Verizon experienced somewhat of a subscriber growth renaissance after bringing unlimited data back into the mix, but according to data firm Civic Science, that trend has probably already bounded over the hilltop. According to their data, the spike in survey takers identifying as Verizon customers that the change brought about began to cool down shortly after, and things are already getting back around the levels they were at before Verizon trotted out their new unlimited plans. The first three weeks of April were apparently quite strong, but the final week of the month saw things cool down to about a 1% net subscriber gain.
Unless something reverses this trend, Verizon is going to be back in the red for May. The unlimited feeding frenzy began shortly after the plan's introduction, allowing Verizon to turn around a third quarter that was looking like it was going to end with a nearly 400,000 postpaid subscriber loss, and bring it to a gain of a bit over 100,000. It didn't take long for the whole thing to lose steam, and now Verizon is facing down the possibility of getting back into their old pattern for user growth, while having to deal with accommodating unlimited data users on their network. It's worth noting that Verizon tends to see a slight downturn around the middle of each year, only to have the newest iPhone bring numbers back up when it drops. With Samsung having dropped the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus near the end of April, however, the usual yearly downturn is looking a bit more bleak than usual.
Verizon's biggest selling point has long been the value of their network compared to the competition, but that gap seems to be narrowing. Every major competitor to Verizon is now offering an unlimited data plan of their own, in most cases with similar terms and pricing. Essentially, this means that Verizon put themselves on even playing ground with the move to unlimited, and will now have to jockey for position just like everybody else. They remain the largest carrier in the US, and their network is more than competitive according to reports on the matter, but the apparent dip after the unlimited bubble just goes to show that the wireless giant is not invincible.