Speaking at an investors conference, Verizon’s CTO Fran Shammo revealed that the long rumored “shared data family plans” will be made available to Verizon Wireless customers sometime in the middle of the year. Apparently, the carrier has spent a full year getting everything up and ready on their end. According to Shammo, the new plan wont include everyone at first with the carrier focusing on “long-term migration.” Instead, their new plans will be to made available for current 4G data subscribers initially.
He also revealed that while Verizon is quick to advertise their blazing fast 4G LTE network in just about every television ad, realistically, only about 5% of their customers are actually using it. Verizon has long been trying to move their customers and adopt 4G with discounted handset incentives, promotions and marketing blitz. Verizon will continue rolling out their 4G network with plans to cover there entire 3G markets with 4G by 2013.
This news will most likely be music to many a Verizon customers’ ears. Shared data with single account billing could prove much more affordable if done right and echoes competing carrier Sprint, who has offered unlimited shared data family plans for years now. Still, it makes you wonder, with only 5% of customers currently using 4G LTE, how will their network hold up with 40 or 50% of customers using up all that bandwidth?