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Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg

The all-you-can eat data buffet will soon become one of those stories you tell your kids about the good old days. Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said recently that the company would soon do away with unlimited data plans, opting instead for tiered pricing. This follows the same move by AT&T earlier this year and a recent admission from Sprint CEO Dan Hesse that his company may need to make the same change. Seidenberg said Verizon's data plans would differ from the way AT&T has structured their plans, but did not elaborate on how.

"We're not sure we agree yet with how they valued the data," he said at a recent investor conference. The new plans are expected to roll out in the next four to six months. The company would not comment on what the pricing would be for the new plans.

The new era of high-speed data and mobile devices that more resemble computers than phones have pushed the wireless providers' networks to the limits of their capacity. The telecom giants have had to spend billions of dollars on their networks to cope with demand, which is Verizon claims to be growing faster than the network capacity can be expanded (demand has yet to outstrip capacity, it’s just catching up quickly). Executives in those companies have been forecasting the end of unlimited data for quite some time now.

Seidenberg also took the time to call on device manufacturers to start producing LTE hardware. "At some point, [they] will get with the program," he said, addressing the growing popularity of LTE among cellular network operators. Of course, with no large-scale LTE deployments on which to sell said phones, manufacturers are going to continue to be reluctant about producing compatible hardware. Chicken and the egg, as they say.

Source: Wall Street Journal