Verizon to Cap Data Before August?


Oh, boy: that rumor is starting to turn up again. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard of Verizon playing around with the idea of capping data usage for their wireless subscribers, but Engadget suggests Verizon could be finally set to impose those data caps – and that it could be happening before July 2010 expires.

verizon logo

There were no details to be had, but the lack of unlimited data (if you’re not willing to pay per GB, of course) is never a happy thought for paying customers. It’s quite alarming, too, because we just reported that Verizon’s seen a 5x increase in data usage from Motorola Droid X users compared to users of any other devices. One might suggest that this is because the phone is new and people are getting their apps in order and playing with the phone until their fingers fall off, but it would also make sense for Verizon to use that as an excuse to impose these data limitations.

We’ll see if any of this rings true as we enter the last unofficial month of summer.

Quentyn Kennemer
The "Google Phone" sounded too awesome to pass up, so I bought a G1. The rest is history. And yes, I know my name isn't Wilson.

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  1. Well, the new version of the My Version app includes a widget that lets you monitor data consumption from the home screen. Why would they want me to monitor my data use if I have an unlimited plan? Seems like something is up …

  2. Thanks Verizon for convincing me to stay with T-mobile because a Nexus One with free tethering wouldn’t make much sense on your network sadly.

  3. Glad I’m not on Verizon anymore…..Hopefully existing Verizon customers can grandfather their data plans….I’m sticking with unlimited data plans…..That is until the same thing happens to all carriers….Sigh :(

  4. I do not see a problem with offering tiered data plans for people who do not want to pay for copious amounts of data they’ll never use. But hell, don’t take away unlimited data for those who want it and are willing to pay for it! Sadly, I am sure all carriers will be going this route – leaving us no choice but to just deal with it. Ugh. Curse you, high demand commodities!

  5. If Verizon caps will that leave the only big US carrier to not cap as Sprint?

  6. T-Mobile doesn’t cap either @PlainBrad

  7. If they do thousands will leave and even more thousands will look somewhere else for service .
    With the current economy dumb move , people will say enough is enough , Verizon is not to big to fail !
    Greed overwhelms everything .

  8. @ quentyn kennemer, he said big US Carrier. Nothing against T Mobile but they just don’t have a huge subscriber base.

  9. Didn’t Verizon say that the tiered pricing will only affect 4G connections?
    This report is contrary to what I’ve read before.

  10. When this happens, I hope I am grandfathered in with my unlimited data. Either way, I’m thinking Sprint is not going to cap their data so I will be switching to them with my next phone purchase!

  11. Damn, a year and a half left on my contract. I’m sooooo switching to Sprint or T-Mobile when its up. And if by that time no carrier is offering unlimited, I’m going back to feature phone. If I can’t own a smart phone with unlimited then there’s just no point for me to own a smart phone.

  12. Does this count as a contractual change that could cause undo hardship? That can give you an excuse to dump the contract. Right now we have a BlackBerry in our family that is still under contract that’s binding us into our current plan. I’d love to go over to prepaid, it could save us a ton of money.

  13. Bring it on! Can’t wait for tiered data. No longer will I have to pay the same as the guy who’s using 5gb every month.

    Every carrier is either going to this, charging an extra $10 for “extras” (i.e. 4G), or going out of business.

  14. I’m going back to Sprint or maybe switch to t-mobile after my contract with Verizon expires in a year. Was with Sprint for like 10 yrs and only left because of the Droid. I should have just gotten the Hero. IMO Sprint has better and less expensive plans.

  15. My wife has an ENV2 and she does not require unlimited data so she just has the $10 plan at 5MB per month. I use the tracker to track her data so she doesn’t go over.

    THE QUESTION IS: Is there any leaked document from Verizon about this or is this merely speculation like FROYO dropping on July 13th? The leaked Fall catalogue for Verizon had unimited plans on there so I will believe it when I see something.

  16. If true, isn’t that a change in our contract, so we could get OUT OF IT!

  17. I’m from Sweden, and we move in the opposite direction. Meaning no cap. Because people here won’t have it. You should all vote with your wallets. .. $10 for 5mb?? for real? That’s like three websites and that would be it.. Jeez, no wonder why Verizon can do this to you guys.. Really, move to the operator without cap. The operators will remove any caps if you do. Money is the only language they understand. Complaints doesn’t work.

