Verizon Wireless seems to be having an identity crisis, between stocking the iPad, to the perpetual ‘iPhone to Verizon’ rumors, and culminating in the flip flopping of data plan pricing. I often wonder who is running the show at Big Red. Yes, Verizon has been very successful with popular Android devices, but at this point it’s evident Verizon is wondering which way to travel at that fork in the road.
Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that he fully expects new pricing will come when Verizon launches LTE services later this year and into 2011, but is not ruling out keeping the unlimited data plan in it’s lineup. What is kind of troubling is that Seidenberg also expresses that Verizon is experimenting at this point to see what consumers are willing to pay, which translates to the consumer, “how much will Verizon be able to charge me before I start complaining and looking for alternatives”.
Verizon is even exploring ways to charge consumers based on their speed of data transfer in addition to the amount of data they consume. Verizon will eventually move to a totally tiered pricing structure and Seidenberg wouldn’t confirm nor deny that this would be the end of unlimited data plans. “I don’t think the world’s that simple,” Seidenberg said. “We need to get into it, figure out what the customer thinks is fair..”
What really stood out in this exchange was that Seidenberg ends the interview by stating “there are too many players in the industry, I think it would be healthy if there’s more consolidation.”
My jaw simply dropped, “too many players”? Are you kidding? What are there four, five major players in the industry at most. I would hate to see how he would feel in say the mobile accessory industry, or selling insurance where there are literally thousands of players. Just a memo to Mr. Seidenberg, competition is the basis of capitalistic societies and what this country was built on. When you look to eliminate competition it just tells me you are looking for an easy way to “nickel and dime” the consumer and squeeze every red cent out of them. Come on Mr. Seidenberg don’t look to eliminate competition look to give the consumer a better product and more value than your competition.
So TechnoBuffalo readers, is there too much competition in the cellular industry or is Verizon just being little whiners?