Home - , , , - Verizon CFO Hints That Prepaid and MVNO Users Will Not Be Getting LTE Anytime Soon

Verizon CFO Hints That Prepaid and MVNO Users Will Not Be Getting LTE Anytime Soon

If you were hoping that Verizon Wireless would soon offer 4G LTE service to its prepaid customers, as Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T have done, here's some bad news.

FierceWireless is reporting that Verizon EVP and CFO Francis Shammo, addressing the Nomura Global Media Summit today (PDF transcript), indicated that Verizon will continue to restrict the use of its LTE network to its postpaid subscribers. In Shammo's words;

"So if you look at our 4G LTE network, that is strictly a postpaid retail network at this point. And that is the way it is going to stay at this point."

Shammo also said that the carrier wants to keep its 3G network fully utilized and will continue to be aggressive in selling its legacy 3G data services to prepaid and MVNO customers.

I take being "aggressive" to mean cutting 3G data prices and that is happening. Verizon is increasing the amount of data on its $60 prepaid smartphone plan from 500MB to 2GB and from 2GB to 4GB on the $70 plan. I also suspect that a wholesale 3G data price reduction by Verizon was behind America Movil's recent emphasis on Verizon over AT&T for BYOP and new smartphone sales. It may also have played a role in America Movil's acquisition of Verizon MVNO PagePlus.

The biggest problem with Verizon prepaid 3G is the dearth of available modern phones. The prepaid BYOP market is driven by used high end smartphones. But its been years since Verizon offered non-LTE postpaid phones and Verizon prepaid phones are blocked from Verizon MVNOs. Verizon prepaid and America Movil's StraightTalk and NET10 brands also actively block the activation of any Verizon LTE capable devices. With other Verizon MVNOs like TalkForGood or PagePlus, complex or pricy "flashing" is required to get LTE devices working and flashing doesn't work with all models. Verizon really needs to come up with a user friendly way to permit used LTE handsets to be activated on prepaid for voice, messaging and 3G-only data. At least Verizon and Straight Talk have begun selling some recent 3G-only Verizon network compatible prepaid handsets like Straight Talk's iPhone 5 and LG Optimus Showtimeicon and Verizon' prepaid's LG Optimus Exceed.

Francis Shammo image: Verizon Wireless

Related Posts from PrepaidPhoneNews:
Tracfone Acquiring Page Plus Cellular
Verizon Increases Data Included With Prepaid Monthly Plans
Straight Talk, NET10 and Telcel America's Bring Your Own Verizon Phone Options Are Back
Straight Talk AT&T SIMs Discontinued
Straight Talk IPhone 4, 4S and 5 Running on Verizon Now Available at Walmart

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21 comments:

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  1. Try this site: http://about.verizon.com/index.php/about/leadership-team

    I will search around Verizon's homepage for more info. Under Reg FD, i.e. tell one, tell all, Verizon must make that speech available if in contains material info usually via an 8-k filing, press release, or transcript as well as link to actual speech.

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  2. It's here in Webcast under archive.

    http://www22.verizon.com/investor/

    You learn a few skills or two when working as an Analyst on wall street.

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    1. The webcast link on that page doesn't work either. But Verizon just posted an (edited) transcript of the talk that contains Shammo's remarks about prepaid and LTE.

      Delete
    2. As I wrote earlier, so long as Verizon complies with Reg FD, here with a transcript, they are following the spirit of the law.

      From my experience, it would have been an 8-k filing with the transcript.

      Delete
  3. The extra data on their smartphone plans will help; Vzw only picked up an extra 43k customers in the first quarter. They have lots of excess capacity in LTE areas that must be maintained for several more years, so they fill it up with cheaper 3G data.

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    1. FYI -- the increase in the data plan was announced May 16 or so, too late to have an impact for the first three months ended 3/31/13.

      Delete
    2. I must have confused you by using future and past tense in the same sentence. It won't happen again.

