Verizon’s CFO on HTC Thunderbolt Release Date and LTE Price Capability

By Gary Johnson - Mar 2, 2011

Verizon customers who have been waiting for the HTC Thunderbolt, should be getting access to the handset “very shortly”, that’s according to Verizon’s chief financial officer Fran Shammo.

An article on ZDNet by Larry Dignan is reporting that the handset will also bring with it a new “tiered pricing structure.” Shammo was talking at a Media and Telecommunications conference, and said the release of the handset will give customers “a flavor” of what their new tiered pricing structure will be like.

With LTE Verizon are planning a totally new way of pricing, which will be announced with the launch of the Thunderbolt. The company will be aiming to get more people to upgrade to smartphones as they become cheaper, and plan to do this with the tiered pricing plan.

At the moment the company has a lot of customers on feature or multimedia handsets where feature phones, pay nothing in data charges unless you use it. But after releasing the iPhone Verizon saw a high number of customers upgrade from feature phones, and now sees a potential customer base that are willing to spend $30 to $50 per month.

This is why Verizon feels that tired pricing will be important in the future, and wants to get people onto LTE by offering customers a low entry point to become owners of a smartphone.

Many people have been frustrated with the wait for the HTC Thunderbolt, and the company has still not given an exact date for the handset. There has been talk of March 10 but as of yet nothing official, so the wait will continue.

What do you think about Verizon’s plans for tiered pricing? And are you planning on getting the Thunderbolt?

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Also See: Verizon Unlimited free for 12 months is a scam

  • Greg Bennett

    I love my android phone and I am really looking forward to the thunderbolt. However, if Verizon thinks that I am going to pay more money with 2 data phones, 2 regular phones and a fivespot they can start looking for another customer I don't need data all the time for higher prices I can wait until I get home.

  • Victor

    I just noticed the HTC slide has been updated to the same slide that was posted on the 12 before being pulled. This was when the release was on the 14th.

  • jmon

    I am disappointed with Verizon. I have been waiting for the Thunderbolt, but as I hear about the problems with battery life, price increase of the phone and now tiered data pricing. I have now been shopping for a Droid X. I am thinking 3G is good enough and $29 for unlimited is plenty. I would switch to another carrier if I didn’t get the corporate discounts I get and the service plan I need in Canada.

  • Jay

    sprint and tmobile 4g=joke. VZ lte is exactly what China Mobile uses (only the largest cell provider in the world)and they never get it wrong.Lte's benifit is not with handhelds either, it is with mobile broadband! The lte network willbe a huge win for business with an outside workforce. being able to work remotely will decrease the need for companys to take on expensive leaseholds when their people can work out of the office, hence saving huge money. I used to sell dedicated internet access to companys and data pipes are not cheap, most 10mb pipes wer over 1k per month. lte will download at 5-12mb and upload 2-5. even if the data price goes to 60-80 bucks a month it is a bargain for internet accesss. Mobile Broadband is where Lte will shine.

    • Tim

      Right on Jay, you know what you are talking about. It all follows suit.

  • Jose

    TIM what carrier you think it's better?

  • Jose

    TIM, in your opinion who is the best carrier for a cell phone?

    • Tim

      Verizon has the most coverage and best technology. They are the only carrier that uses their money to better their network and not subsidize phones to customers like At&t. Verizon is the 500 lb gorilla in the room when it comes to carriers and advancing their network. All other carriers wait for Verizon's move and then play catch up. I just finished installing over 300 LTE sites in the midwest region and am only getting started now on At&t and Tmobile. USCC isnt even starting yet. At&t is also killing the industry because of the use of turfing vendors and not taking responsibility for their poor network quality and construction. Verizon hands down Jose

  • adam

    Just want to point out that data with Verizon is already tiered 15 bucks for hardly anything and 30 for unlimited.

    • Tim

      Good point Adam, but it's about to get a bit more interesting this summer. With the cost of frequency and upgrading networks the carriers have no choice but to increase the price of data. How stupid would it be for a carrier to charge a flat rate and mandate that you pay for that flat rate if you have a smart phone. It would alienate anyone that wants a smart phone and doesnt use data like some other users. Tiered pricing just makes sense and is a good thing.

  • RJR

    I was waiting for TB but with everything that's been going around and the fact my area won't have 4g for two years I decided to get a great deal on a Droid X. I'll revist 4g in two years and see if it's worth it.

