Verizon Chief Claims Unlimited Data Plans Defy Physics

When my contract with Verizon Wireless expired a few months ago, I hightailed it over to Sprint, lured to the nation's third largest carrier by its guarantee of unlimited data for life. I could have had something similar with Verizon, as I had been grandfathered into the carrier's unlimited data plan, but that meant paying full price for a phone upgrade. So, I jumped ship, and according to Verizon chief Lowell McAdam, I'll sink with my new carrier because unlimited data just isn't feasible.

During an investor conference today, he talked about how the wireless world is becoming more heavily focused on video, which is one of the reasons why unlimited data plans aren't sustainable.


"With unlimited, it's the physics that breaks it," McAdam said, according to CNET. "If you allow unlimited usage, you just run out of gas."

That's the reason why Verizon ditched its all-you-can consume data buffet, and AT&T surely agrees. However, Sprint and T-Mobile both offer unlimited plans at tantalizing price points. Are they headed for a brick wall? It's tough to say. As far as McAdam is concerned, it's a challenge because there's limited spectrum available for things like streaming video.

I also found it interesting that Verizon seems content to carry a higher price tag than the competition. While speaking to investors, he said, "We never have and never will lead on price," adding that a price war probably isn't imminent.