Verizon quietly launched a beta version of a new service that enables users to access unlimited amounts of LTE data in 30 or 60 minute chunks – but only when the network isn’t congested.
PopData, as the offering is branded, is available only through the carrier’s My Verizon app and is marketed as “a faster, more secure connection than most public Wi-Fi hotspots.” Users can pay $2 for 30 minutes of unlimited data or $3 for an hour before their data usage once again comes out of their monthly plan allotments.
“PopData is a new time-based 4G LTE data option that gives customers even more options and control of their wireless plans,” the spokesperson told FierceWireless via email. “Available in 30-minute and 60-minute all-you-can-stream 4G LTE data sessions, the beta launch of PopData gives us an opportunity to learn more about how time-based data options resonate with our customers and how they engage with a digital-only experience through the My Verizon app.”
Verizon customers can click on a link in the carrier’s app and follow instructions to launch the service, receiving a push notification when their PopData session is complete. Users must enable location-based services on the phone, which allows the operator to gauge traffic on the network at the time.
“Before you can start a session, we’ll analyze network activity, strength and expected capacity for the next 30 minutes at the location where you make the request,” according to PopData’s FAQ page. “This doesn’t guarantee that something unexpected won’t occur, like moving to an area with poorer service or more network congestion.”
The strategy enables users to access data-heavy content such as a movie without eating into monthly data plans. Meanwhile, Verizon can generate a few extra dollars from that usage while it keeps customers happy without unduly taxing the network. If the beta service is a success, expect to see Verizon market its new offering much more heavily.