There's been a lot of hubbub this week for Verizon's "grandfathered" unlimited data customers, who are concerned that their all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of 3G and 4G LTE will end when the company introduces new shared data plans this summer. Verizon has updated their statement, assuring unlimited customers that they don't have to sign a new contract if they don't want to. Of course, that also means that they'll be ineligible for the discounted pricing on new phones, without which most mid-range and high-end Android devices become prohibitively expensive.

The basic gist is this: if you sign a new contract after the summer, even if it's extending your current contract, you lose unlimited data. The only way to get a new phone (such as, say, the Verizon-bound Galaxy S III) and keep unlimited is to purchase it outright. Most of the headlining Verizon phones, like the DROID RAZR MAXX, HTC Rezound and Galaxy Nexus, go for a whopping $649 without a contract discount.

That's a lot of money to spend to hand on to unlimited data. On the plus side, it means that you're free to go to another service provider if you get sick and tired of Verizon's nickel-and-dime policies. As an unlimited customer myself (who's long past his upgrade date), I must say that it's a definite option, especially considering the lack of new power phones in Verizon's lineup for the last few months. If I'm going to have to spend a ton of money anyway, I might as well get an unlocked phone and buy a Straight Talk unlimited SIM card.

In any case, the message for current unlimited users is clear: switch to tiered data, pay up, or get out. It's frustrating to see wireless companies increase their spectrum, bandwidth and capabilities while all the time demanding more money for less data. Those of you who are unlimited on Verizon and eligible for an upgrade, get one soon to lock in your rates for another two years.

[via SlashGear]

  • Paul

    Wouldn’t it be easier to just get a second line and transfer the new phone to your unlimited line?

    • jenn

      That was the exact thing I was thinking. Both my kids have limited data, I have unlimited. I wonder if I buy a new phone under their contract, and then just change the phones around… you dont have to sign a new contract.. I’ve done it a few times.

  • sdorn

    Will they let you upgrade from a 3G device to an LTE device though?  That is the big question.  You can usually get a phone on eBay for close to what the subsidized price is within a couple months of a phone being released, so that is a real option assuming they will let you go from 3G to LTE.

    • Namic


  • Logan Black

    So does this mean that if your end of contract period comes and goes so you are effectively paying for “month-to-month” without a contract, you can keep the unlimited data on it as long as you don’t attempt to change the plan in any way?

    • Namic


  • Thunder_shyan

    Verizon rapes with its rates. So if this is true I believe ill be moving to another company. I work had for my money and already pay more then others with being grandfathered in. I feel they will see that this is a big mistake. Verizon can’t get away with the up charges. Not with other comanys getting just as good for less then verizon.

  • Verizon Blows! Not that I’m a huge fan, but Sprint has unlimited for $10/month. If you have a newer phone it’s required.

  • Alex Dimitry

    Question: I am on a family plan.  ONLY my phone has unlimited data while the other 2 phones are not smart phones and do not have data.  If the other 2 phone get subsidized upgrades w/o  data, will that affect MY data plan?

  • Lee Renfro

    So, my question is this; if i want to keep my unlimited data and get another phone, all i have to do is walk into the verizon store and plop down $700 or so dollars for say a new droid razor maxx? I already have a droid razor but was thinking of buying a razr maxx, but i dont want to lose my grandfathered unlimited data. Will they take away my grandfathered unlimited when i have the new phone activated on my current number?

    • Namic

      no they can’t take it cause you didn’t touch the contract buy extended it after the 06-29-12 dead line. yes you can keep your unlimited data if you plop the 700-800 for the phone and don’t do anything to you contract

  • J

    “$649 without a contract discount. That’s a lot of money to spend to hand on to unlimited data.”
    When you think about it, in the long run this isn’t that much money. I’ve seen some people getting anywhere between 10-20mbps (Average speed tests show about 15mbps download).
    Other pages I’ve read show the 4G LTE Advanced update (2013-2014) is expected to offer up to 100mbps for mobile users.
    Getting the same internet speeds from an ISP could cost that much (or more) just across 6 months.

  • D Block

    Glad I already got the Droid Charge with 4GLTE and have unlimited. Bahahah fuck you verizon.