and what we've done is we've allowed people to share data among a number of devices regardless of how many people are on the plan, it's a device model. And we're charging on the megabytes of data that they use.

Moe: Why?

Smith: People have changed the usage of how they're using their devices. They're moving to using more data, and to ensure the speed and reliability and the access to the network, people are paying for the amount of data that they use.

***

There's a new Spiderman movie coming out soon. And yes, Spidey does some amazing things.

Well, I'm happy to tell you that reality is starting to catch up with Spiderman. It just doesn't sound quite as cool when real humans climb walls. The sound you hear is from a backpack built at the Utah State University being used to climb the side of a brick building. It operates by vacuum and suction gloves.

The Air Force has given a $100,000 grant to the researchers who built the system. Seems the Air Force was looking for ways to scale a building without grappling hooks. Presumably without using the stairs or elevators inside the building either.

Here's a video. It's nowhere near as sleek as what Spidey does. But it is powerful. And what was it Peter Parker's uncle told him one time? “With great power comes great responsibility.”

About the author

John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.

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