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Replying to:  Share Data Plan by Phoenix-X86X   Jul 5, 2012, 4:39 PM


by Jarahawk    Jul 23, 2012, 9:27 PM

...the Share Data Plan is to make the lives of people with multiple devices with data services easier and cheaper..."

No, it's not. The primary purpose of the Shared Data Plan is to make Verizon more money. "With the construct that we have dealt with around data share and where we see consumption of LTE going, when you put the combination of them together, we are fairly confident that we will see people start to uptake in the tiers, which is really where we will get the revenue accretion in the future."---Verizon CFO Fran Shammo. In other words: once consumers switch to Shared Data with LTE handsets they WILL begin to use more data and that data will no longer be unlimited and they will need to adopt higher tiers, thereby increasing Verizon's profits. That IS the reason businesses are in business after all. Let me as the self-proclaimed number one Verizon fan boy explain how this works.

Years ago no one used data on smartphones. I remember the Audiovox Thera. It was a cute computer-like phone which didn't really do much. Then there were the ugly Blackberries that store reps (for the most part) were afraid to learn anything about. So if they didn't know how to use them then how were they going to sell them to consumers. Plus, the Blackberries were expensive. When consumers would ask about them, they would be steered away from them. Pretty much the only consumers who ended up with Blackberries (or smartphones-in-general in retail stores) were those who insisted upon buying them above the objections of the reps. On top of that RIM insisted upon making the Blackberry handset as efficient as possible with ridiculous battery life and not really data consumptive at all. There were others, along the way: Palm Treos HTC XV6600, 6700, 6800 etc... Sure they had browsers but one couldn't really experience the Internet in the same fashion as a computer browser.

And then...the iphone launched...on AT&T. The game changed. Snobby AT&T customers claimed they could do everything on their iphones that they could on a computer. Initially, Verizon scoffed at the idea. I sure couldn't use my Windows handsets like a computer. I couldn't even stream music on them. One day Verizon announced they were teaming up with Google and launching Android handsets. I suppose they had to do something to stop AT&T and the iphone from nibbling at their customer base. Suddenly, more and more consumers were using smartphones and they could actually browse the web. Before they were paying $29.99 for Unlimited and it was fairly a waste of money. So much so that customers routinely complained that they were forced to have unlimited data plans. Imagine that... There was actually a time where customers didn't WANT unlimited data. I know it's hard to believe but it's true.

Well here we are... Verizon still wants to force you to pay for a data plan and now they want to meter your usage. Unlimited was fine and dandy when the average customer didn't use it. It was like free money. But NOW people are using the heck out of data and Verizon is LOSING money (not really but it makes a good story). Unlimited data isn't bad because it loses so much money. The Verizon reps and other fan boys (like me) will be quick to jump up and tell you that 95% (or insert ridiculous, unsubstantiated number that no one can confirm or deny) of customers don't even exceed 2GB of data in the first place so they don't need unlimited data and should just sit down and take what Verizon is giving and like it. So if most consumers don't even NEED unlimited data why NOT let them continue to pay for it? Because they'll eventually pay more with shared data! (Remember what Fran said?) This IS about making Verizon more money after all.

What makes me a Verizon fan boy (in this case) is that I agree with Verizon to some extent. Unlimited data really is silly. It would be like selling a car and having all the gasoline one can use for a set price. No matter what that price was it wouldn't make sense. Let's say it was a thousand dollars a month. People who never traveled would whine and say "but I don't use that much gas" While some enterprising whipper snapper would launch a taxi service and make a killing 'abusing' the poor automotive company (violating the terms and conditions of the unlimited gasoline agreement because WE tell YOU what you can do with your smartpho---er car).

When speaking to investors, Shammo explained what we as fan boys don't to customers. Presently, consumers as a norm, rarely exceed 2GB of data. However, whether they remain on unlimited or no...their usage WILL increase. Imagine being an investor in Verizon Communications and knowing that your company has hordes of wireless customers who are using unlimited data without a care. That's money down the drain. Verizon getting a handle on this problem by ending unlimited data offerings for new customers a year ago and now nudging existing ones off of it as they upgrade gives the uneasy investor a smile with dollar signs in his eyes.

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