Verizon Changes Data Plans, Launch July 7
Verizon confirms rumors that the company will be changing its data plans from unlimited to tiered options starting July. In an e-mail to AllThingsD, Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney said the company will offer a "more usage based model," but did not give any details yet regarding the issue. A lot of websites though, have been leaking training materials for Verizon employees which contain specifics as to the impending tiered plans.
Droid Life revealed on Monday that Verizon will introduce new data plans on July 7. According to Droid Life's sources, data plans will range from $30 a month for 2GB of data to $80 per month for 10 GB. Data plans with tethering increases the cost by $20 per month but comes with 2GB additional data. Thus, data plans with tethering costs $50 for 4GB, $70 for 7GB, and $100 for 12GB.
On top of that, consumers will be charged $10 per 1GB if they go over the alloted data for their plan. According to the informants, these plans apply for both 3G and 4G smartphones. Tablet data plans will also increase by $10 and will now be offered at $30 for 2GB of data.
This tiered pricing scheme is most likely to be true, basing on the materials leaked to DroidLife and other websites. If there are no changes between now and July 7, Verizon's data plans are priced $5 lower compared to its rival AT&T, which charges $25 a month for 2 GB of data and also $10 for each additional gigabyte. AT&T junked its unlimited data plans in June 2010.
Droid Life was informed that these tiered pricing will not affect current Verizon customers or those who have locked- in data plans, including unlimited ones, prior to July 7. The site managed to get a screenshot of a purported Verizon document which states: "Existing customers can keep their current pricing when renewing or upgrading." Further, the sources mentioned that existing customers can even upgrade to a new device after July 7 and still keep their unlimited data plan. This is also supported by a Q and A sample for Verizon employees being trained for the new data plans.
Reactions to the rumored restructuring of Verizon data plans are predictably negative. A lot of customers are hinting of moving to Sprint, the third largest telecommunications network in the US, which still offers unlimited data plans. Another choice is T-Mobile USA, which offer plans with unlimited mobile to mobile minutes on certain days and times and 5 GB internet plans wherein the company throttles speeds when customers go over the limit, but does not charge them for overages. It must be noted that Deutsche Telekom AG, the parent company of T-Mobile, accepted a $39 billion purchase offer from AT&T three months ago. Although the acquisition is still subject to regulatory approval, many people think that T-Mobile will eventually follow AT&T in terms of data usage plans for customers.Continued on the next page