  18. Great point Chuck… I wonder if it does allow us to leave.

  19. This hasn’t been an issue for AT&T @JR and Chuck. With them, you were grandfathered into unlimited data. The only way you’d be forced to goto a non-unlimited plan is if you were to make the change yourself or get a new phone through contract/upgrade before your two-year period was up. I’m not sure what would happen if you rode the two-years out until the end then tried to upgrade to a new phone. But Verizon will most likely be protected from customers trying to break contract without paying the ETF.

  20. Verizon could help themselves by fixing the Wi-Fi issues that many Droid X users are having (me included). When enabled, Wi-Fi will work for a few minutes, but then it stops working even though the indicator says it is connected.

    Once this happened to me a few times I turned off Wi-Fi, I’ll try it again when a fix is issued. Till then EVERYTHING is going over V’s network.

  21. @Chuck and Whootahoo

    That’s what I’d hope. They can tie us into a binding two year contract, have us pay outrageous cancellation fees, but if they change their ways and don’t let us out of the contact that would be Uber lame.

    I’m new to the smartphone but now use it constantly. I don’t know if I can go back to monitoring my usage. And the other carriers SUCK in my area, so what am I to do!? Dang Verizon…dang other people.

    Question…Does data usage charges apply when using WiFi? If not then I might…MIGHT be able manage. Either way this is bad news.

  22. people here who think these plans will be a better option need to wake the F up, smartphones always update themselfs. time. weather. even if you shut off apps the OS will still suck up some of yout Data MB/ its apparent they want you to go over your limit. and also why the F should i have to keep track of my data?? i have better things to do

  23. Only up side is that it could make their data plans prices plummet… bad thing- how do you know how much data you are going to be need over a two year contract?

  24. I can’t wait to find out what the new limits are, I’m going to imagine that it will be competitive with AT&T’s plans.

    AT&T offers 200mb for $15 and 5gig for $25 (previously unlimited was $30)

    Verizon USB stick offers $40 for 250mb and $60 for 5gig.

    The lower of these plans are obviously ridiculous and rip people off based on their ignorance. Both charge you FEES for going over your limit.

    Both T-Mobile and Sprint reserve the right to throttle you if you go over 5gig (the same as AT&T and Verizon still do) but they don’t charge you fees on your smartphone.

    Wireless USB modem on T-Mobile also doesn’t charge you fees if you go over, but instead opts to throttle you for going over.

    I get that it cost money to invest into LTE technology, but the actual technology is cheaper to operate and has a larger pipe (and they have the spectrum for it as well). I don’t have a problem with corporations making money, there should be like an overhead fee of an extra $10 a month or something for LTE devices, not gimping plans in an attempt to rip off consumers.

  25. This is not a smart move for Verizon. There plans are already the highest. Sprint will be glad to take there customers.

    Evo 4G Owner!

  26. P.S not only that over the next 2 yrs the OS and new apps will demand more data. so agian wake the F up!

  27. Quentyn is right about AT&T. They also didn’t require my friend to change when he upgraded to the iPhone 4.

    Tiered pricing for 3G is understandable… as long as it’s reasonable. The 2gb that AT&T is giving is pathetic and really wont cut it for Android phones. If Verizon changes the current unlimited to 5gb then that should be fine, as long as overage fees aren’t high. (like $1-3 / gb)

  28. This is one of the reasons i dont want a FFC. If i want to do video conferencing-i’ll do it from a computer. It just sucks up soo much bandwidth. When i was with AT&T, at a NFL game, for example, others i was with could not even get on the internet with their iPhones (hate typing that miserable word.) Presumably, soo many others in that vicinity were sucking up that bandwidth. Sprint & TMO may follow suit, may even tack on the $10 extra for their improved networks as a “service industry standard” but they haven’t yet & I hope for the best.

  29. @Vegeta, don’t forget Sprint’s 4G $10 premium fee allows for unlimited data. There is no cap or throttling. Granted it is an additional fee and I see the arguments on both sides (i.e. this IS tiered data on Sprint, but packaged differently).

