Rumors often come and go, and most of the ones that get debunked are never to return to the conversation canvases of those who enjoy discussing them. One longstanding rumor in the smartphone arena – Verizon’s supposed plans to move to a tiered data system ala AT&T – has come up time and time again and is always hammered back into the ground until someone else decides to spark it back up.
This time, Verizon’s CFO John Killian reinforces their company’s continued success with the model they’ve been running (at least for the 3G side of things) and states they’re in no rush to change business as usual (after it was suggested they could be moving to tiered data before the end of the month).
So our business is continuing to perform extremely well. You have not seen us rush out to make any kind of a change. We will continue to monitor the situation, of course, and look at opportunities that will say what is the best equation for us to drive long-term shareholder value, and we will be very focused on that. I cannot say enough, though, about the opportunity we see ahead given where we are today with smart phone penetration.
Sounds great… until you’re one of the patrons excited about Verizon’s first LTE-enabled handset that should be making its way to the carrier before the first quarter of 2011 is finished (with LTE rollouts beginning before the end of 2010). Verizon has yet to make a decision on how they’ll price their LTE offering and suggests that a tiered model is still in strong contention.
We have indicated in the past, as we move to an LTE world and LTE pricing, we will probably look very hard at tiered pricing, and that continues to be our thinking right now. So more to come on that. By the way, I should say that all of our efforts, all of our plans on getting LTE launched in the fourth quarter are on schedule.
Not entirely surprising, but at least we know for sure. It still doesn’t give us a solid idea of what their final decision will be once the butter is on the bread, but it gives us the opportunity to brace for (and will get many of you prepared to embrace) the inevitable changes that comes along with the next generation of Big Red’s coverage map.