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Verizon Wireless Tweaks Data Plans

Following the lead of AT&T, but with a few differences, Verizon Wireless has launched tier pricing for data.    Until the change, Verizon had two data plans, one for $9.99, the other $29.99.   The $9.99 was optional on feature phones, required on multimedia phones.  The $29.99 one was  unlimited, and required for smartphones, including BlackBerry and Android devices.  For feature phones, a $1.99 per MB pay per use option was also available.

The new structure offers the same data plans plus the addition of a $15 for 150 MB plan.   For those getting that plan, there is an additional charge of $15 per 150 MB if that allowance is exceeded.

The biggest change is in what data services are required for each phone type:

  • Smartphones:    Previously requiring a $29.99 unlimited plan, lighter users of data can now opt for the $15 150 MB option, for a potential savings of $180/year.   It is worth noting that it doesn’t take much to use up 150 MB of data, however.  If you use data to stream music or video or play games… anything beyond e-mail and a few web pages a day, you’ll probably want to opt for the unlimited option.
  • Multimedia Phones:     These are phones with some advanced features, but no operating system.   On its website, Verizon Wireless has done away with this grouping of phones, now including them with the Feature phones.   However, they are still requiring a minimum $9.99 data plan on these devices.   So, nothing has really changed here in terms of the requirements.  However, the $15 data plan for 150 MB may come in handy for those with a multimedia device, as these phones do have some decent data capabilities.
  • Feature Phones:   These are the simplest phones available, best for those not looking to do much more than talk on their phones.   For these devices, the data options are pay-as-you go ($1.99 / MB + $5/month for email), the new $15 data plan or the $29.99 unlimited plan.    Most with a feature phone will not sign up for data as the capabilities are so inferior to multimedia or smartphones.

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