Verizon will switch to usage-based smartphone data pricing in July
Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) will begin offering usage-based data pricing for smartphones sometime in July, a company spokeswoman confirmed.
"Verizon Wireless will move to a usage-based data pricing model in July," Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney told FierceWireless. She said the company will share more details closer to the launch date of the new plans.
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's rumored pricing represents a slight premium over what rival AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) charges for tiered data. AT&T charges $15 per month for 200 MB and $25 per month for 2 GB.
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.
Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) remains the only Tier 1 carrier that has not committed to a usage-based smartphone data pricing scheme. Sprint CEO Dan Hesse has repeatedly said that customers value the simplicity of its plans, though he has also said Sprint might consider changing its plans at some point.
- see this Droid Life post
- see this AllThingsD article
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