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Despite Hype, Verizon's LTE Pricing Rather Stale
Company kept things simple, expensive for business users
by Karl Bode 08:10AM Thursday Dec 02 2010
As we noted yesterday, Verizon launches their new LTE wireless broadband service on Sunday in 38 markets and 60 airports, covering close to 100 million consumers at launch. What remains most interesting to us is that despite a year that was literally filled with close to two dozen hints about imposing new, creative usage-based pricing models -- Verizon's initial $50-$80 pricing is both expensive -- and ordinary. We aren't the only ones to notice that after a lot of sound and fury, Verizon settled for droll. Though keeping things both simple and expensive was apparently Verizon's plan for initial (mostly business, USB modem only, no smartphone) customers, and pricing changes will come down the line:
quote:
(Verizon's Tony) Melone said Verizon wanted to keep its LTE debut simple and that we should expect "new service plan paradigms" in the future. "We felt a simple, straightforward approach was best," he added. But is Verizon's conservative pricing approach the best option? Mark Lowenstein, managing director of Mobile Ecosystem, thinks it makes sense. "Verizon does not want to set a low bar for LTE. I believe they want to charge a ‘premium price' for what they see as a service with ‘premium capability,' compared to other 3G/4G services out there."
In other words, Verizon's charging a lot initially because they believe business customers will pay for it -- which in turn helps bolster the notion that this is a premium service. Next year, when the company begins aiming LTE at residential users and pushing LTE-embedded smartphones, we should see slightly more differentiated LTE pricing. However, if Verizon's interested in portraying LTE as a "premium" service, the plans will be more creative than they are inexpensive.

Update: One nice thing we missed initially is that consumers don't have to pay more money to be free of a long-term contract. For now.

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88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

This is what the FCC wants to take away OTA TV for?

This is what the FCC has said will bring broadband to the rural people that can't and probably won't ever get it form the cable companies and telcos? How is this any better that satellite. Even with Hughenet for $80 ( you get 16 GB a month ) compared to 10 GB with Verizon's LTE and you get 5 hours a day that doesn't count against the cap. And to be honest even that plan sucks, but it's better than what Verizon offers. $10 per GB overage is also a joke. Even at $1 per GB they would make a killing.

tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1

Re: This is what the FCC wants to take away OTA TV for?

said by 88615298:

This is what the FCC has said will bring broadband to the rural people that can't and probably won't ever get it form the cable companies and telcos? How is this any better that satellite. Even with Hughenet for $80 ( you get 16 GB a month ) compared to 10 GB with Verizon's LTE and you get 5 hours a day that doesn't count against the cap. And to be honest even that plan sucks, but it's better than what Verizon offers. $10 per GB overage is also a joke. Even at $1 per GB they would make a killing.

Until there's more spectrum - or LTE-A is rolled out - there simply isn't enough spectrum available for LTE to provide home-replacement internet. Even then, if it's over wireless there will ALWAYS be caps. Clear is in a unique position over everyone else, of course, due to their massive block of high frequency spectrum.
--
"What makes us omniscient? Have we a record of omniscience? ...If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we'd better reexamine our reasoning."
-United States Secretary of Defense (1961-1968) Robert S. McNamara

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2

Re: This is what the FCC wants to take away OTA TV for?

So let's just let the broadcasters keep their spectrum.

After all, a lot of people are using internet for video delivery anyway. Why not just let them continue receiving OTA TV for free?

Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:2

Re: This is what the FCC wants to take away OTA TV for?

No one killed OTA, they just sold off the spectrum used for Analog OTA. Everyone can still receive OTA for free.

And as much as I don't like the pricing, they did auction the spectrum, and these companies did pay through the nose to do with it as they please.

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: This is what the FCC wants to take away OTA TV for?

said by Camelot One:

No one killed OTA, they just sold off the spectrum used for Analog OTA. Everyone can still receive OTA for free.

For now? Perhaps you haven't be keeping up with the fact that the FCC wants to take away another 120 MHz from the OTA broadcasters. And of course once that's talken away it's only a matter of time that the cellular guys ask for even more.

fifty nine

join:2002-09-25
Sussex, NJ
kudos:2
So you're saying that corporate America should just be able to do what they please with a valuable natural resource?

What if the oil companies applied that logic? We'd be seeing $10/gallon gas.

