Verizon drops $5 fee for Safety Mode, adds tier to new data plans

Photo credit: Flickr user Mike Mozart

Verizon tweaked its new data plans, adding a tier for a limited time and eliminating the $5 monthly fee for Safety Mode.

The carrier introduced an $80-a-month plan that includes 12 GB of data as well as monthly data rollover, Safety Mode and international calling and texting to and from Mexico and Canada. The new offering is slotted between Verizon’s “Large” plan, which includes 8 GB of data for $70 a month, and its “X-Large” plan, which includes 16 GB for $90 a month.

The latest plans were rolled out in July in a move that raised overall prices but also increased monthly data allotments. The latest changes will roll out this Tuesday.

Safety Mode, which throttles users once they’ve reached their monthly data caps, had been available for $5 a month to users on smaller monthly plans, but the operator said it will be free to all users. Customers will need to opt in to the service through the My Verizon app.

The nation’s largest carrier used the announcement to take a swipe at T-Mobile and Sprint, both of whom recently announced unlimited data plans that come with some restrictions, such as capping video delivery at 480p. Verizon also took the opportunity to tout its recent launch of two- and three-channel carrier aggregation, which it claims brings 50 percent faster peak data speeds to customers in 461 cities.

“While other networks were busy putting limits on their ‘unlimited’ plans, Verizon gives you limitless data and the next gen network: Verizon doesn’t limit you to SD video quality, force you to slow down your speed, or deprioritize your line based on your data usage,” the company said in a press release. “From major cities to less-served places including highways, interstates, country roads and rural America, you can use your mobile phone, tablet and more for limitless possibilities, fast connections and actually be mobile.”

Verizon’s latest moves aren’t groundbreaking, to be sure, but they do underscore increasing competition in the mobile industry following a relatively slow second quarter. Analysts say competition will continue to heat up in the coming weeks with the launch of a new iPhone, which Apple is expected to unveil during a high-profile media event next week.

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