A Verizon exec has announced that the company plans to do away with its unlimited data plans for grandfathered customers in favor of new tiered "data share" plans, effectively killing off the final unlimited plans at the nation's largest mobile carrier.
As first reported by FierceWireless, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo told a crowd at J.P. Morgan's Technology, Media and Telecom conference in Boston that eventually the company would force all of its current unlimited users over to data sharing, a new kind of "family" plan which launches on Verizon in the summer and allows members of a family to share a set amount of data across all of their devices. In other words, rather than paying for data by the device, a family could purchase, say, 100GB of data per month that everyone on the plan would be able to share. So if Mom uses 80GB of data, and Dad uses 2GB of data, and Little Jimmy uses 16GB of data, it doesn't matter -- you're just paying for that 100GB of data across all of your devices (smartphones, tablets, netbooks, smart refrigerators, whatever).
Though Verizon ended unlimited data for new customers in July 2011, America's largest wireless carrier allowed its old customers to keep their unlimited plans so long as they stuck with the company. That's ending: "Everyone will be on data share," FierceWireless has quoted Shammo as saying.
You can listen to Shammo's comments here; the part about unlimited plans ending begins around the 10 minute mark.
A Verizon spokesperson declined to expand when asked to confirm Shammo's statement regarding the axing of unlimited plans. "We don’t have anything to add to our CFO’s comments," the rep said in an email to HuffPost.
As PhoneArena points out, this is good news for small businesses and families (depending on how expensive the new data share plans are). It's also potentially good news for smartphone owners who also have 4G tablets, who would no longer have to buy a separate data plan for their tabs. All of this depends on the pricing of these data share plans, however, which Verizon has yet to outline.
Though Verizon would not comment on exactly when those grandfathered unlimited data plans will disappear, the move has seemed inevitable for some time now. Verizon has been cutting down on heavy users of unlimited data, throttling the speeds of the top five percent of unlimited data users. A Verizon spokesperson declined to comment on when those unlimited plans will disappear.
Shammo did give a hint in his speech, indicating that when grandfathered customers upgrade from 3G phones (like the iPhone) to 4G LTE phones (like any Android phone, or perhaps the next-generation iPhone), they could be forced to abandon their unlimited plans for a data share plan.
That would mean that only Sprint and AT&T offered unlimited data plans: Sprint to new customers, and AT&T to those subscribers grandfathered in. AT&T, like Verizon, killed off unlimited data for new customers in 2011.
The big question that remains is when the end of unlimited data at Verizon for grandfathered customers will take effect. We'll update you when we get official word from the carrier.
Charge your phone frequently. Recharging when the phone is almost dead too often will make the battery do more work and lower its life expectancy. Charge when your phone is 40 percent full, not 10 percent.
It takes more energy for the phone to vibrate than to ring.
Apps running in the background of your phone will make it run out of juice faster. Shut down all the apps you don't need to keep it going a little longer.
If you don't need to download big files, and you aren't performing some crucial task online, turning off WiFi will let the battery rest.
Apps that use location are constantly communicating with cell towers to pinpoint where you are. While they're doing it, your battery is dying. Turn them off in settings when you need to get that last bit of life.
Dim the brightness of your screens to give battery life a boost. Lowering the default brightness will ensure that the phone uses less charge over time.
Locking the screen on your phone not only keeps strangers from snooping, but will also keep the phone from turning on--and using power--if it accidentally brushes up against things.
While some people already tote around chargers in the dire case that their phone might die, an easier way to prepare is to outfit your phone with a "battery extender case" that packs a spare battery within its skin. When your phone's battery runs out, it will draw power from the case battery.
After two years, there's a good chance your battery is running on its last legs. At this point, it might be better to replace it in order to get the full battery life you once had.
Even when you're not up in the air, putting your phone in Airplane Mode will keep the battery from dying, as it prevents the phone from receiving and sending signals. Of course, when it's in Airplane Mode you won't be able to call, text, or get online, so this may be a last resort.
Overheating can damage your phone's battery cells and make it die faster after a charge. Keep your phone out of the sun and other hot places. A phone that gets too hot while in use could be experiencing some kind of charge malfunction and should be checked out.
The function that allows your phone to automatically download new email, and notifications from third-party apps, also makes your battery run out faster. If your phone's almost dead, go to settings to turn off this feature.