Verizon will offer unlimited data plans when it launches the iPhone on its network later this month, the Wall Street Journal is reporting
. As a sign of confidence in the reliability of its network - and to provide a point of comparison with AT&T - the carrier is expected to provide the same uncapped data plans for the iPhone it currently offers users of other smartphones. Meanwhile, AT&T wasted no time attacking its rival-to-be, with the company's PR chief saying that iPhones will be in the "slow lane" on Verizon's CDMA network.
The Verizon iPhone is expected to be the same device as the AT&T iPhone 4 (possibly with minor antenna modifications
). So the carrier needs to offer some compelling reason why users should switch. While Verizon's superior coverage will be attractive to some, many users are in cities where both carriers offer similar service. An unlimited data plan will be a powerful inducement to AT&T customers, who will face a steep cancellation fee for switching.
After the report came out, the Silicon Valley-based Business Insider contacted AT&T's senior vice president of corporate communication, Larry Solomon, for a response. "The iPhone is built for speed," he said, "but that's not what you get with a CDMA phone." Perhaps unintentionally confirming the Verizon iPhone speculation
, he mused that he's "not sure iPhone users are ready for life in the slow lane." CDMA differs substantially from the GSM technology used on current iPhones in that separate connections are required for voice and data, preventing users from accessing the Internet while on a call. The EV-DO Rev. A 3G data network maxes out at 3 Mb/s as compared to a theoretical top speed of 14 Mb/s on AT&T's HSDPA system. Verizon has been developing a workaround
- called Voice over Rev. A or VoRA - allowing simultaneous voice and data, but it's not known if the Verizon iPhone will incorporate this technology.
The Wall Street Journal piece was written by Spencer Ante and Yukari Kane for the newspaper's print edition, in comparison with other recent reports
which appeared on the Journal's AllThingsD site. The prestigious financial newspaper seldom prints mere rumors, relying on an extensive network of corporate contacts that are carefully vetted and verified. And as always, it's not real until Steve Jobs announces it from a stage somewhere, but this report is credible enough to be worth noticing.
Source: Wall Street Journal