Verizon, the largest telecom operator in USA by subscriber base, is rebuilding its approach towards telecom operations. It is trying to build up a new strategy for customer acquisitions and for retaining customers from the ground up. Earlier, telecom operators like AT&T and Sprint used to follow the standard policy of offering new phones with two-year contracts during which subscribers were tied to its operations, and were not allowed to switch to any another operator.
Earlier this month, Verizon eliminated contracts as well as subsidies for smartphones that went with those contracts. This week, the company said that it will make it easier for customers to bring unlocked devices — a term used to describe devices that do not have software blocking them from being used on other carriers’ networks — to the Verizon network.
These changes could eventually lead to more choices at a wider range of price points for consumers. However, figuring out which devices work on which wireless networks isn’t always easy. Verizon has traditionally made it difficult to use an unlocked phone bought from a company other than Verizon. This is in stark contrast to operators like AT&T and T-Mobile, which have made it easy to bring unlocked devices to their networks for years. Now that things are changing at Verizon, according to Albert Aydin, a spokesman for Verizon. Customers can now visit Verizon’s website and check the ID, such as the IMEI number on their device, to see if it will work unlocked on the carrier’s network.
Verizon is traditionally a CDMA operator unlike AT&T and T-Mobile, both of which use the GSM platform. Verizon operates its LTE network on bands 13, 4 and 2, while also supporting Voice over LTE (VoLTE). The Apple iPhone 6 and Apple iPhone 6 Plus, as well as the Motorola Nexus 6 can be purchased unlocked to be used on Verizon. Unfortunately, many of the low-cost devices from China won’t work on Verizon, not just because they aren’t “certified” by Verizon, but because the technology is not compatible.
The good news is that all of Verizon’s 4G LTE phones come unlocked out of the box, and because the rest of the world uses GSM for voice rather than CDMA, new smartphones made for Verizon already include CDMA and GSM radios, which means that those phone can be taken to a carrier like AT&T or T-Mobile in the US as well as to other GSM operators overseas, and they will work readily.
As for the restructuring in monthly tariff plans, after abolishing the 2-year contract policy, there are no single-line options or family plans. Verizon will focus its efforts promoting four choices with varying amounts of data (they all come with unlimited voice and text messages); the “small” bucket will offer 1GB of data for $30 a month, the “medium” will fetch 3GB of data for $45, the “large” plan gets 6GB of data for $60, and the “X-Large” plan offers 12GB of data for $80. As with its previous plans, the data can be shared among devices and accounts.
Also read: T-mobile becomes first operator to offer roam like home across entire North American continent
By eliminating the option of a contract as well as by focusing on four options, Verizon believes that it is making things simpler for customers. We strongly believe that the entire restructuring has been influenced by T-Mobile’s ‘Un-Carrier” initiative, and its growing popularity among users in the USA that has eaten into Verizon’s market share and revenue streams.