Verizon Wireless Considering "Bucket" Billing For 4G Data

Many smartphone data plans today have a 5GB cap on data. While this is adequate for most users, we still prefer unlimited access when it's available and affordable. Unfortunately, spectrum is still limited. Although newer 4G technologies may use the spectrum more efficiently, there are still constraints as to how much spectrum is available.

We may never know how much the spectrum crunch figures into a carrier's plans, but it's at least part of the equation. Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam mentioned at a Barclays investor conference recently that his company is hoping to move away from unlimited plans altogether and instead offer up "buckets" of megabytes for purchase. McAdam explained that this bucket structure would make sense because "people will have four or five or perhaps even more devices they will connect to the network."

While we're not thrilled with this news, McAdam did give us a good bit of info: The carrier expects to be using its LTE network for voice by 2012. Verizon Wireless also plans to show off some of its LTE-capable handsets at CES 2011.