    It’s merely a matter of time before all carriers adopt the tiered philosophy, but until then I’ll save as much money and download as much data as I can through Sprint. We left Verizon because of their “nickel and dime” practices, and as stated above “in this economy” every “nickel and dime” counts … especially in the eyes of the average consumer.

  30. This is why I will be switching to t-mobile at the end of my contract, if the locked bootloaders were not enough.

  31. This would be a clear breach of contract and hopefully a good attorney will be able to bring a lawsuit to intervene on behalf of all users who have purchased service and/or extended their plans with Verizon. The fact that Verizon REQUIRED users to accept an unlimited data plan in order to use the phone has them over a barrel if they change it.

  32. Excellent point-locked bootloaders!! Not for me. Don’t care how awesome the X or whatever is, something else will surpass it within a few months.

  33. @Vegeta Ouch $25/month for 5gb of cellphone data and $60/month for USB data, I only pay $20/month on T-mobile and with free wired and wireless tethering on my Nexus One I save $65/month compared to Verizon. Also my speeds are from 3mbps to 7.5mbps :)

  34. @Joe 100% sure the 9.99 data pckg thru VZW is 25 mb, not 5mb. So unless it was a typo let the reins a little free on your wife :)

  35. @Nmansell

    But $10 for 25MB is a joke. You at least get 200MB for $15 on AT&T. It’s like IBM charging per CPU cycle on their equipment. Completely ridiculous.

  36. Hopefully they will grandfather me in, otherwise I’m gone. Looks like I’ll be switching back to sprint.

  37. We are doom!

  38. Verizon: Try all our new 4G applications like video chat, streaming video, and super fast downloads. Just remember not to use them for more than 8 hours per month. What is the point of 4g if you can’t use the things 4g was designed for?

  39. @Vegeta
    “AT&T offers 200mb for $15 and 5gig for $25”

    AT&T offers 2GB for $25 not 5GB.

  40. I lost my mind when I first read this. Then I wondered how much data I do use. I am on my phone constantly. Downloading music, tethering, youtube, etc. I have really wore it out the last few days because I got the Droid X on Friday. I am on the last day of my billing cycle and have only used a little over 1GB of data. I have no problem with a data cap as long as it is cheaper than what I pay now for unlimited. I would think that they would have to let everyone ride out their 2 year contract before they can even change it though.

  41. If this happens, it will force me to downgrade from my Droid and count down the time till my contract expires and I will no longer be a Verizon customer.

  42. I signed a unlimited data contract and I want unlimited if not let me out of my contract at no EFT or grand father me in. This would be a bait and switch. I have used over 5 GB once and no they didnt cancel my contract. Most of the months I am under 5 GB. I woould pay $20 for the tethering and get another 5 GB if you tether with your Droid X or hotspot feature.

    I can’t imagine going back to Sprint and be treated like dirt when I had them for 10 years and paid $200 a month for 4-5 lines. I rather pay my money to someone who actually cares even for a little extra money

  43. Everyone is jumping to conclusions with only 1/10th of the information. I actually think tiered data is a good thing. The one thing I will say though, is if I’m going to be held to a certain usage, then it shouldn’t matter how I use it. Would everyone stop whining, if this move did away with the tethering surcharge? Completely feasible; if I’m paying for 5GB, then I should be able to use that 5GB anyway I want.

  44. Oh, and everyone is stupid for thinking that Verizon would open themselves up to lawsuit. They obviously can’t just throw everyone into a capped structure, unlimited will be grandfathered in until you sign a new 2-year agreement. It always amazes me how geeks have little to no common sense.

  45. I read that Verizon may actually be charging tiered prices for Prepaid, not contract. Let’s cross our collective fingers.

  46. I think this would be a good idea for Verizon. It’s ridiculous to pay for unlimited when all you do is check your email. I’ve used maybe 300mb on my phone and I do a lot more than just reading email. For people that are using wireless tethering, that’s actually a paid feature that you are bypassing and getting for free, so don’t brag about it. Phones have had wired tethering for awhile, that’s why Verizon has the mobile hot spot data plans. They never intended for you to be able to download an app to bypass their Mobile Connect system, and I’m sure if they catch on we’ll start seeing some hefty charges on a bill. They know what people are doing with the droids, especially now that’s it built in. Can you imagine all the people that are planning on getting rid of their internet plan so they can just leech off the unlimited data from their phone? I bet Verizon and AT&T have.

