Verizon will begin offering a smartphone plan designed to help parents keep tabs on their children's screen time later this week.
Verizon says it’s the first major wireless carrier to launch a smartphone plan specifically designed for children, as youngsters are receiving their first smartphones at earlier ages. According to the Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI), children with a smartphone typically received it at seven-and-a-half years old. Verizon is a founding member of FOSI.
The new Just Kids plan includes Verizon’s $10-per-month “Smart Family” platform, which Verizon launched last year as part of its mobile parenting suite. It enables parents to keep track of where their kids are with location tracking, can limit how much time is spent online and can be used to set content filters using an app connected to the child’s phone. The Just Kids plan includes 5GB of 4G LTE data and unlimited talk and text to 20 contacts that parents can choose. It also includes a safety mode to ensure children do not go over their data limits.
“We’re leading the way on growing up with tech, providing parents with plan options and features that give them the peace of mind they need for safe and responsible phone usage,” said Angie Klein, VP of marketing at Verizon, in a statement.
Verizon customers can add Just Kids to their existing family plans. Customers are only eligible to receive the $55-per-month Just Kids plan if they have at least one line that uses Verizon’s Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited or Above Unlimited. Customers that have three of Verizon’s latest unlimited lines on their accounts can add a Just Kids line for as low as $5 per month when enrolled in autopay. The company also will give customers $250 as part of its BYOD program if parents want to use an older phone for a newly-activated Just Kids line.