VoIP Business and Virtual PBX
Smartphones: VoIP solutions

Are Verizon's Share Everything Plans a Counterweight to Apple VoLTE?

Verizon Wireless' Share Everything plans will be available as of this Thursday, June 28, and according to a new report, the timing of the plans is meant to get a step ahead of Apple and others that may offer Internet-based calling plans.

June 25 report from Citigroup analyst Simon Weeden

Investor's Business Daily cites a June 25 report from Citigroup analyst Simon Weeden, who wrote that that as carriers' 4G Long-Term Evolution networks become ubiquitous, other companies are likely to offer voice-over IP services for LTE (Long Term Evolution, latest standard in the mobile network technology)-as well known as VoLTE.

Calling the new Verizon plans "radical," Weedon told investors, "Voice and text are both unlimited in a move which anticipates the opportunity of Apple extending its iMessage free plan to voice over IP as so then as the improved VoIP capabilities of LTE for other OTT Internet players."

Users of Apple iOS devices can turn to Skype and its peers for free VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) apps, and certainly in the long run for VoLTE apps. Why would Apple get more directly involved?

That said, Gottheil believes Apple is less likely to go down that path than to continue to provide a platform on which others can.

The ones to worry about

"I don't think they're the ones to worry about," Gottheil added. "For the carriers, it's actually a matter of pricing, more than anything else. They're going to a place of deep down trying to charge you for data, and to some extent that's the correct things to do, because most of their costs have to do with deploying data and the enormous costs of [building out their LTE networks]. What they're charging is in fact a sort of patchwork of costs related to the value you believe you get out of a device."

Verizon's Share Everything plans focus on an account, not a user. Up to 10 devices can be tied to an account, each with a particular charge-smartphones are $40 each a month, for instance, and tablets are $10-and a data allotment is chosen for the devices to share. A gigabyte is $50 a month, 2GB is $60 and 10GB is $100, with additional options in between. Voice and texting are unlimited, and HotSpot capabilities apply to all capable devices. For families or small business, it's expected that the plans will offer some savings; for individuals with few devices, it's trickier-even though also not an obligation. Verizon has said openly that no one will be forced into such a plan.

Shammo explained that VoLTE is not backward-compatible-it works only on LTE research, when all is said and done will drop a call if a user moves into 3G territory.

The coverage map that a customer

"You need to have the coverage map that a customer would experience the same on 4G versus 3G, because if we don't, we are going to have a lot of dropped calls and ineffective attempts and our clients will not understand why our [4G] network is not as reliable as the 3G network."

The Verizon brand has been build around reliability and coverage and having the least dropped calls, Shammo explained. "And in other words something in other words very, very important to us."

More information: Eweek