Verizon executives are sharing details about future plans, from data pooling on Family plans to relying on WiFi where it most makes sense.
Verizon executives have been
sharing details about the carrier's plans for its future, as the carrier continues
to expand its 4G Long-Term Evolution network.
Speaking at the Reuters
Global Technology Summit, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo suggested Verizon might
eventually offer data pooling on its Family plans. Just as carriers have sold
business customers large pools of voice minutes that a number of employee
devices can dip into, members of a family could sip from a shared data source.
"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," Shammo said
at the Summit, according to a May 21 report from PC World
As Verizon grows the number
of data-devouring smartphones and tablets it supports-during
the first quarter alone
it added 906,000 wireless subscribers and activated
more than 2 million Apple iPhones-officials continue to fiddle with pricing
plans and offerings and to grow its 4G network, which eventually will extend to
rural areas where it currently doesn't support 3G.
Verizon CTO Tony Melone, at
the TIA conference in Grapevine, Texas, also shared that Verizon plans to rely
more heavily on WiFi, offering it to consumers at home and in large venues such
"We won't use it
ubiquitously, to cover up flaws and capacity limitations," Melone said,
according to a May 19 Gigaom
my mind, it's much more effective to invest in your 3G and 4G environments than
rely on WiFi."
The remark could easily be
interpreted as a dig against AT&T, which last year launched a WiFi hotzones
program to complement (supplement?) its 3G network. Hotzone areas include
around Manhattan and San Francisco
, where iPhone owners are thick on the
ground and AT&T has struggled with dropped calls and low service areas.
Racing to catch up to
Verizon's 4G timeline and support its own growing numbers of data users,
AT&T has made a $39 billion bid to purchase competitor T-Mobile. While this
would give it the wireless spectrum it needs to extend its network to 97-plus
percent of the nation, it would also put more than 80 percent of the U.S.
wireless market in the control of AT&T and Verizon-supremely hindering
which could ultimately hurt consumers in the wallet and slow
At the Texas event,
according to Gigaom, Melone added that by 2013, reliance on 4G LTE (Long-Term Evolution) might be
ubiquitous enough that Verizon can begin shipping devices without 3G radios.
(No worries-no one's getting kicked off of 3G, and neither is Verizon having a
3G capacity problem, Melone insisted.)
On May 23, Verizon announced
two new 4G deployment areas-Springfield and Dayton, Ohio, and Harrisburg, Pa.-both
of which are scheduled to go live June 16.
"As the first wireless
company in the world to broadly deploy game-changing 4G LTE technology, Verizon
Wireless is committed to building its 4G network with the same performance and
reliability for which it has long been recognized," Verizon said in a
statement. "Verizon Wireless' consistent focus on reliability is based on
rigid engineering standards and a disciplined deployment approach year after year.
The company's 700MHz spectrum gives Verizon Wireless specific advantages with
4G, including a contiguous, nationwide network license."
This summer, Verizon will
introduce new, usage-based pricing for its LTE service, Melone added, though he
wouldn't confirm whether this would include data pooling.