Verizon is reportedly toying with the idea of charging a premium for the faster data speeds delivered on its new 4G network, which is expected to be available throughout much of the U.S. by the end of the year, according to a Wall Street Journal article. If the telecom giant goes ahead with data speed pricing, it wouldn't be the first time an Internet service provider has made such a move. Remember dial-up rates versus broadband rates?
But where things have become more complex of late is in the realm of tiered wireless data pricing, which AT&T (T) kicked off earlier this year, and which is now being offered as a holiday promotion by Verizon. Under tiered data pricing plans, users have caps on the amount of data they can use in a given month, in contrast to the old industry standard of offering a plan with a flat rate for unlimited use. Data hogs love unlimited data plans, especially with the increasing popularity of online video and the ubiquitous availability of Internet access.
Verizon, however, apparently views its 4G network as potentially providing a means to mix things up on the pricing plans and hopes to land data hogs who are willing to spend more for faster speed.