A look at Verizon Wireless’ Stellar Quarter 2

Verizon is the best rated carrier, but can’t rest on those laurels

Verizon Wireless (VZW) stated that their operating revenues in Q2 were up to $27.5B. They claim to have 2.2M new additions – I was even one of them. But while they are attributing these newcomers to the iPhone and their stable of LTE devices, I believe a majority switched for another reason. It was widely published that VZW was going to drop their unlimited data plans and switch to tiered plans only. These tiered plans come with prohibitive costs ($80 for 10GB) and severe overage charges. The plans offered are 2GB, 5GB and 10GB ($30/month, $50/month and $80/month).

Many people are okay with 2GB of data right now – but I foresee in the future with more video streaming (and wider LTE coverage) – that 2GB will not suffice for long. And I find the costs for 5GB or 10GB to be outrageous. This is why I joined – I had come from the Sprint network with WiMax 4G (with fully unlimited data). Right now, the LTE network is faster than the Comcast “broadband” in my house – yet the LTE is limited. We are a data-centric society – yet VZW is making their plans in a fashion that will throttle data moving to devices.

Of further concern to the consumer (and especially the enterprise user) is the networks attempt to make VoIP inaccessible. One of the hallmarks of a 4G networks is using data to push voice instead of the analog voice networks. Services such as Viber or Skype offer true VoIP calling – how will Verizon and AT&T deal with them? VoIP can be a huge boon to enterprise IT – providing instant and secure communication for global workers (saving international fees), but will data caps prove VoIP impractical?

VZW is already known for throttling the bandwidth of the highest consumers – it now seems as if they are also trying to punish anyone who desires a lot of data (all while bragging about their shiny new LTE network). I know many people who switched to Verizon just to avoid the tiered plans – and all over the internet there was a big “awareness” push for people to switch (or grab a data plan) before the changes. So what will be the eventual fall out? There are a few devices forthcoming that might draw a large crowd (ie the iPhone 4S and the Droid Bionic), but what will be Verizon’s newest plan when people don’t want to use their inferior 3G network (lets face it CDMA EVDO Rev A is a LOT slower than all the HSDPA offerings) over their competitors? Verizon was right to push their LTE offerings as quickly as they did, but if they continue to rely on CDMA as the true backbone of their network, they place themselves in a precarious position as the GSM cell carriers may merge – but also roll out LTE networks of their own.

The change to tiered data plans (following those by AT&T and T-Mobile) leaves Sprint as the only domestic post paid carrier offering unlimited data plans (Virgin Mobile even has them). I am all for plans that are tailored to those who need less data – but at the end of the day, this is an example of Verizon charging a surplus, for the same old services. Verizon and AT&T are already the costliest carriers and this price gouging doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon, but I am just glad I got in on the unlimited data party before it ended.

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Denise Petet

I’m a Verizon customer for, well many, many years. We switched from Cingular to Verizon and I’ve stuck with it because, here in Kansas, I often have to drive to the far corners of the state, and once Verizon bought out Nextel, they had the best coverage.

I’m not a video streamer, I just want coverage.

However, when I went in to upgrade my phone a few months ago, I was considering a smart phone…until I realized it’d more than double my phone bill (you must have a 30 dollar a month data plan to even buy some of the phones). I have an iPod touch so really couldn’t justify being able to surf the net whenever i wanted, while at the same time bearing in the back of my mind the pitfalls of going over your gigs and the massive bills it can generate.

I found the company that used to be friendly and open to people to be arrogant and full of rules and regs and restrictions and various extra costs. there’s fee after fee after fee and a distinctly unapologetic attitude if you dont’ like it.

It is as if, now that they have the iphone, they don’t care. ‘we got the coverage, we got the iphone, you will be happy we’re here to serve you cause where else ya gonna go????’

I can’t say that I’m going to dump verizon in 22 months when I can get rid of the junky phone I got because when I’m by the side of the road 40 miles from the nearest town, I need a phone that works…(just what they want to hear, i know), but I can say my opinion of them as a company isn’t that good. their customer service and over all corporate attitude leaves a lot to be desired. and if they keep going this way for a few more years they’re gonna find themselves on the wrong side of rebuilding a reputation. If I was a person that never went that far off the beaten track, I would seriously be looking at a different company when I can upgrade.

So yeah, they can’t rest on their laurels.I think they need to tone down the corporate arrogance a bit, because nothing fuels the creation of a competitor faster than taking your customers for granted.