Verizon Communications (VZ): Unlimited ‘Just a Word’?

Verizon Communications Inc.A Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) official was essentially caught minimizing the unlimited data concept that it had been promoting  to try to keep its hold as the No. 1 wireless carrier in the U.S. If this gets out, will it affect the customer base going forward? Will some customers leave and look for companies that take the word literally?

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) chief financial officer spoke out in regards to unlimited data plans, essentially writing them off as being a thing of the past and not coming back in the wake of the Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPhone 5 launch and a push by the wireless companies to encourage shared or family data plans. Fran Shammo said, “Unlimited is just a word … it doesn’t really mean anything.”

This seems to indicate that while Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) has been promoting unlimited data plans, they may have had a ceiling on how much data customers could have in the first place – something that was chattered about before with customers of Verizon and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T), which also has an unlimited data plan.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile USA has been touting “true unlimited data” for a while now, calling it “true” as an apprent response to the so-called “unlimited” espoused by the two big wireless carriers. But Shammo seemed to suggest that it wont be the only company to get rid of unlimited data – it may disappear from the wireless industry in general. What the reson for that woudl be, he has not said, nor did he address why it was suggested in the first place and why he thinks no one will still attempt to carry it.

But it is interesting that something Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) has been selling may truly not be how it was sold. Whether this will afffect customes is something investors in Verizon stock – like hedge-fund manager Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates – may want to watch in the coming months.