Verizon has issued a statement to The New York Times which clarifies what will happen with ‘grandfathered’ unlimited data plans when its new shared data plans roll out. Basically, anyone who currently has an unlimited data plan will be able to keep it, unless they purchase a new device that is subsidized by Verizon.

The full statement that was issued is below:

  • Customers will not be automatically moved to new shared data plans. If a 3G or 4G smartphone customer is on an unlimited plan now and they do not want to change their plan, they will not have to do so.
  • When we introduce our new shared data plans, Unlimited Data will no longer be available to customers when purchasing handsets at discounted pricing.
  • Customers who purchase phones at full retail price and are on an unlimited smartphone data plan will be able to keep that plan.
  • The same pricing and policies will be applied to all 3G and 4GLTE smartphones.

The key point here is that if you pay full price for your handset, usually several hundred dollars more than the ’2-year-contract’ subsidized price, you can keep your unlimited data plan. Of course, if you switch to LTE, then you’re going to need to sign up for a new plan so you’ll be forced to move on there too.

So, as long as you buy a full-priced handset, and you’re content to stick around on 3G, you can keep your unlimited plan. But if you want Verizon to foot part of the bill for your new handset, or you want to move up to a new 4G LTE connection, you’ll be forced to give your old plan up.