​Verizon bets on features over prices with new data billing plans

Verizon's betting that you're willing to pay more for its reliable 4G network than going cheaper with another phone company.

I'm a Verizon Wireless customer. I use it not because of price or local coverage. (For me, in western North Carolina, the winner for both would be U.S. Cellular.) I use it because I travel a lot for business and pretty much everywhere I go Verizon gives me great 4G data service. Verizon is counting on that to keep its existing customers and find new ones with its new more expensive, more data wireless plans.

New Verizon Wireless Data Plans 2016

Verizon Wireless's new data plans offer more data and more features at a higher cost.

Verizon

While the Verizon Wireless plan page doesn't reflect the changes yet, here's what you're going to be paying and getting soon.

  • New "S" plan: $35 a month for 2GB (originally $30 for 1GB)
  • New "M" plan: $50 month for 4GB (originally $45 for 3GB)
  • New "L" plan: $70 a month for 8GB (originally $60 for 6GB)
  • New "XL" plan: $90 a month for 16GB (originally $80 for 12GB)
  • New "XXL" plan: $110 a month for 24GB (originally $100 for 18GB)

If you burn through your data, like I do, these new plans will be worth it. If the very idea of paying more money gives you hives, you can stick with your old plans.

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The new plans also include new features as well as more data. The most useful of these is a rollover data program called "Carryover Data." Why not "Rollover Data?" Verizon can't use that phrase because it's an AT&T trademark.

With Carryover Data, your unused data allowance is moved forward to the next billing month. Like all cellular data plans, there's a catch. The data doesn't carry over beyond that next month, and before you can use this data you'll have to use your your regular data allotment first.

If you're running close to your data limit you'll also be able to turn on "Safety Mode." This throttles down your account's connection speed when you're close to running out of data. Verizon claims this will help you avoid overage fees.

If you bust your data limit anyway, you can use "Data Boost." This gives you an additional gigabyte of data for $15.

Finally, Verizon has made using its phones in Mexico and Canada easier and a bit cheaper. With a Verizon Plan XL and larger sizes, you get unlimited talk and text and your data. If you're on the new Verizon Plan in sizes S, M, or L, you can pay $5 per line per month for calls from the US. To roam with your data and unlimited talk and text in Canada or Mexico, L and lower customers will still need to use Verizon's TravelPass feature at $2 per day per line.

You won't have to go to the Verizon Wireless site to make these changes. A new My Verizon app, beginning July 7, will let you choose your plan and how much data you want on the go. Verizon promises that you'll be able to switch between data allotments with a few clicks on the My Verizon app, wherever you are with no penalties, and every plan comes with unlimited talk and text.

You can have up to 10 consumer and business lines on an account. Line service charges for the new Verizon Plan remain the same: Every smartphone line is $20 per month, tablets and Jetpack devices are $10 per month, and connected devices are $5 per month. Connected devices will no longer count toward the limit for devices on an account, whether they're offered by Verizon or not. These include devices such as hum by Verizon, smartwatches, or GizmoPals.

New Verizon Wireless Data Business Plans 2016

Verizon Wireless is also offering new small business data plans.

Verizon

The new Verizon Plan is also available in new sizes for small businesses with 11 to 25 lines. Monthly charges for small businesses are just $15 per month for each phone or smartphone on the new Verizon Plan.

Are these new plans worth it? For me? Yes. For you, take a long, hard look at your current providers' plans, analyze the real costs of your mobile plans, and make your own call.

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