  47. I’m sure the old plan will be grandfathered in. They probably also won’t require you to change it even when renewing a contract. After all, I was able to do a new contract on Verizon with my old grandfathered Alltel voice plan, and just added the data plan to it for my smartphone. They may add some kind of incentive to switch though, like AT&T did with iPhone tethering. No way to know for sure until it happens. Anyway, I don’t mind tiers, as long as they don’t have ridiculously low caps, and I would prefer that they maintain an unlimited option regardless, even if they ended up raising the price of it.

  48. Verizon is already capping data because they just slow me down to 1x if I use my internet too much. This has been going on for about 2 months now and it’s getting worse
    Ill be done with them in November. They are cutting off their noses to spite their faces. Without true unlimited data at 4G they are done. Charge more if you need to…but don’t play games with subscribers.

  49. It’s nice here in Sweden. The cap got upgraded a couple of months ago from 5GB to 10GB :)

  50. Yeah, but in Sweden your income tax rate is about double ours. The government takes a lot more of everything you earn. I’d take the lower data cap any day over that…

  51. @ robert everybody has written into their fine print if you use too much data they reserve the right to slow your speed, its not a cap. and verizon is not going to cap data, not on 3G at least.

  52. Plus, you have a massive VAT.

  53. for all those people who would like a cap on data plans because they don’t use the web often. well i use a lot of data but i don’t use more then 300 minutes a month.I have a unlimited plan on calls too if you want to cap data then lets cap minutes as well no more unlimited for any thing then! lets cap data on home PC as well then. lets also cap cable TV while were at it.

  54. Interesting rumor – I guess we’ll see if it comes out to be true or not. I happen to use Net10 where the data and coverage are perfectly priced. I save tons being on prepaid and this service really offers a fabulous deal. I’m a pretty satisfied customer :)

  55. its also hilarious people talking about switching from verizon to tmobile or sprint. first off WIMAX is not 4G. Wimax is a giant wifi network. and what happens when more people join your wifi network..? ask steve jobs. the verizon lte broadband cards are testing at 60mpbs, sorry hspa (tmobile). and finally these are just rumors, if everything somebody made up and posted on the internet was true my droid would have Android 16.0 (zebra cake).

  56. Funny how everyone and there MoMaaa wants to talk about how there Little networks won’t do this…when infact its because Verizon is the biggesT network we are hearing about them doing this first…yes first but that does not mean the other networks wont follow the big dog…y0

  57. @Z we are Doom!…lol

  58. @Dave

    T-Mobile offers 10 GB for $20 per month.

  59. This is my idea with android phones coming with WiFi tethering and so on. And they have a way to control it but with the hacker community finding the ways around paying Verizon or any company that extra fee this is a way for them to control it. Limit your usage so that surfing on your netbook or laptop with your phone will get cut short. I really don’t care my plan states unlimited data right now so Verizon can’t do nothing about it until I renew. But who knows this information might be getting confused with lte so when there’s more solid information instead ov the standard rumor mill going on then panic until then surf up. Shoot look at the iPhone rumor it was suppose to go to Verizon since 2g phone came out people believed that even know everybody also knew that at&t and Apple had a exclusive deal that lasted til 2012. Which means no iPhone on Verizon for a few more years but nothing going to stop them rumors thou. In may next year we will hear that rumor again. So until Verizon kicks out a press release on this matter don’t get your panties all in a bunch.

  60. HSPA+ is proven faster-when I put my Evo next to my buddy’s Vibrant, we see the difference. I am not married to Sprint so I’m not going to fight to defend them, but a fact is a fact.

  61. @nmansell – You are correct and that was a typo on my part. I don’t really use it to keep tabs on her usage but I know it is there in case I need to check on it.

    @Everyone Else – People, I believe this is a rumor and we will find that this is all false information. We will see…

  62. for people who said tmobile does not cap. they actually do cap at 10gb and then the data usage gets throttles down to about 56kbs which is like a dial up modem

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