  • abraham

    Tiered Pricing!!! WTF!!! thats why i left at&t, and because of their inferior network. at 4g lte speed who will be able to contain themselves and not use loads of data. all this means is that verizon will get more money out of us, the consumer. when i left at&t, i was willing to pay more for verizon because of their better network, but how much more should i be willing to pay? enough already. i have been anxiously waiting for the thunderbolt, but if tiered pricing/data comes with it, then i will just stick with my shitty galaxy s fascinate. i guess all we can hope for is that customers get grandfathered in to their current data plans and pricing, just like at&t did. but if that is the case, then i feel bad for all of those customers who are going to miss out on unlimited data. in a world where everything is going open source, all i can say is "Google!!!! Help Us!" all we need now is for google to create a wireless company and push everyone else aside.

  • ktgoodcell


    This guy is a FAKE TROLL, you sir are a liar, as not all cariers will have tiered pricing structures, thats totally untrue since, carriers that provide services many offer montly flat rate fees. They will not be going to variable tiered rates either, since data structuing plans are under FTC debate, and DATA line tiered pricing plans their is no such event happening under his ALL claims. And competition will offer flat rates and tiered pricing never will it be fully one way or another as this moron seems to think the world revolves around his limited knowledge and opinion.

    This so called made up date of 2013 ALL CARRIERS – lol how stupid is this guy, manywont be covertng to it at that predetermined by him only date, so him saying " ALL BY 2013 " is rediculous.

    • Tim

      I wish I could be a fly on your wall when I am proven correct. Trust me by then end of the roll out of 4g on all carrier networks they will all go to tiered pricing. I'm not a troll i'm just telling you what we talk about with the carriers on a daily basis.

    • Tim

      I have been in the business for over a decade and launched 4 carriers. My knowledge is far from limited. I'm the person they hire when they need to advance their network because I built it from scratch. If you have been to the midwest then you can thank me for being able to use a cell phone because I built the network that you used. Your welcome

  • sam

    I too have been waiting for the Thunderbolt.4g coverage isn't in my area yet.I'll be damned if i'm going to pay $50 a month for data when i won't have access to the new technology.

  • Tim

    For everyone that thinks Verizon is the only carrier that will be introducing tiered pricing, wake up. They are all in talks about it right now with all carriers trying to catch up to Verizon and LTE. Sprint's 4G is a joke and so is Tmobile's version of 4G which is really HSPA not 4G. USCC is not going 4G for 2 more years and At&t wont be there till 2013 or so either. That's a fact. I work in the industry and have visibility to all carriers networks and company direction. It's my job. ALL CARRIERS WILL HAVE TIERED PRICING FOR DATA BY THE END OF 2013. IT'S A FACT

    • ktgoodcell

      Some guy claims works in industry thinks everyone in 2013 will have tierd pricing fact = you sir are a moron,

      As that is absolutely untrue, as our fabulous govnernment ( haha ) with the FTC and all the communications industires are in debate over current on future objectives to service providers for all communications aka phone tv intnternet wireless radio and various other forms of communications deiliverd throught the USA. So the rulings will determine what options carriers can provide, and the tiered structure will not be preset buy some random posters rediculous comments of "All Carriers" I know for a fact thier will be carriers that DO NOT do tiered pricing schemes and are not even allowed to do so, due to regulatory statures, so this guy is a FAKE TROLL and has no clue whats really going on.

      Tiered pricing has histroically not been a good long term business model for "services oriented" businesses. Majority of consumers prefer structured payments, and dont like monthly bill hikes without warning due to the logistics of those servicing plans.

    • guest

      if there is a 2013

    • ahz

      LOL. You're an idiot.

    • Burn223

      Looks like you work for Verizon.

    • Jose

      Tim who do you think it's the best wireless company right now?

  • Brawlman

    There have been many rumors flying around-
    a) Tiered Data rate, will it initially start off low and stay that way for initial users? With no confirmation this is one to just wait and see… Ultimately, as the comments have already indicated, Verizon holds all the cards, BUT if this LTE/ 700 mHz band does pan out to better indoor reception, as it is suppose to be, it might be worth the cost and lack of headaches of dropped call, expletives, and grey hair associated with being inconvenienced.
    b) Possible battery/firmware issues with the Thunderbolt. We will just have to wait and see…
    I was REALLY hoping to get the Thunderbolt, but too much is leaning against it. Combine a smaller 1400 mAh battery compared to a 1500 mAh and possible reports of battery issues have steered me away from this phone. I will go with the better AMOLED display of the Samsung 4G LTE and wait for it.
    As for the BIONIC, I believe with it being the very first Dual Core Processor that the battery life will suffer. My rule of thumb is never buy the first version anything. Too much that is uncertain. Better to wait and see how it pans out and for the improvements as it evolves…

