All indications are that 8 500 Verizon customers living in low-lying areas will soon lose the ability to use their mobile phone. Unfortunately, they have no alternative because the local operator no longer signs new subscriber contracts.
Fortunately, in such a desperate situation only a fraction of the 8 500 customers mentioned are in such a hopeless situation. Others should be able to find an alternative to the current contract but it will no longer be so beneficial. Verizon has been running the LRA (LTE in Rural America) program for 7 years, where small operators can also provide their services with large operator infrastructures, and Verizon customers can use local operators’ base stations without additional charge. The biggest advantage of this solution is that after the introduction of unlimited LTE data plan, Verizon customers could use this offer also via other operators’ base stations.
National roaming for Verizon is not profitable anymore.
The problem occurs when a customer sends more data through the network of the other operator. Then the whole business model loses its meaning because the operator has to pay for the business. Cellular operators, both within international roaming and national roaming, settle on the basis of the amount of data sent by customers belonging to other networks. The situation is so hopeless that Verizon is not going to insist on even offering discounts on phone purchases. However, it is a poor consolation for people who have no alternative. At worst are the Montana residents, which have Mid-Rivers Communication base stations, but the operator no longer accepts new customers. On the web, you can find stories of many people who have been using Verizon service for more than 10 years and have chosen this operator not only for their unlimited data plan.
Interestingly, many customers did not even realize they were using national roaming service. The lack of any restrictions caused the roaming to be completely transparent. However, the letter R appears on the screen when a smartphone uses other operator base station. Total 21 operators cooperate with Verizon in LRA program. Thanks to this, they can offer their customers nationwide coverage, despite local activity. Unfortunately, it seems that with the growing demand for data, this business simply ceases to pay off. Verizon has decided to drop 8500 customers from 13 states. Not everyone was using the unlimited data plan.