Ina Fried

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Verizon Wireless: We Want to Connect Five Devices for Every Subscriber

Verizon Wireless isn’t content just having the most wireless subscribers in the U.S. It wants those same subscribers to have multiple different devices on its network.

Over the long-term, the company is aiming for an average of five devices per subscriber.

“We think customers are going to have five devices,” said Colson Hillier, Verizon’s executive director of data applications.

Today, customers often have multiple connected devices, including laptops, televisions and tablets. Even when they are connected, most of those devices are linked to the Internet via Wi-Fi. Over time, though, Hillier said that Verizon sees an opportunity to add 4G.

One of the obvious impediments is today that would require either the use of a hotspot or signing up for multiple rate plans. Verizon, like other U.S. carriers, is looking at offering data plans that allow customers to share a pool of gigabytes among a number of different devices.

“You don’t get there with five plans,” he said.

Verizon’s chief executive said last month that some sort of shared data plan should arrive some time in 2012.

AT&T has also said it wants to offer such plans, but mobility chief Ralph de la Vega said in an interview this week that ironing out the details is taking longer than he had hoped.

Hillier also said that Verizon plans to offer home broadband service using its 4G LTE network in the first half of this year.

“We think it fits very well (for) rural markets and customers that are under-serviced,” Hillier said.

(Image credit: iStockphoto | thesuperph)


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus