Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) confirmed it is launching LTE data service for its prepaid customers for the first time starting on July 17. The nation's other Tier 1 wireless carriers already offer LTE connections to their prepaid subscribers. Verizon has up until now limited its prepaid customers to its 3G CDMA network.
Verizon is bringing LTE service to its AllSet prepaid plans. Rumors of the plans getting LTE were first reported earlier this month by the blog Droid Life. The plans are for feature pones and smartphones, with the cheapest prepaid smartphone plan starting at $45 per month for unlimited voice and texting and 500 MB of data.
In a company blog post, Verizon said that customers on the $45 plan can, for a limited time, double their data allotment to 1 GB by signing up for Verizon's Auto Pay service. Customers can add another 500 MB for $5 per month.
Further, AllSet customers can add more data to their basic plans via what Verizon calls "Bridge Data." Customers can add 1 GB for $10 with a 90-day expiration or 3 GB for $20 with a 90-day expiration.
That means that for a limited time, if customers sign up for Auto Pay, they can get 4 GB of LTE data, along with unlimited calling and texting, for $65. That's much cheaper than Verizon's postpaid plans. Under Verizon's More Everything shared data plans, which have LTE and are for postpaid customers, subscribers pay $110 per month for a smartphone with 4 GB of shared data. However, the More Everything plans also come with features such as international messaging, mobile hotspot service and 25 GB of free cloud storage.
Customers who already own a Verizon LTE smartphone can bring that device in and activate it on the AllSet Plans. Customers with devices that can access Verizon's AWS spectrum for LTE service will also be able to do so on the AllSet plans. Verizon spokesman Albert Aydin said Verizon's prepaid LTE customers will receive the same speeds and experience as postpaid LTE customers.
AllSet customers can also choose from a variety of LTE phones, including the Moto X, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One. And for a limited time, the LG Lucid 3 and LG G2 will be available online and in stores for $149.99 and $299.99, respectively, for use with All Set plans.
Other carriers have offered prepaid LTE service for some time. AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T) offers LTE for its Cricket service, but restricts the maximum download speeds available to its new Cricket prepaid customers to 8 Mbps on LTE devices and 4 Mbps on HSPA+ devices. AT&T in May 2013 added LTE support to its GoPhone prepaid service.
T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) has offered LTE service on its prepaid plans since it launched LTE in 2013 and Sprint (NYSE: S) has offered LTE services through its prepaid brands Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile since early 2013.
Meanwhile, Verizon announced a promotion in which all new smartphones will be discounted 50 percent off their normal prices for a limited time. Verizon did not say how long that offer will last.
- see this Verizon post
- see this Verizon page
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