Regional carrier Viaero Wireless quietly ends unlimited data. LTE inbound? Unlikely.

viaero-logoIf you live in Nebraska, you likely have heard of Cell One of Northeast Colorado, aka, Viaero Wireless. They have not yet publicly announced a recent change to their wireless plans, but they have been informing new and existing customers whose contracts are up for renewal of the impending change.

This change entails the upcoming termination of their unlimited data plans. Nearly all existing customers enjoy unlimited data on Viaero’s 4G (enhanced 3G or HSDPA) network, but this is changing for all customers in January 2016. Voice and text services are to remain as they currently are.

Current contract customers are being ushered onto Viaero’s new plan if they wish to retain unlimited data, which is basically the same as AT&T’s Next plan. You pay for your plan while renting a handset for an extra fee. You are free to upgrade once a year, and as a reward for renting a phone, your data remains unlimited. This may be a very expensive solution for customers who already own a phone, or wish to use a handset which the small carrier does not sell, such as a Blackberry Passport or a Windows Phone. (I had to buy a Lumia 1520 and have AT&T unlock it for me to use it on this carrier.)

If customers choose to use a handset which they own, buy one on contract, or don’t need much data, they may remain on the existing standard two year contract. Once you hit your data cap, you can purchase additional data or be throttled.

Viaero to Go customers, prepaid, will see unlimited data go away too, in January 2016. It’s currently unknown if these customers can pay for extra data once they hit their cap, or if they will face throttling or a complete loss of HTTP connectivity. Viaero Wireless does not go out of its way to cater to prepaid customers nor retain them. Most carriers don’t.

When the big four (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) rolled out LTE, they largely eliminated unlimited data, so it’s possible that the owner of Viaero’s towers (a company in Massachusetts from what I can tell via cell tower databases), or Viaero itself, may be preparing to add LTE to existing towers. Currently, Viaero Wireless does not offer LTE service, nor have they indicated that they are remotely interested in offering it. Viaero only completed an upgrade to HSDPA in 2014. Like all other carriers, they call HSDPA “4G” which I personally find to be misleading to consumers.

I don’t think we will be seeing LTE appear on Viaero’s towers anytime soon, but now that they are shifting gears away from stealing away Verizon’s LTE loving customers with unlimited data, it’s likely that generating a nice profit is taking priority over anything else. Perhaps they are hoping to become a lucrative takeover target for AT&T or T-Mobile in the nearterm.

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Regional carrier Viaero Wireless quietly ends unlimited data. LTE inbound? Unlikely.

6 thoughts on “Regional carrier Viaero Wireless quietly ends unlimited data. LTE inbound? Unlikely.

    1. Viaero is very shady. Here in Alliance, Verizon is already offering their XLTE service, which was initially limited to urban centers. XLTE basically operates like Viaero’s “4G” – essentially bonding two connections for a faster one. Meanwhile, Viaero is still advertising their H+ as if it were LTE, and selling their customers unlocked, international handsets that may or may not function on American LTE networks. This is why I use an unlocked Lumia 1520 which is branded for AT&T – should Viaero ever offer LTE while I own this phone, at least I will be able to use it.

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    1. I was told the opposite by a manager, but then again, the stores are not even able to perform any advanced functions, so would they even know either way? The store workers have to call into their own headquarters to have technical support deal with network and SIM related issues, and “fixing” a phone is just wiping it back to factory defaults without even offering to recover the customer’s data from the device.
      Should the owner of the towers agree to upgrade them to LTE, it will likely start in Colorado communities and then roll out to other areas.

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  2. VIAERO USER says:

    It really seems very misleading that they are marketing hdspa+ as 4g. Just leaves a bad taste in my mouth, however for a while it worked fairly well. Significantly better than 128k edge that they had before. Now it lags out constantly. They originally offered unlimited data for all of the plans, then limited to local unlimited only. I would assume they got tired of paying for roaming data. With all of the lag outs I see lately I would guess they are eliminating unlimited all together because their network is stretched significantly beyond capacity. When they first rolled out “4g” I could get a solid 11-12mbps. Now I am lucky to get 3 and I cant get through 10 pages without refreshing 5-6 times. If they end unlimited I will switch. Even if Viaero offers more data it will be worth the extra money for the speed.

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