Thursday, September 23, 2010

WSJ reports Verizon to offer tiered data soon; Verizon CEO talks Apple

A new Wall Street Journal article says Verizon plans to offer tiered data plans soon, much like rival AT&T.

AT&T sells 200 megabytes of data per month for $15. It sells 2 gigs of data for $25. Prior to the change this year, AT&T offered unlimited data for $29.99, a requirement for its most popular cellphone, Apple's iPhone.

At an investor conference Thursday, Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said Verizon's plan might be different than AT&Ts.

I think AT&T's cheap plan doesn't offer enough. The $15 should be for at least 500 MB or even 1 gig, especially with more data hungry apps coming on board, like video conferencing and Netflix streaming. Customers who cross their thresholds will get hit with penalty bills.

We'll see what Verizon does, as I figure this will be tied to its next generation network, called LTE, that it plans to deploy later this year. The "Long Term Evolution" network should deliver faster speeds, better connectivity and a smoother experience, but require new hardware.

Also in the new WSJ article, it says Verizon hopes the new network spurs suppliers, including Apple, to build product for Verizon.

"At some point, Apple will get with the program," the WSJ quotes Seidenberg as saying at the conference, but when it pressed him to comment on whether Apple would come in 2011, Seidenberg said, "I can't speak for Apple."

Interestingly, Seidenberg seemed to back his company's strong selection of Android phones, but still expressed desire in iPhone, when he again talked about how the new LTE network would attract suppliers.

"We don't feel like we have an iPhone deficit," Seidenberg said in the WSJ artcile. "We would love to carry it, but we have to earn it."

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