Camelot One
Premium,MVM
join:2001-11-21
Greenwood, IN
kudos:2

Re: This is what the FCC wants to take away OTA TV for?

said by fifty nine:

So you're saying that corporate America should just be able to do what they please with a valuable natural resource?

What if the oil companies applied that logic? We'd be seeing $10/gallon gas.

You make it sound like they are pumping sludge into the river. They aren't. They are using the spectrum they paid for, in the exact manor it was intended. No one attached any sort of price restrictions on the auction.

And as for oil companies......Do you really think you are paying $3 a gallon because the government is somehow protecting that price for you?

88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness
said by tiger72:

Until there's more spectrum - or LTE-A is rolled out - there simply isn't enough spectrum available for LTE to provide home-replacement internet.

Bullshit. they just got 108 MHz of spectrum from OTA. now they want another 120 from OTA. If 108 isn't enough 120 won't be either so it's all bullshit.

Here's some facts; before 1983 OTA TV had 492 MHz of spectrum. now they have 300 MHz or 61% of what they did have. That 39% almost ALL when to the cellular companies. Of course low-VHF is basically useless for OTA digital so there's 30 you can cross-off the list. and hi-vhf isn't much better. If the FCC takes away the 120 MHz they want to take then that leaves 180 MHz out of an original 492 which is just 37% of pre-1983 levels.

The airwaves belong to the PEOPLE. And if you are going to take away OTA TV to prvoide broadband, fine, but you better come up with something better than this bullshit.

SterlingJ85

join:2000-11-19
Voorhees, NJ

Re: This is what the FCC wants to take away OTA TV for?

How is it all bullshit?

You have on average 5-7 actual networks in most metropolitan areas; in your average rural area maybe 2-3. Cellular operators have 25 MHz (50 MHz total) of spectrum in the 800 MHz range, PCS carriers have anywhere from 10-30 MHz each usually. Of course, cellular operators usually also own a small amount of PCS spectrum as well.

If you averaged it out, carriers are probably running around 20-25 MHz total spectrum each.. That's really not a lot when you consider that most of them operate more than one air interface technology which has minimum bandwidth requirements for each. CDMA/EVDO, GSM/HSPA/EDGE, etc. Then factor in traffic load, and cell density requirements for each spectrum range and subscribers on each carriers network.

Now of course, when you factor in AWS and 700 MHz spectrum, things change a bit.. In my opinion, cellular voice/data infrastructure has become more important and more critical than OTA TV. What MSA can you name that even comes close to 150 MHz of actual active broadcasting transmissions? At 6 MHz (assumption) per ATSC/HD carrier, I can't imagine why we still have 300 MHz allocated for it at all. Most areas have 4-5 Networks, and a few independents, that's it!

Meanwhile we have an exploding amount of data transfer happening, because consumers have demanded portability with voice/data. Comparing the two from a market demand and need standpoint, I would say that cellular technologies need the spectrum more... but that's just my opinion.
--
-Sterling

tiger72
SexaT duorP
Premium
join:2001-03-28
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:1

Re: This is what the FCC wants to take away OTA TV for?

said by SterlingJ85:

Now of course, when you factor in AWS and 700 MHz spectrum, things change a bit.. In my opinion, cellular voice/data infrastructure has become more important and more critical than OTA TV. What MSA can you name that even comes close to 150 MHz of actual active broadcasting transmissions? At 6 MHz (assumption) per ATSC/HD carrier, I can't imagine why we still have 300 MHz allocated for it at all. Most areas have 4-5 Networks, and a few independents, that's it!

Precisely.

We have about 60mhz in use in my market. "Only" 180mhz allocated to broadcast TV is still leaving 120mhz of wasted spectrum.
--
"What makes us omniscient? Have we a record of omniscience? ...If we can't persuade nations with comparable values of the merit of our cause, we'd better reexamine our reasoning."
-United States Secretary of Defense (1961-1968) Robert S. McNamara

compuguybna

join:2009-06-17
Nashville, TN
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compuguybna

join:2009-06-17
Nashville, TN
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1 edit
you said you could get DSL from AT&T cheap. why not put yourself outta your misery and switch?

said by 88615298:

This is what the FCC has said will bring broadband to the rural people that can't and probably won't ever get it form the cable companies and telcos? How is this any better that satellite. Even with Hughenet for $80 ( you get 16 GB a month ) compared to 10 GB with Verizon's LTE and you get 5 hours a day that doesn't count against the cap. And to be honest even that plan sucks, but it's better than what Verizon offers. $10 per GB overage is also a joke. Even at $1 per GB they would make a killing.
said by BF69
The fact is I can get 6 Mbps DSL from at&t for $25 a month for a year. And of course no cap. So it's cheaper for me to get a DSL account and use that for the computer that gets the most use than to go up to 60 Mbps from Charter.


