Technology Verizon gives customers extra mobile data, drops broadband data caps
Verizon gets a subscriber boost from Disney Plus
But the company misses analysts' earnings expectations as other parts of the business dragged on its profitability.The New York-based wireless carrier said Thursday that it added a total of 790,000 new postpaid phone subscribers in the fourth quarter, compared to 653,000 subscribers during the same period a year ago. Strong subscriber growth resulted in large part from a promotion that gives customers of its high-end wireless and Fios broadband and TV plans a year of the Disney Plus streaming service for free. It's not clear how much the offer cost Verizon.
More cellular carriers are taking steps toduring the COVID-19 pandemic. Verizon (Engadget's parent company) is consumer and small business customers an extra 15GB of LTE data speeds per month on their plans, with no action required. This applies regardless of the device you're using, and whether your service is a regular subscription or prepaid. It's not the completely unlimited access you might hope for, but it could help you stay online if you depend on your phone's data for work.
Fios and DSL users won't have data caps, Verizon added.
The provider is also offering some breaks for those facing a financial hit from the coronavirus outbreak. It's waiving overage charges and late fees, and will waive broadband and voice charges for existingcustomers. If you need wired internet access, Lifeline customers will get a $20 per month discount on Mix & Match plans that lower their service to $20 per month for a 200Mbps plan. You'll eventually have to rent the router, but those charges are waived for 20 days.
T-Mobile and Sprint can now verify calls across their networks
Today, T-Mobile and Sprint are rolling out number-verification to customers across both networks. Using the STIR/SHAKEN standards recommended by the FCC, the carriers hope to better fight robocalls. Ideally, this will make it harder for spammers to spoof numbers and give customers more confidence that the number calling them has not been ripped off by a robocall. "We're in an arms race with these scammers, and we've got to join forces as an"We're in an arms race with these scammers, and we've got to join forces as an industry to keep all wireless customers protected," T-Mobile CEO John Legere said in a press release.
It's not necessarily difficult for Verizon to implement some of these moves. When many states are effectively on lockdown, there's likely to be less demand for mobile data in general. We'd add that other carriers have implemented their own measures, such as T-Mobile's new $15 5G plan and AT&T's expansion of its Access low-cost internet plan to more households. Providers are bracing for a significant impact from stay-at-home orders and mass closures for businesses, and efforts like this could be crucial to both keeping people online and preventing a steep drop in subscribers.
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