Verizon tiered data plans charge for bits, not speed

Summary:Word is leaking around the web today that the Verizon tiered data plans the company has warned about are about to become reality. Surprisingly, rates will be the same for 3G and 4G data service.

Word is leaking around the web today that the Verizon tiered data plans the company has warned about are about to become reality. These are not confirmed by the company but the information is pretty detailed and paints an ugly future for smartphone and tablet data consumers. The surprising information is that Verizon is apparently charging the same for 3G and 4G with these new plans.

The plans offer a paid tier of data beginning July 7 that is reportedly priced as follows:

  • 2GB:$30
  • 5GB: $50
  • 10GB: $80

These monthly fees apply to smartphones and are surprisingly not dependent on 3G or 4G connections. According to the leaked information these rates apply to either service, even though Verizon's 4G LTE network is many times faster than the older 3G network and doesn't cover nearly as big an area as the 3G network. Apparently Verizon has decided that a bit is bit when it comes to charging, not concerned with how fast they are moved around the network. Customers who want to add tethering, the ability to share the phone's data connection with other devices, will need special plans that include that service. The following monthly rates will apply for plans including tethering:
  • 4GB: $50
  • 7GB: $70
  • 12GB: $100

These tethering plans lump regular data caps with tethering consumption for the rates as indicated. Hitting the data cap in any month does not shut down the service, Verizon charges a hefty $10/GB overage fee.

Tablets will get their own data plans with Big Red, with two tiers available for the slates. A 1GB monthly plan will cost $20 while a 2GB plan will be priced at $30. It's a safe bet this excludes the ability to use the tablet for tethering.

The leaked information indicates that existing Verizon customers with unlimited data on their smartphones will be grandfathered in for the duration of their contracts. Any upgrading of equipment has historically been treated as a new contract so those with grandfathered unlimited plans may want to hold on to that older equipment as long as possible.

Topics: Mobility, Collaboration, Enterprise Software, Microsoft


James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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