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    3. What you've confused me with is the conjunctiveness of two unrelated thoughts when you used a compound sentence.

      Delete
  4. This article needs some proof reading.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I just fixed several grammatical errors. Let me know if I missed any.

      Delete
  5. Bottomline is the bottomline. Verizon wouldn't be able to get away with being the only non 4G player in prepaid smartphone data except for its massive network coverage. Good 3G coverage beats bad 4G coverage every time and they know it. I think that the phone flashing market will continue for a while. If they give LTE byod via sims that are prepaid/mvno and only allow cdma speeds, that may be one option (i.e. crippled LTE sims). But with now TWO Sprint mvnos offering Byosd and LTE (Chit Chat just joined Ting) and Gophone Att offering LTE, Verizon is increasingly being battered on the prepaid /mvno front.

    Good. Keep battering. They might change their big Red mind...

    ReplyDelete
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    1. To be an 'accountant,' you have to study the numbers, or at least read them. In the transcript linked in the post, we learn why they are not going to change their mind on LTE any time soon. As Dennis said, they are going to keep 3G network use high, and the article explains why. Their position on LTE, also justified by Mr. Shammo, has nothing to do with their competitors, 'battering' or otherwise.

      Delete
    2. The transcript is simply Verizon propaganda, i.e. to pump up interest in their stock, bonds, etc.

      Don't read too much into it. As I advised Dennis, the transcript is to comply with Regulation Fair Disclosure.

      Delete
  6. I've figured for some time that there's no compelling reason for Verizon to potentially let of its MVNOs nibble away its customers when it can keep the 4G-LTE side a premium (i.e., contracted) experience while still profiting from allowing virtual carriers to use its now-legacy 3G network. Even before Page Plus' sale to America Movil, I never believed any such move was on the horizon.

    Mr. Bournique is VERY right to note the relative dearth of new/newer 3G devices, and that is precisely where the most fuss should be made--perhaps to Verizon not allowing them and/or the MVNOs not offering them:
    Kyocera Event C5133 (1900mhz PCS areas)
    Kyocera Rise C5155
    Kyocera Hydro C5171
    HTC Desire C
    HTC One V
    ZTE Engage
    ZTE Engage LT

    All of these phones max out 3G speeds, but they're also on the Android 4.0 side of the spectrum. And they're multi-CDMA frequency devices on sale by the likes of U.S. Cellular, Sprint, Virgin Mobile, and Cricket that could/would play nice on VZW towers (if my Google/Phone Scoop research is accurate).

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  7. I'm on Page Plus' 1200 plan and really like it, but my Droid X is really starting to die on me. Does anyone have any thoughts on what phone I should get and still be able to use this plan?

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    1. The best Verizon 3G phones that will work without flashing on PagePlus are the Samsung Fascinate, Droid X2 or X, Droid Incredible or Incredible 2, Droid 3 or 2 or iPhone 4S or 4.

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    2. I've read on HowardForums that the iPhone 5 from Straight Talk can be activated on Page Plus without flashing as well.

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    3. The Straight Talk iPhone 5 has crippled LTE. Can it be flashed with a Vzw carrier bundle to allow LTE later? If not, I don't think it's worth $650 when you can buy a nice 4S for under $400.

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    4. I haven't heard of anyone getting LTE working on the Straight Talk iPhone 5.

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  8. Verizon's 3G network is a little annoyingly slow. I'm strongly considering Aio Wireless at HSPA+ speeds if and when it becomes available nationwide. Certainly, it isn't LTE but I'm getting a bit sick an tired of the network timeouts in my area.

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  9. Verizon ties with Tmobile for 2nd fastest 4G network overall. AT&T is still the fastest overall.
    http://www.techhive.com/article/2039452/atandt-has-fastest-lte-service-t-mobile-off-to-strong-start.html?sf13089747=1

    ReplyDelete
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