In an exclusive article posted earlier this week by Engadget Verizon appears to be following AT&T in heading toward tiered data plans in an effort to conserve bandwidth and bring in more revenue. The fact of the matter is Smartphones (particularly the Droid) on Verizon and other cell carrier networks are consuming much more bandwidth as users continue to use smart phones to search the web, view YouTube videos, socialize and so much more.
The carrier networks face bottlenecks which require massive influxes of funding to increase and it won’t be long before you will be hard pressed to find any carrier offering a free unlimited plan anymore. Verizon will be launching its new 4G LTE network and wants to make sure they don’t get into the same boat as Sprint is likely to be in with its 4G network. From the start the new Verizon network is likely to have tiered data plans with unlimited data not being an option.
One potential solution I see is to make Smartphone capable of using a wireless network much like the way the iPod Touch does now when one is available for Internet access, though of course this could lead to security issues which probably prevents this from being a popular solution. One thing these cell phone companies have to do is provide easier ways for people to instantly keep track of their data usage and even have alerts that can be setup at predefined usage limits so that users can’t be struck by hidden charges and have cell phone bills many times higher than what they would have expected.
Unfortunately with the major cell carriers looking to do away with Unlimited Data Plans this will stifle real time live streaming television and movies on mobile devices as watching online video consumes more bandwidth than almost any other activity on a smart phone. Might be time to start looking at freedom mobile after all.
You can read the detailed and full Engadget Article here: http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/20/verizon-switching-to-atandt-style-limited-data-plans-later-this-mo/