Verizon CEO says there's no going back to unlimited data

Executive believes unlimited isn't sustainable

Verizon Wireless

If it weren't for Sprint and T-Mobile, unlimited data may have become a treasured yet fading memory to U.S. wireless customers by now. Apparently, that would be just fine with the nation's largest carrier.

CNET today reported that Verizon Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam had some harsh words for those hoping unlimited wireless data might someday return to the carrier's product mix.

Speaking at an investor conference, McAdam claimed unlimited data plans are not sustainable in a world where streaming music and video services have quickly become the norm.

Article continues below

"With unlimited, it's the physics that breaks it," McAdam remarked. "If you allow unlimited usage, you just run out of gas."

Virtuous cycle

Of course, Verizon is no stranger to unlimited data, having offered such service until last year, when it switched to the tiered pricing and shared family plans also offered by rival AT&T.

Despite lower prices and unlimited data guarantees touted as advantages by rivals T-Mobile and Sprint, McAdam has little fear that such initiatives will disrupt Verizon's position as the top dog of the U.S. wireless market.

"We never have and never will lead on price," McAdam commented, while adding that next-generation 5G wireless technology will ultimately help carriers better accommodate higher bandwidth content such as video.

Finally, McAdam said stocking a wide variety of the smartphones customers want will create a "virtuous cycle" that keeps them coming back to Verizon - regardless of whether unlimited data is on the menu.

  • You know what are complete ripoffs? Find out.