Consumer Reports: Verizon's switch to usage-based data pricing won't result in higher bills for most

Consumer testing magazine Consumer Reports said that Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) new tiered data pricing plans for smartphone users, which go into effect today, will not have a profound effect on the bills of subscribers.

That's because monthly data usage on Verizon's network averages no more than about 500 MB per month, the magazine said. That is one-fourth of the 2 GB data limit on Verizon's new $30 plan. Verizon had charged $30 for its unlimited plan.

FierceWireless broke the news this week that Verizon is ending its unlimited data pricing and switching to usage-based pricing. In addition to the $30 plan for 2 GB, users can pay $50 for a 5 GB plan and $80 for a 10 GB plan. Existing customers who upgrade on or after July 7 will be able to upgrade to another smartphone and keep their unlimited smartphone data plan, Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Brenda Raney told FierceWireless.

Verizon also is making pricing changes to its LTE mobile hotspot service, available from smartphones like the HTC ThunderBolt and Samsung Droid Charge. Currently, the LTE mobile hotspot feature is free and unlimited. Raney said that for customers who have been using the LTE mobile hotspot service on their phones, starting July 7, they will be charged $30 per month for unlimited LTE mobile hotspot use. For new customers, the mobile hotspot service will cost $20 for an extra 2 GB of data to be used for mobile hotspot service or any other data service. The mobile hotspot changes were first reported by the Android blog Droid Life.

For more:
- see this Network World article
- see this FierceWireless article

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