88615298
Premium
join:2004-07-28
West Tenness

Re: This is what the FCC wants to take away OTA TV for?

said by compuguybna:

you said you could get DSL from AT&T cheap. why not put yourself outta your misery and switch?

said by 88615298:

This is what the FCC has said will bring broadband to the rural people that can't and probably won't ever get it form the cable companies and telcos? How is this any better that satellite. Even with Hughenet for $80 ( you get 16 GB a month ) compared to 10 GB with Verizon's LTE and you get 5 hours a day that doesn't count against the cap. And to be honest even that plan sucks, but it's better than what Verizon offers. $10 per GB overage is also a joke. Even at $1 per GB they would make a killing.
said by BF69
The fact is I can get 6 Mbps DSL from at&t for $25 a month for a year. And of course no cap. So it's cheaper for me to get a DSL account and use that for the computer that gets the most use than to go up to 60 Mbps from Charter.

WTF does that have to do with the topic on hand? Are you stalking me?

VerizonLTE

@alltel.net

Disappointed

I was rather disappointed in the pricing model they threw up for "Verizon LTE". It's a step in the wrong direction even for business, even for my business. I typically use between 15-20gb a month, luckily I was grandfathered over from the unlimited cap.

I was rather excited but have learned in the past, particularly with the "giants of com" to not get excited over anything they will do cause all it is is a slap in the face to the consumer / businesses out there.

BEFORE anyone says "well then don't buy them" on that note... there is this thing here in AT&T's Arkansas ... I mean Arkansas where there is a major lack of competition is the semi-urban / rural areas. Even some major cities have crap for competition here, but it's the game they play.

On the whole "rural" broadband note, that crap is a joke and a ploy for stupid companies to take money from the government cause they found another loophole. They place it where they get it all paid for even though the areas are not "rural" and already have solutions for broadband. There will be no 100% deployment, 98% or even 95% for that matter. This country is going to continue to be ran by these big corp's until people get the balls to talk to their politician about it rather than gripe on the forums and not let their voice truly get heard. They can't do anything to you, yeah they will send you a "blanket" letter they send everyone but if enough people write a letter one of their 5000 assistants will end up talking to them about this. Before someone says "what about you?", I wrote a letter, I have emailed, and made phone calls. I have contacted executive offices at the 3 major conglomerates and they have not heard the last of me.

If you are mad about LTE Pricing, contact the executive:
»aboutus.vzw.com/leadership/execu···dex.html

Comcast: »consumerist.com/consumer/executi···0438.php

AT&T: »consumerist.com/2007/08/updated-···son.html

Stand up, don't be the angry consumer in the crowd. Stop letting these companies run us over, let's do something about it for once.

Just my 2 cents
criggs

join:2000-07-14
New York, NY
Reviews:
·Millenicom

Re: Disappointed

said by VerizonLTE :

If you are mad about LTE Pricing, contact the executive:
»aboutus.vzw.com/leadership/execu···dex.html

Thank you very much for the suggestion. I wrote messages to Mead, their president, Walden, their marketing officer, and Smith, their corporate communications guy. Here's the message I sent:

Dear Ms. Walden, Mr. Mead and Mr. Smith,

I am someone who would love to be a Verizon Wireless customer. Why are you making it so hard for me?

Meet me, unhappy Sprint Mobile Broadband customer.

Since September 28th my 3G EVDO Rev A connection has been on the fritz. Repeated twice-weekly complaints to their Technical Support people have yielded exactly nothing. I am shocked and dismayed by their indifference and incompetence.

Finally, this past November 19th, 4G WiMax AT LAST became available in my area (I'm in midtown Manhattan, New York City). But, as always with Sprint, there was a catch: in my block it was only guaranteed in street, not in building, a natural weakness of WiMax, which apparently has issues penetrating walls! I was told that there was no available timetable for my block to be upgraded to in building coverage. In fact, at this time, less than half of Manhattan has inbuilding coverage. Nevertheless, with an unusable 3G connection, I didn't have much choice, so I upgraded to their 4G/3G combo.

