What could VZW be up to?

Posted by T. Greg Doucette on Nov 5, 2010 in Technology | Subscribe

For the past 2-ish weeks now I’ve been getting called at various hours of the day by Verizon Wireless. I’ve been with the company for almost a decade, I’m happy with my (lavish) phone service, pay my bill on time every month, enjoy my BlackBerry Tour,1 etc etc etc — basically there’s -0- reason for them to call me, so I just haven’t answered. My figuring is that if it was important enough, they’d leave a voicemail :beatup:

Well they called again around 7pm tonight, and one of my friends goes “You really should pick up, maybe they’re calling to give you money.” Implausible though it sounded, that thought hadn’t crossed my mind…

…so I called back.

And she was right :surprised:

Supposedly VZW was/is running a promotion “for certain customers, for a limited time only” to upgrade at my “New Every Two” discount 4 months ahead of schedule. I respectfully declined the offer because I don’t want to get locked in to another phone for 2 years when I’m hoping/praying for a CDMA iPhone to debut in January. She said that was fine… and in the alternative they were going to automatically credit me for one month’s free service, and I’ll still be able to do my usually upgrade in March :crack:

Then for the icing on the cake, she migrated me to a new phone plan that has unlimited minutes/text/data (versus my current 1350 minutes with unlimited text/data) that’s actually $10 cheaper a month, as part of a new 1-year agreement that will actually end ever-so-slightly earlier than my current 2-year agreement :spin:

Now I’ve mentioned my political leanings in past entries, that I’m generally a fan of business, I’m comfortable with companies making money as long as I’m getting a worthwhile product in return, and so on and so forth. But the soon-to-be-lawyer cynicism in me has to wonder what this was all about. Surely I don’t spend enough money to merit VZW just trying to keep me happy. I’ve never indicated a plan to switch to AT&T so that can’t be it. And even if they were trying to get everyone to upgrade to their new line of Android-based phones — a sentiment I’ve heard from several of my colleagues at school — they had no need to give me a month of free service when I declined.

Any of my less-cynical and/or tech-savvy readers familiar with the mobile phone market have any thoughts/insights?

  1. Even though I’m eagerly awaiting the iPhone :D []

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Aaron Massey
Nov 7, 2010 at 11:56 AM

There’s almost no chance that Apple will release a CDMA iPhone. However, there’s a relatively reasonable chance that they will release a LTE 4G iPhone, which would be compatible with Verizon’s 4G network.

This brings me to the reason they probably called you. If Verizon is going to rapidly expand a LTE 4G network while simultaneously replacing their CDMA equipment, they need/want everyone to be on the latest and greatest phones as soon as possible. The long and the short of it is that LTE 4G network infrastructure isn’t backwards compatible. Here’s a post on Engadget that explains part of the rational behind the need to get different hardware. (Note that this is about 3 years old, but it has accurately predicted the future.)

Nov 9, 2010 at 10:37 AM

@Aaron: idk man, there seems to be an awful lot of chatter about a CDMA iPhone coming to VZW in January. And with the timeline for the LTE rollout, my service across NC is going to be spotty/terrible for awhile to come.

You might be right, but I’m not sure getting me to upgrade from a CDMA BB Tour to a CDMA Droid X (as an example) is going to make much of a difference as far as LTE


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