Verizon Usage Based Pricing to roll out from July 7 onwards
Verizon Wireless will begin offering usage-based data pricing for smartphones sometime in July, a company spokeswoman confirmed. AT&T became the first carrier to end unlimited data plans for smartphone users last June, just before Apple’s iPhone 4 launched on their network. T-Mobile announced the same switch to tiered pricing last month. While current Verizon smartphones customers get to keep their unlimited plans for $30 a month, new subscribers will have to choose one of three tiers of service: $30 for 2GB per month, $50 for 5GB a month, or $80 for 10GB a month.
The new pricing plans have been met with groans from wireless subscribers, even though most subscribers won’t even come close to hitting the minimum 2GB limit that Verizon has imposed. But for subscribers who are still worried about their usage, there are things they can do to reduce how much data they use on their cell phone carriers’ networks.
The confirmation of the switch, which Verizon executives have been hinting at for months, followed a post on the Android blog Droid Life that claimed to have details about Verizon’s new data plans. Verizon currently offers unlimited smartphone data for $30 per month for users on both its EV-DO and LTE networks.
According to the blog, starting July 7, Verizon will introduce three new usage-based options: 2 GB of data for $30 per month; 5 GB for $50 and $10 GB for $80. Tethering will cost $20 extra for an extra 2 GB of data. Overage charges will be $10 per GB, the blog said. The upper data tiers are the same as what Verizon currently charges for its mobile broadband plans for tablets and USB modems. Raney declined to comment on the blog post.
“Verizon Wireless is making some minor changes to data plans including those for new smartphone customers,” company spokeswoman Brenda Raney confirmed to CNN. “We will move to a more usage based pricing model in July. We’ll have more to share closer to the implementation date.”
Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo said in May that when the new plans are in place, the carrier will not cap usage and then throttle speeds when users go over their allotted amounts (as T-Mobile USA does), but will instead charge for overages (as AT&T Mobility does). Shammo also said last month it is a “logical progression” to assume that Verizon will move to shared data plans for multiple devices once it introduces the usage-based pricing, though he did not give a timetable for doing so.