Verizon looking at non-unlimited plans for 4G data, will use LTE for voice by 2012

We'd not-so-secretly hoped that carriers would be looking to dispense with those troublesome 5GB caps on so-called "unlimited" 3G data plans, but there's a big problem with that: spectrum is still limited, and even though 4G technologies help use it more efficiently, it's still a constraint that the FCC is going to need many years to solve. We're not sure how much the spectrum crunch really factors in here, but in addition to his comments on Droid Incredible inventory problems, Verizon Wireless boss Lowell McAdam mentioned at a Barclays Capital conference this week that he hopes to move away from unlimited plans altogether for the company's LTE network, instead charging for "buckets" of megabytes, just like in the olden days -- despite the fact that it'll cost it a half to a third of what it costs today to transmit the same amount of data.

On a happier note, McAdam said that the company expects to be using its LTE network for voice by 2012, which comes just after its first volley of LTE-capable handsets in early 2011. He also mentioned that at least some of those devices will be shown off at CES 2011, and naturally, we'll be there -- not just to check out the phones, but to raise some hell at the notion that unlimited data is a thing of the past. At this rate, how are we ever going to run the Engadget servers on a wireless connection?