I was relieved to discover that I was able to receive their WiMax okay, but then quickly discovered another little gem of a Sprint gotcha: they have so little confidence in their network that they've CAPPED their upload speed to 1 meg per second, just a few hundred kb more than I used to have with my 3G connection before it went on the fritz in September.

So I was thrilled when I found out that Verizon Wireless would be rolling out their 4G LTE service on the first of December.

Until I read the details of what you folks were offering.

ARE YOU CRAZY???????????

Thanks ever so much for gving me an opportunity to download 5 gigs in one week instead of three weeks. Yeah, I'll be paying through the nose for the last three weeks or I just won't use the Internet for three weeks out of every month, but that first week will sure be the cat's pajamas, that's for sure.

In other words, what is with your moronic pricing scheme? Can you give me a good reason why I should switch from an unlimited Sprint account that at least offers me fast download speeds to your wireless service plan which offers virtually the same download speeds in conjunction with a totally unrealistic cap of 5 or 10 gigs?

Part of what really bothers me about this is that I'm sure someone in your company knows better. The Cisco study this past summer at »www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/co···_WP.html revealed that the average Internet user downloads 14.9 gigs a month (and I'm well in the mainstream in that regard, downloading 14 gigs a month, on average). To offer nothing higher than 10 gigs is, frankly, LUDICROUS.

I really hope that whoever came up with this harebrained pricing scheme comes to his or her senses, or is rescued by someone with some brains. I'm an unhappy Sprint wireless customer who's dying to make the jump to Verizon Wireless, and all you're doing is putting obstacles in my path. It's absurd.

Another opportunity which I think you're missing is a possible tie-in between Verizon Wireless and Verizon. Right now, I'm a very happy Verizon Fios and Verizon landline phone user. I have a double play which is priced very reasonably and which has been performing very well, thank you. Isn't it time to explore the possibility of folding in Verizon Wireless services with those offered by Verizon, opening up new possibilities for Triple Play or even Quadruple Play packages? Isn't SOMEONE SOMEWHERE in your company thinking outside the box already? Geez.

Sincerely yours
vlad1000

join:2005-05-19
Brooklyn, NY

no affordable/reliable/fast wireless internet anytime soon

i don't think that we shall see anything affortable and (fast enough) as far as wireless internet is concerned anytime before 2015....possibly white space broadband in 2015 or 2016 will provide a viable solution to our woes...who knows...but for now...wired internet is the way to go
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

1 edit

Re: no affordable/reliable/fast wireless internet anytime soon

Mobile data doesn't really need much more than 10Mbps for most people - even 10 for fixed is plenty for most people (including me). 4Mbps is plenty for descent quality video. If you need >10, wired will be the way to go for quite a long time.

The challenge for next gen wireless is balancing cost to rollout (and maintain service) with enough capacity to support many users at once. The latter is constrained by spectrum and backhaul.

VZW has the cash to do a full rollout but is limited by spectrum to support many users at once at >10Mbps. They view themselves as a 'premium' service company so will not likely be competitive in pricing.

Sprint/Clear has the spectrum but is short on cash to do a full rollout with enough coverage to match 3G. Adding backhaul in oversubscribed areas is a challenge when they are pressured to spend resources on expanding as well. They are doing the best they can to balance the two given limited resources but will be a while before they get the right balance.

Tmob/ATT has an easier path to 10Mbps via HSPA+ but they are also constrained with spectrum. They can deliver higher speeds in real world to a few users but to 100+ simultaneous users on a single site is likely not as doable as Sprint/Clear with way more spectrum.

ATT/VZW will likely manage the limited spectrum with caps. Sprint/Clear could potentially avoid caps long term but needs the cash to provide enough backhaul system wide. As far as affordable, you'll have to look to TMob and Sprint/Clear and accept the limitations (with 3G speeds as backup, it's not a serious limit). ATT/VZW will charge what users are willing to pay and won't compete with Tmo/Sprint until they have to.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

Re: no affordable/reliable/fast wireless internet anytime soon

said by xenophon:

Mobile data doesn't really need much more than 10Mbps for most people - even 10 for fixed is plenty for most people (including me). 4Mbps is plenty for descent quality video. If you need >10, wired will be the way to go for quite a long time.

