Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said the response to the carrier's shared data plan has been positive, despite the wave of criticism that has erupted over the new policy.
"Early feedback has been great," he said during an investor conference call today. "The customer adoption has been tracking with expectations."
The company last month launched its "Share Everything" plan to a bit of controversy, exacerbated by the carrier's decision to kill off unlimited data for anyone who upgraded their phone. Verizon took fire over the plan's complicated cost structure and high monthly fees necessary to connect multiple devices. For individuals and heavy users, in fact, it was actually a worse plan.
But many family accounts have moved over to the shared plans, and he said 3G customers with unlimited plans have opted to give up the unlimited aspect to get a 4G LTE device.
Carriers such as Verizon like the shared plan because it improves customer loyalty, encourages the use of multiple devices, and preserves its text message and voice minute revenue at a locked rate. AT&T yesterday launched a similar plan.
Shammo also addressed Verizon's pending acquisition of spectrum from several cable companies. The deal, in which Verizon will pay $3.9 billion for cable spectrum in exchange for a cross-selling deal under which it can offer cable-company services including television, Internet, and wireless services, is under review at the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department. The Justice Department is believed to be holding up the deal.
Shammo said the company still expects to close the deal this summer.
Verizon also plans to auction off of some of its own spectrum, offered as a concession to regulators who feared it was stockpiling too large a chunk of the airwaves. Shammo said the plan for the auction is proceeding according to plan, but that it was contingent on approval of the cable deal.