Verizon Could Be Offering Higher Priced Plans With More Data Soon
Verizon Communications plans to introduce new wireless plans with higher prices but larger data allowances later this week, CNET reported on Monday.
Customers on existing plans will not be forced to move to the new offerings, the tech news site said, citing an unnamed source. The new plans will also allow customers to rollover unused data from month to month. That would be a divergence from what Verizon CFO Fran Shammo said in January 2015 when he rejected the idea after several rivals had introduced data rollover features.
The reconfigured plans come as Verizon (VZ) deals with steady competition from smaller rivals T-Mobile (TMUS) and Sprint (S). T-Mobile has picked up millions of subscribers from rivals by leading with new features, including data rollover, which it introduced in December 2014. Sprint, struggling with a massive debt load, has slashed prices to attract more customers.
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Verizon’s new prices are projected to reflect lower relative increases compared to the increases in data allowances. For example, Verizon is increasing a plan with a six gigabyte data allowance by 33% to eight gigabytes. But the price of the plan increases only 17% to $70 from $60.
The move comes as the carrier has been growing more slowly with the U.S. mobile market near a saturation point. Verizon lost a net 8,000 monthly (or “postpaid”) mobile phone subscribers in the first quarter. But sales of over 500,000 net tablet subscriptions and other device connections led to total net monthly subscriber additions of 640,000.
Shares of Verizon, which have gained 22% so far this year, rose less than 1% on Tuesday. Investors have been drawn to Verizon’s stock thanks in part to the company’s ability to hold onto the highest-spending mobile customers despite the competitive wireless market.
Verizon declined to comment on CNET’s report. Last week, a spokeswoman said the company would have “some fireworks” to announce this week.