Run netflix HD on less than 4mbps RELIABLY. you need at least 10 to have a constant HD stream from netflix, and if you want any kind of games to play decently then you will need at least 15, and a good 3 for up. I have 60 down and 5 up at home, and i want more. games play better with a bigger pipe, and when you get 5 ppl and 6 devices on 1 connection, or even 2 devices, it really begins to eat bandwidth. 2 ppl doing netflix HD will need 20 or more. yes netflix has only 3800kbps HD streams, but you need at least twice that to get a stable HD stream, otherwise it cuts out in hd. dont go and become a sheeple of the big companies. Just because YOU dont need more than 10 because all you do is check email and facebook, DOES NOT MEAN that other people will not need more than that. All the people that I know want as much as they can get.

Once you get many devices on a network, needs go up. sure, if all you do is check mail, go back to dial-up. I play games, stream shows, DOWNLOAD anime that is getting bigger and bigger. 10 is not enough for me, and is not enough for most people. look at the multitudes of ppl complaining here because they are stuck on DSL that only goes 1.5 to 3 mbps.
xenophon

join:2007-09-17

1 edit

Re: no affordable/reliable/fast wireless internet anytime soon

I did say that anyone who needs more than 10 should stick to wired. I have a 7Mbps connection (can peak to 10) with TWC right now with 2 PS3 sometimes both doing Netflix HD streaming at same time, while also browsing on a couple laptops - no issues. First point is that for mobile users, you probably don't need more than 10.

Second point is that to sustain >10Mbps on wireless to many users at once, it requires a lot of spectrum, which ATT/VZW do not have much of for LTE. And it requires a lot of backhaul, which Clear is too cash strapped to provide (at this time for heaviest sites). Clear will be able to resolve this issue if they ever get their finances in place. ATT/VZW will have a finite limit they can do nothing about given not much spectrum for LTE (unless they expand LTE to other spectrum).

WiMAX/LTE look great to a few users on a site, but the challenge will always be sustaining >10Mbps to many dozens of users at once per site. Clear has been having capacity management problems (on some sites) ever since Evo/Epic phones came out. VZW probably won't see issues til they release LTE phones and they won't be able to expand spectrum unless going outside 700Mhz for LTE.
criggs

join:2000-07-14
New York, NY
Reviews:
·Millenicom
said by Chubbysumo:

Just because YOU dont need more than 10 because all you do is check email and facebook, DOES NOT MEAN that other people will not need more than that...10 is not enough for me, and is not enough for most people.

I believe you're oversimplifying. There is a middle ground between only checking email and participating in multi-player games.

I believe, at 14 gigs a month, I represent that middle ground.

Here's my typical usage. I watch Youtube A LOT and I also listen to live opera webcasts on Saturday for about 6 hours. That all adds up to about 14 gigs a month. In addition, I regularly upload large audio files to my ftp site and share them with friends. There is NO WAY I would be able to do all of that on dialup. A user like me can live with 600kbps download speed, but just barely. I still find the upgrade to WiMax has significantly improved my online experience and I don't play games and I don't use Netflix.

There is a legitimate market for the LTE and WiMax speeds being offered, and I'm it. And I don't think expecting reasonable pricing of those products is too much to expect. We already have it from Sprint; why not from Verizon?

sambowomble
Are you sure? If not check again
Premium
join:2009-11-23
Murfreesboro, TN
Reviews:
·Comcast
·Verizon Wireless..
·Time Warner Cable
·Bright House
...or until we har antennas coming out our azz and monitors duct taped to our foreheads. I know the price for VZ seems steep, but it does give them some leverage on pricing for the future, would you be personally happy if in the future the price started to go down than them starting the price low and then climbing up?
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY

real low bar..

nobody else introduced disruptive wireless data pricing, so why should Verizon?

$20-$40 not $50-$80 or be burdended by any extra fees & taxes too.

Geminimind
Premium
join:2003-12-20
Sacramento, CA

Glad I left

Glad I left this greedy scamming company. All they care about is how they can milk their customer back in 2001 when I had them I seen all these new features coming out and $ for x and $ for y left them in 09 and never looked back.