With all of Verizon Wireless' competitors now offering up unlimited data in some capacity, there's been a lot of questions being fired at Verizon's CFO, Fran Shammo about the company bringing back unlimited data. Shammo, who was speaking at an investor conference this week, reiterated that customers "don't need unlimited data plans". Shutting the virtual door on unlimited data plans coming back to Verizon.
Both T-Mobile and Sprint offer unlimited data plans now, however there are some caveats with those plans. Both companies will charge you more if you want higher definition video, Sprint charges more for better quality music streaming and T-Mobile limits hotspots to just 2G speeds (unless you upgrade to T-Mobile's "One Plus" plan for $25 more). Meanwhile AT&T only offers unlimited data to those that subscribe to either DIRECTV or U-verse. These are all things that Shammo pointed out while he was speaking this week. He also noted that Verizon allows their customers to stream video in HD, as well as allowing them to tether their devices with the fastest speeds available – as opposed to throttled 2G speeds.
From a customer standpoint, not having unlimited data is not a good thing, as customers don't like being charged overages or seeing their speeds decrease. However for investors, it's a good thing. As it is tough for carriers to make money off of unlimited plans. In fact, Shammo stated that there is no way to "make money in an unlimited video world", which is why Verizon will be sticking with their tiered plans. Shammo also stressed that those users that tend to sign up for unlimited data are the ones that abuse unlimited data. Meaning that they use a whole lot more data than they should, which affects other users on their network. Providing them with slower speeds, and sometimes, unusable speeds. This is why unlimited plans at Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T all mention that they will slow speeds after a certain cap, usually around 26GB.
Even though Verizon's competitors are offering unlimited data, it appears to not be in Verizon's future to bring it back. Maybe that will change some day, but as for now, they'll be sticking with data tiers and zero-rating data for some apps – like Go90 and NFL Mobile.