Verizon Wireless CFO Fran Shammo, speaking at a Morgan Stanley investor conference on Tuesday, March 1, let loose with the news that Verizon would be targeting mid-summer for an overhaul of its data plans, with tiered pricing coming. Naturally, that sounds like it will arrive right at the same time that the iPhone 5 does.
Shammo said the following, explaining why they haven't changed to tiered pricing yet. It sounds like it was all about sucking in iPhone buyers, to be honest:
Why did we do the unlimited $30 plan on the iPhone? Well, the reason we did that was we didn't really want to put up a barrier to anybody who wanted to come over and experience the Verizon Wireless network. So we felt it was important to go out at the $30.
But I think everybody would know that that is not a long-term strategy. That we are going to move to a tiered price [level]. So we will probably do that probably in the mid-summer timeframe, somewhere in that perspective.
Shammo didn't go into details on how the plans might work, although he mentioned that the HTC Thunderbolt, the first LTE handset on their network, will (when it launches) give buyers an idea of how things will work. At the same time, Shammo kept mentioning the $50 a month for 5GB / $80 a month for 10GB LTE modem data plan prices, which could be a clue to (we hope) upper level tiers on the network.
However, the carrier is reportedly still unclear on how it wants to generate those tiers. It could do so via amount of data, or on speed, or on some combination of the two. It is also unclear if Verizon would allow grandfathering in of existing customers with unlimited data packages.