Verizon Wireless needed a way to entice potential iPhone 4 customers to choose Verizon over AT&T, and offering an unlimited data plan was a heck of a carrot. It's also one that can't be sustained. Verizon CFO Francis Shammo confirmed as much when, speaking at a Morgan Stanley investor conference this week, he revealed plans to close the all-you-can-eat data buffet.
"Why did we do the unlimited $30 plan on the iPhone? Well, the reason we did that was we didn't really want to put up a barrier to anybody who wanted to come over and experience the Verizon Wireless network. So we felt it was important to go out at the $30," Shammo explained.
"But I think everybody would know that that is not a long-term strategy. That we are going to move to a tiered price [level]. So we will probably do that in the mid-summer time-frame, somewhere in that perspective."
Shammo went on to suggest that part of the justification for switching to a tiered model is that it will ultimately push the price of smartphones down, "which means more and more people will be able to afford it." How it all shakes our remains to be seen.
"So we are still wrestling with what that entry point is, to be honest," Shammo said. "If you go back to December, we did trial a $15, 150MB plan. We saw that that stimulated a lot of activity at the lower end."
You can read the entire transcript from the conference here (PDF) .