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Verizon Is Cracking Down on Subscribers Using Too Much Mobile Data

A pedestrian enters a Verizon Communications Inc. store in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. Verizon Communications Inc. is scheduled to release earnings data on April 21. Photographer: David Paul Morris/BloombergA pedestrian enters a Verizon Communications Inc. store in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. Verizon Communications Inc. is scheduled to release earnings data on April 21. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
A pedestrian enters a Verizon Communications Inc. store in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. Verizon Communications Inc. is scheduled to release earnings data on April 21. Photographer: David Paul Morris/BloombergDavid Paul Morris — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Verizon Communications is kicking a tiny group of wireless subscribers off a discontinued unlimited data plan because they used too much data.

The carrier specified that fewer than 1% of its wireless customers remain on unlimited plans, which were discontinued for new customers in 2011. Of the less 1% still on unlimited plans, “a small fraction of a percentage of those customers are using extraordinary amounts of data,” a Verizon spokeswoman said.

The customers using over 100 GB of data per month have been notified that after August 31, they must switch to a new Verizon plan. The notified users have all completed the terms of their original contracts, the spokeswoman noted.

Verizon just increased the amount of data included in its biggest plan aimed at consumers. For 24 GB per month, Verizon charges $110 per month plus additional charges of $20 per smartphone or $10 per table per month. A plan encompassing 100 GB per month aimed at businesses costs $450 per month plus additional device charges.

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Unlimited plans were common in the early days of smartphones, but mobile carriers have largely phased them out as users began downloading vastly more costs data to watch streamed videos, play games, and listen to music.

 

 

While Verizon (VZ) does not currently offer an unlimited plan, AT&T (T) offers an unlimited plan only for customers who also subscribe to its DirecTV satellite video service. AT&T slows data speeds to a crawl if a customer uses more than 22 GB in a month. T-Mobile’s (TMUS) current unlimited plan slows the data after 26 GB, and Sprint (S) “deprioritizes” to slower speeds after 23 GB per month.

The carriers also occasionally run promotions offering unlimited or large buckets of data. Such offers could crop up again when Apple unveils its newest iPhones later this year.