July 7, 2011. A day that will live in infamy. OK, maybe not. But it's looking like it'll be the day that Verizon changes its data plans to a tiered structure, and there are plenty of rumors, half-truths and whatever else going on out there. Let's add one more to the pile, shall we?
What you see above is part of Verizon's training for the new plans. A couple of things to note: Nowhere will you find the words "tiered data." And don't expect to hear them when you walk into a store, either. What you will hear about is customizing a data plan for your usage needs. And that makes sense, doesn't it? Do you mainly surf the web? Check e-mail? Stream music and video? Or are you a heavy photo uploader? If you're reading this blog, chances are the answer to all those questions is "Yes." Your friendly neighborhood Verizon rep will crunch some numbers (they have an online data calculator to do that piece of fourth-grade math), and match you up to a plan that fits you best. What has people up in arms is the pricing structure. News flash, folks: Verizon ain't cheap.
Something else you're likely to hear about then is Wifi -- it's all over the suggested responses on Page 3 -- and how you should use it whenever possible. Doesn't really make sense, does it? Verizon wants your money (as any good company should). And if the rumored pricing structure is true (and those rumors are still far from official), you might end up paying more for a lower data cap. So why the push for Wifi? Remember that data's not free. Each MB costs Verizon something, too. And Verizon's (relatively excellent) LTE network didn't come cheap. You hear the word "billion" used a lot in conjunction with a 4G rollout. And carriers are feeling a crunch for spectrum -- the frequencies and such that the data's actually transmitted on. Their answer to that? You'll use Wifi more. (Sit though a CTIA keynote and you'll know exactly what we're talking about.) And so when you're talking to a Verizon rep about these new plans, you'll be urged to connect to Wifi whenever possible. And that's not exactly the worst idea in the world. A good Wifi signal can still be better than a bad LTE signal. And, more important, it's much easier on your battery life.
Anyhoo: Ease on past the break and check out the training material. There's not a whole lot of actual news there -- though the $30 for 2GB of data appears to be confirmed, as well as the death of unlimited plans. RIP.