Verizon to Offer Family Data Plans: Report

By Erin Harrison May 19, 2011

Verizon Communications executive said this week Verizon Wireless will roll out family plans for data services in the near future, according to media reports.

Verizon Wireless plans to offer family plans for data services supporting multiple devices including smartphones and tablet computers at some point in the future, Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo told the Reuters Global Technology Summit.

According to Shammo, Verizon Wireless plans to kick off pricing changes this summer by eliminating smartphone plans that allow unlimited Web access for a flat fee. “It will replace them with tiered pricing that forces heavy data users to pay more for mobile data.

After this change the company will look to soften the blow by offering more options such as family plans for data services,” Reuters reported.

Under current plans, each family member with a smartphone has to pay $30 per month each for data services, and if they own a tablet computer they have to pay a separate data fee.

Shammo said the logical progression for Verizon is to offer so called mega-plans to families with multiple devices.

“I think it's safe to assume that at some point you are going to have mega-plans (for data) and people are going to share that mega-plan based on the number of devices within their family. That's just a logical progression,” he told Reuters, without providing specifics on when such a plan would become available.

In related news, Verizon Wireless said its wireless network would be available to nine additional metropolitan areas May 19, as well as expand its 4G LTE network in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, New Orleans and Philadelphia.

The wireless leader announced Thursday the 4G LTE network is now available in Mobile and Montgomery Ala.; Greater Fairfield and New Haven, Conn.; Gainesville, Pensacola and Tallahassee, Fla.; Fayetteville-Lumberton, N.C.; and Bryan-College Station and Temple-Killeen, Texas.


Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TechZone360, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives

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