  • GINA

    verizon is expensive.. same service as the rest!!!!!!!!!! what are we paying more for?…….i have tmobile now!! they have 4g phone out already……… why is verizon last??? hahaha

    • Tim

      Dont be a fool, Tmobile does not have 4G it's HSPA and half as fast as LTE at best. Tmobile is broke and looking to sell all it's towers right now too. All the carriers are not the same and do not offer the same service. Wake up.

    • tom

      verizon used to be diffrent…and b4 pushing alot of customers away "in" used be benifical …texting saved u money…calling didn't use any of ur min during peak or non peak etc….and 4g can mean anything gina…iphone 4g…4g just means the fourth generation of the phone…and vzw 4g lte is supposed to be alot faster then any other company but of course we will be paying for it…if they every get their own devices out to customers instead of releasing all of apples shit

  • Bill

    I am waiting for the TB and have already signed up for data though I don't have a smartphone not understanding why there is yet another charge for Text. I signed up to be grandfathered into 3G unlimited pricing for the 4G phone with the advise of the V store manager. All this waiting since I pre-purchased a month ago will be for nothing since I will not pay more for a data plan if they go for tiered. I have lived without a smart phone and can continue to do so. At $85/month or $1,020.00 a year for a phone, I don't need to spend even more. Sprint turns out to be cheaper with an AAA discount and free to ANY cell phone, not just Verizon cell phones. After this mess with waiting as the rude V and BBY treat customers like _rap, tiered pricing would be enough to push me over the edge and away from Verizon. Scr_w me once, Scr_w me twice your a fool.

  • presto3344

    Verizon is still pushing consumers into higher service plans. Buying a smart phone is like car shopping these days. Better devices are costing consumers increased service plans. Before you know it, we will be shopping for different insurance coverage and extented warranties for our phones. In addition, the cost of family phone service is getting to be as much as a car payment. WTF. Is it really worth it to stay connected and say I have 4 f'n G. They make it sound like they are giving it away in the ads. "The fastest, the only, the smartest" and yes you will pay for it. . .

  • Mike

    I was waiting for the Thunderbolt (paid $50 at BB) but now I'm having second thoughts. Depending on the the cost I might stay w/Sprint.

  • Zzkid

    Everyone I know is leaving verizon cause of this. Its a bit unprofessional and unethical. Increasing pricing due to HTCs ability to create phones people will use more. Verizon is ruining their reputation with this and is showing us all they care about is business, which is OK, but not what they've displayed in the past. My 2 cents.

  • WRR

    Tiered pricing does not appeal to me at all. I will find a different carrier if the price is unreasonable. We vote with our $$$. It does not cost VZ anything more for the fiber or bandwidth, just a way to raise profits. Not a smart move in a down economy.

  • Anonymous2

    "I" am not willing to pay more! We already pay the most of any company out there.

  • bong

    just give us the damn date for release ok, dang it to hell!!!!

  • krista

    Tiered pricing is kinda good for the price point. Att Does Wifi Free with tiered pricing. So as long as u have wifi on then data is Free. So there is a benefit like at home or a single place without moving around. Tiered plans help the person not going on the internet alot save some money

    • nicks

      krista do you think before you speak? "it helps those who don't go on the internet save money" if your not going on the internet you don't really need a phone that goes on the internet do you? if your going to use it at your house with free wifi might as well use your home computer.tiered data plans do nothing but help the company offering them…if u go for the lowerst plan you will more then likely go over your limit and get charged out the ass….most will go for the highest package just so they don't..and the kick is the basic consumer has no clue how much they use or it would take to use a basic data plan and the best kicker is nethire do anyone selling it…noone can sit down and tell you that oh well if you check you email everyday and then go on a set amount of times it = about this much of data….

  • Dave

    Tiered pricing means nothing without knowing how many dollars, for how much access. It may be positive pricing for some, but I think, in reality, the only winner will be Verizon.

  • blah

    tiered pricing = bye bye verizon

    • Tim

      Dont be a fool, all carriers will be adopting this structure. At&t is next followed by Sprint and Tmobile. I know because I design cell networks for a living.

      • ahz

        lol, keep it up fuzzball!

