Coming by way of a recent investor conference, Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam has once again been talking about unlimited data plans. This of course, comes as Verizon Wireless did away with their unlimited data plan in favor of tiered plans more than a year ago. The end result here is basically what we have already been hearing from Verizon, which is that unlimited data is not sustainable.

McAdam talked about how the world is moving towards delivering more video and wireless is becoming the center of communication. For this he went on to talk about how unlimited offerings aren’t sustainable. Slightly more interesting though, McAdam compared these plans to running out of gas noting that “if you allow unlimited usage, you just run out of gas.”

He then went on to clarify that a bit by saying how it will be hard for carriers to maintain unlimited plans because the spectrum needed to back those plans is still limited. The unlimited vs tiered argument will likely continue into the future, but for now there are still some plans available. Sprint is one example and they have recently begun promoting an unlimited for life guarantee.

To address this McAdam talked about how Verizon Wireless has a reputation for network reliability and therefor would not stoop to that level. And for those hoping to see Verizon get more competitive in terms of pricing — it doesn’t look like that is going to happen. In fact, it was said that Verizon will never lead on price.

Instead it looks like Verizon will continue down the path of reliability and availability both in terms of network and devices. McAdam touched on how they have a footprint they like and how they are going to continue pressing that advantage. From here, there was also some talk about how he encourages an environment with three or four different mobile operating systems.


  • Joshua Lowe

    I don’t need unlimited data anyway. We’re a family of 5 smartphone users with 6GB shared on Verizon, and we very rarely reach our limit. We rarely reach 5GB.

    • I use 5GB by myself.

      • I think 5 to 10Gb is a given. Should Verizon give that much to their cheapest plan subscribers, I think most people won’t complain. On the other hand, there are people who use over 30Gb a month (a friend of mine constantly use over 35Gb every month), and I can’t help but wonder why the heck I pay exactly the same price as he does when I use just a portion of what he use.

    • guest1110

      they’re ripping you off. wireless indurstry is going LTE, so when they get rid of 3G/4G, you’ll rely on LTE to “talk” VoLTE (Voice over LTE). so for all those people who got rid of their “Unlimited” data, you are all suckers! it’s moving back to the old days, instead of limited talk time, it’ll be limited LTE time.

      On top of that, media is getting rich, so it’ll suck up even more data. So, Verizon, 2GB/month ain’t cuttin’ it. greedy bastards!

  • Unlimited data should be a human right.

  • john owens

    Our 5 smartphone family averages about 160gb per month. My kids love youtube and we are constantly streaming something. We are hanging onto unlimited as long as we can. I think my phone uses 2 gb data a night while im sleeping, can’t imagine capped data.

  • Douglas Ford

    I watch Netflix/Hulu/HBO at the gym on the treadmill with my phone, because I run so much I should do two things at once, and thereby use 8-12gbs a month. F Verizon, I might leave them for T-Mobile. I pay $350-$400/month with a 30% off company discount for my family plan.

  • Martin Ricci

    I get great Sprint LTE in my area. So glad I left Verizon, I have unlimited data and LTE, where my Verizon friends are still stuck on 3G and are capped. Big mistake Verizon, soon your customers will wash away

    • j

      You are in the minority. Verizon has the best LTE coverage in the country, period. Most people will select coverage instead of unlimited data.

      • Pat

        This is accurate. Best coverage, best service, terrible customer relations. Gotta pick your priorities. I have Verizon, and hate them, but have never even seriously considered switching.

  • j

    Understandable, but somewhat backwards. Unlimited data is not be sustainable for the VERY REASON unlimited data is necessary?

    In the era of increased demand for streaming and wireless technologies, cloud services, etc, more data usage is imperative. You cannot push streaming and wireless services while simultaneously limiting data access. A single HD movie streaming to your wireless device will exceed the typical 2GB data limit!! We need MORE data access today, not LESS.

  • wcjeep

    Sprint LTE still not available where I live. Sprint 3g phones roam inside buildings locally. TMobile is improving locally. Still no where near the combined coverage/speed of Verizon. This is why I pay a premium for Verizon over the competition. Verizon is the only service that works in the local mountain ranges.

  • James

    They’re sustainable. Especially with the network they have, the unlimited data wouldn’t be much of a problem. I think what he really meant was profitable, because with everything going wireless and hd video, it wouldn’t net them big chunks of money in services and overages to have remained unlimited.