By Sumit Passary | Sep 23, 2012 09:41 AM EDT
Unlimited data plans are soon going to be a thing of the past as more and more people shift to shared plans, believes U.S. carrier Verizon Wireless' CFO Fran Shammo.
On Friday, Sept. 20, Shammo shared his thoughts with investors at a Goldman Sachs conference and opined that Verizon's attrition rate had become negligible after the company's decision to drop its unlimited data plan. Shammo added that the "dilution" was far below the company's estimations and more people were transitioning to the carrier's "Share Everything" plan, which it introduced in June, than anticipated.
"The other good news is we have more people going to shared than we actually anticipated. And the thing that really surprised us is we have a lot of people coming off unlimited to go to shared," said Shammo.
Verizon's "Share Everything" plan lets consumers put up to ten devices under one plan. The monthly data allowance for the plan begins at $50 for 1GB. The smartphones are priced at $40 each and data plans go up to $100 per month for 10GB allowance. Additionally, consumers have the option to add a tablet for just $10 and they do not even need to sign a long-term contract with the carrier.
Shammo asserted that the consumers could clearly see the economical advantages a shared data plan offers vis-à-vis an unlimited one, which he feels is the prime reason behind the shift.
"Unlimited is just a word. It doesn't mean anything...So that whole unlimited thing I think is going by the wayside and they see the benefit of going to the shared," stated Shammo.
Even though Shammo believes that the unlimited plans are "going by the wayside", carriers like Sprint and T-Mobile still offer them. However, taking a cue from Verizon, network operator AT&T too launched its shared data plans in August as the strategic maneuver encourages the use of multiple devices and customer loyalty.
When consumers are considering which carrier is best suited to their needs, the fact that a carrier offers unlimited data plans, shared, or both plays a significant role in determining their choice. Despite changing industry trends and constantly evolving consumer preferences, it is not a given that everyone would prefer shared data plans over unlimited ones. A lot of users, especially those who are constantly on the go, have high data consumption. Whether Verizon's forecasts bear fruition in the long term remains to be seen.
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