If I didn’t get such good discounts on Verizon I would definitely be heading to Sprint right now. Sprint may decide to put into action many of the things that Verizon is, but the difference is price. Sprint is much more affordable than Verizon for the average consumer.
Today word is spreading that Verizon is pushing out an update the Thunderbolt that disables the use of “unauthorized” tethering applications like Easytether or PDAnet. This update will eventually push out to other devices (nothing official, just a good assumption) Verizon is in business to make money, but for a company that is already the most expensive it seems strange that they would further strangle their customers.
The majority of consumers won’t even notice anything, in fact this update only cripples the small handful of tech enthusiast. Most people turn on tethering and pay for it as they need too and then there’s the small community of tech enthusiast who know the secrets and understand that there are other options to Verizon’s $30 service.
Did Verizon make the right move? I don’t think so. A better approach would be to tackle customers who consume large amounts of bandwidth and choke the network. This is a two fold issue. You have Verizon raising costs to the consumer and blocking them from legitimate applications that they paid for on the Android market and there are also people out there who decide that tethering cellular Internet is a good replacement for home Internet service.
Verizon has already stated in their Terms of Service that they reserve the right to throttle the top 5% of data users on the network. I have yet to hear of this happening, but I think that Verizon would better serve their customers and their bottom line by pursuing this avenue.
This brings me to topic of Tiered Data, something else that really bothers me. Verizon made the move on July 7th and failed to offer good incentive to new or existing customers (other than grandfathering existing lines). AT&T at least reduced the monthly cost by $5. A better solution for these providers would be to sell service quality levels. I am not talking about speeds, but rather Quality of Service. If you want your data to take priority when it hits the cell towers, then pay extra.
Selling Tiered Data actually hurts the consumer.
- Customers paying the minimum get high speed access all the time. 1 Netflix movie over LTE will cost them $10 – $20 because it will put them over the limit.
- Customers paying premium prices fight for network access with the rest of the customer base.
Selling Quality of Services does a few of things.
- Customers pay for prioritized access
- Customers willing to pay more will not worry about network congestion
- Customers who pay less can still get access to high speeds when congestion is low and will suffer with slower speeds when it’s high
- The service is not suitable as a replacement home Internet service unless the customer is willing to cough up big money.