Verizon Hangs On to Unlimited Data Plan for iPhone, Deal Won't Last

Paul Lilly

Good news for early Verizon iPhone 4 adopters. The wireless carrier isn't planning to axe its $30 unlimited data plan, at least not yet, Verizon's chief operating officer Lowell McAdam told investors .

In speaking with The Wall Street Journal , McAdam said, "I'm not going to shoot myself in the foot." Without a $30 unlimited plan, McAdam fears there would be a barrier for AT&T customers who want to switch over to Verizon. Even though new AT&T subscribers must choose from a tiered plan, there are still millions of customers grandfathered into unlimited plans, which could be a deciding factor if Verizon were to nix its own $30 data buffet.

Like all good things, though, this one won't last. McAdams said the unlimited offer is only temporary and that Verizon will ultimately switch to usage-based billing. Those who jump on the unlimited plan will get to keep it until they switch devices.

"For example, a customer purchases an iPhone 4 or Droid X along with the $29.99 data plan," a representative explained . "This person's contract expires February 10, 2013, but they love their device so much they never come in and purchase another device. They continue to pay us monthly and we continue to bill them for the exact same services. We don't change their plan. Now let's say in 2014, they want a new phone and they come in and purchase a new phone, then they subscribe to whatever service is offered at that time and pay that price."

By comparison, AT&T subscribers grandfathered into an unlimited plan are able to keep it even after upgrading their smartphone.

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