Verizon customers may no longer have to worry about the duration they talk on the cell phones or event the number of texts they send. They’ll now have to worry about the amount of data they use. With a recent announcement a few weeks ago whose details have been released a couple of days back, Verizon becomes the first company to alter the decades old business model in which customers pay by the minute for their calls. The new scheme will see customers paying for the number of times they view their email, stream videos or surf the web. These services will be offered at extra tariffs, while paying a fixed monthly fee for calls and texts. Customers will now be able to use data oriented plans on a number of devices like tablets and laptops including the option to share the same with family members.
Many analysts are predicting that this strategy will soon be adopted by other carriers including AT&T and T-Mobile. Although the new strategy will see to the benefit of carriers, how it is received by consumers remains to be seen. Consumer groups have seen this move as a way of boosting carrier revenues without regard for customer satisfaction. This change only highlights the shift in trends, as more consumers now use versatile devices powered by the likes of Google and Apple’s operating systems. These mini computers that can serve as a medium to send and receive e-mails, play games, and like every other conventional handset, make calls as well.
The decline in number of calls and texts sent and received have become a burden for most wireless carriers, which are known to generate revenue centred around voice and text plans. Free calling and texting applications like Skype and Apple’s iMessage have forced wireless companies into adopting this new policy. Research has indicated that ever since the introduction of iPhone in 2007, the number of voice minutes per year has dropped by almost 20%.
In Verizon’s new plans, each device will incur a separate monthly fee, $40 for a smartphone and $10 for a tablet, which includes unlimited texting and voice calls. In addition to this families will have to pay $50 for 1GB of data and $100 for 10 GB. 1 GB of data is usually sufficient to send and receive around 100 emails each day, visit a few web pages and stream a high quality video for five minutes. For Verizon customers using unlimited text and calling plans, bills are expected to reduce, at least for the time being. The same however cannot be said about the customers subscribed to limited text and calling plans.