      • Matt

        Tim, are you sure you design cell networks? If you do then you would know that AT&T started the whole tiered pricing thing. And if you do design cell networks explain why everything that I have read on LTE says that it cost the company less to operate, can put more information in less space, BUT still cost the consumer more? Oh, and Sprint may be a joke, but I tried their service last month and the service as great. I stayed with Verizon because of the Thunderbolt and just lazy, not wanting to change companies, but bye bye Verizon, and hello Sprint.

        • Tim

          Sprint has not touched their network in 4 years and I just took down over 400 or so 4G antennas and 1/5/8 lines connecting those lines in our area. Sprint has no money and is looking to cut a deal with Clearwire for their 4G backbone. Clearwire isnt playing nice and they are arguing now and just kicked Clearwire out of their regional offices. Clearwire is now trying to play Tmob and other carriers against Sprint. Sprint is way behind the ball when it comes to network advancement. I know I installed all their 4G equipment in 2007 and took it all down this year. Fact

      • Alan

        Yeah, we get it. You design cellular networks for a living. Btw, att already does tiered data. They have been doing it for a year now. For some one who wants everyone to know that he designs cellular networks for a living, I would think you would know this.

  • D.Warner

    It's a fancy way of saying… the price is going to cost the consumer more! Their LOWER tier rates will be inadequate for a casual user, and will force the customer to give in to a much higher priced plan. Then when customers rollover on their backs and accept the highest rate, the tier program will go away.

    Wake up consumers, it all about money. Verizon has to pay for their new LTE network, and if I was an Verizon executive, I would want it paid off as soon as possible.

    4g LTE, means a reason to raise prices and make more money for Verizon. I just hope I have a superior hardware, software and speed at the end of the day for the added cost in my budget.

  • Anonymous

    I wish they would get on with it, all the hype gets boring after a while. Although I was initially interested in the Thunderbolt, I am now awaiting the Bionic. I would like to compare a little before making a decision. However, I have encountered a few people who jumped ship to Sprint, for the EVO. I have been told both are similar and the bad gouge about Sprint is all talk. I am also curious about this also.

    • Tim

      Sprints network is a straight joke. I know I design all carrier networks for a living. Sprint has not touched their network in 4 years. Sprint 4G is a total joke, I just removed 90% of the 4G antennas on their network because they are broke.



      • ahz

        riiiiiight, you alone removed 90% of their antennas… riiight. as if.

      • joe


    • Dennis

      I had the EVO when it first came out and I've got to say, that phone was amazing. Not a bad word to say about it or Sprint. The only reason I gave it up was that the wife made me…Yup, I admitted it out loud…The wife made me because I was addicted. Now I have a crappy Ally with Verizon.

  • presto3344

    They need to bring the pricing of the devices down if they are going get into tiered pricing. The consumer is now going to pay at the time of purchase and continue to pay a tiered price during contract. Verizon knows consumers are hungry for the most advanced devices and are now tempting them to pay more for data. Consumers are not going to continue to pay high prices for service. This is Vedrizons way of pushing consumers into a higher data plans. The better phone you have the higher your monthly service. The price for data and service should be going down. The more Gs the more $$$$ for consumers. How much more are we willing to pay?

    • Anon

      Verizon is one of the most expensive phone provider and even though they do have averaged better quality, they are not 100% Some people are willing, and some people are switching over. Because simply you can buy the retail price and switch under a much cheaper provider that runs with the same verizon network. Monthly bills add up and one payment is much cheaper. If it's required to have the data plan for the thunderbolt I will not be purchasing it.

    • nick

      the thing about tierd pricing is …most people don't know how much a set amount of usage is…oo you get this much mb's per month usage….ok so that means i can do what or go on the net to browse things for how long how many times a day etc…then when you go over ur amount you get bent over and pay out the ass…with the unlimited you might pay a little more a month but know you can't go over and no worries about going over and getting nailed with a high ass bill…how long before they take away free verizon to verizon calling and texting? almost every single policy they have offerd has changed..return policy was cut in half….insurance on a phone used to mean if you broke it or it was just defective u got a new phone no extra charge now that just saves u from paying the full price of the phone…now adding a data plans…Now the diffrence between phone companies is blurred and basically comes down to what shiney new device do you want to show off with…..

  • Anonymous

    As a Verizon customer, tiered pricing scares me, but I just can't wait to get my hands on a Thunderbolt. I just hope that if they are going to do horrible things to me, that they at least buy me dinner first…

    • Sky

      dinner thats cheap lol