Confirming earlier rumors, Verizon Wireless announced they are moving to pricing plans based on usage after today. Existing unlimited data plan subscribers won’t be affected and will continue to pay the current $29.99 price, even if they decide to upgrade to new smart phones.
NJ.com reports that new 3G and 4G smart phone subscribers will have three data options to choose from for their plans: $30 buys two gigabytes of data, $50 will get five gigabytes, and for $80, users receive 10 gigabytes. Regular cell phone users will have the option to pay $10 a month for 75 megabytes. Verizon will charge $10 for every gigabyte of overuse, and customers can sign up for overusage warning alerts.
According to Information Week the move by Verizon is disappointing because there is no saving being offered. They say when AT&T reduced its $30 unlimited data plan to 2 GB, it cut the monthly price by $5, while Verizon is asking customers to pay the same amount for less.
Apple Insider reports that users will be able to add "Mobile Hotspot” tethering feature to their iPhone or other smartphone for $20 per month. That plan will give them an extra 2GB of data.
The introduction of smart phones has overloaded wireless networks in recent years, and has triggered occasional outages, leading to limitations.
According to the Washington Post, AT&T was the first major carrier to move to tiered billing, followed by T-Mobile. Sprint, the only national carrier remaining that offers a basic $50 unlimited data plan. Sprint complains that AT&T’s bid to purchase T-Mobile eliminates the last low-cost alternative to the bigger firms.