Verizon Wireless jumps into netbook game, adjusts data plans

Verizon Wireless has jumped into the netbook game, offering the HP Mini 115NR for $200 with a two-year data contract priced at $40 to $60 per month. The offering isn't as aggressive as AT&T has been in the netbook arena. AT&T is offering an Acer mini laptop for $50 and a Dell for $150.

This week, Verizon Wireless also increased the data cap from 50 MB to 250 MB for its subscribers buying the $40 per month plan. The operator also dropped its overage fees for its $60 and $40 mobile broadband plans, from $.25 per megabit to $.05/MB and $.10/MB. And the $40 plan has seen its data usage limit increase from 50 MB to 250 MB.

Current Analysis analysts William Ho and Kathryn Weldon said in a research note that Verizon Wireless' data plan changes "will certainly influence AT&T to rethink and likely move on its own data overage fees and its $39.99 Data connect plan usage limit to match." The analysts added that Verizon Wireless' data plan adjustments "show the carrier is taking a more aggressive stance in laying the groundwork for more data use."

Right now, AT&T is the most punitive when it comes to overage charges, according to research from Current Analysis. For its $40 per month plan, it charges about $1/MB as an overage rate and $.51/MB for its $60 plan. Meanwhile, Sprint has historically had the lowest overage rate, $.05/MB for its $60 plan. Verizon Wireless' adjustments have implications for both operators.

For more:
- check out Bloomberg

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