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Verizon drops the metered data plan hammer next week. Existing customers will be spared for at least one upgrade cycle, but new customers will bear the full brunt of the nation's most expensive data plan.  (Source: Flickr)

LTE tethering is no longer free for anyone. For new subscribers it's not unlimited, either.  (Source: Tested)
Big Red kills free LTE tethering, charges new customers lots of money for their data

Verizon Wireless (VZ) has been cagey with regard to details of what its new metered smart phone data plan would entail.  Now customers may find out why.

New smart phone subscribers will no longer have the option to get unlimited data, starting July 7.  In its place they will have an array of plans that while gentle on overages and flexible, are generally expensive for base use.

The cheapest plan will be $30 USD/month for 2 GB -- $5 USD/month more than AT&T Inc.'s (T) price on an identical data allowance.  Verizon does not offer a 200 MB plan like AT&T ($15 USD/month).  Instead, it offers two pricier, higher cap plans -- $50 USD/month for 5 GB or $80 USD/month for 10 GB.  Overages at least, are relatively reasonable compared to past rates on Verizon's metered air cards, dropping in at $10 USD per extra GB.

The good news for existing customers is that they will be able to keep their unlimited data plans for at least one more upgrade cycle.

Verizon also revealed details on its plan to crack down on LTE hotspot usage.  Here existing customers aren't entirely spared -- for them the previously free unlimited data service will now cost $30 USD/month.  New customers have it even worse, though -- they won't have an unlimited option.  They will only get a $20 USD/month 2 GB option.

The pricing was revealed by Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney in an interview with FierceWireless.

The new data costs will take effect July 7.  During the interview Verizon also revealed that shared data plans ("family plans") will indeed be incoming -- similar to T-Mobile and AT&T's.  Verizon has not yet put a timetable on the deployment of those plans.

The details revealed indicate that Verizon -- currently the largest network in the U.S. in terms of mobile subscribers -- will also be the most expensive network in terms of data plans.

Deutsche Telekom AG's (ETR:DTE) T-Mobile USA is currently the cheapest of the metered plans, offering rates of $15 USD/month for 200 MB, $20 USD/month for 2 GB, $30 USD/month for 5 GB, or $60 USD/month for 10 GB.  T-Mobile followed AT&T's lead and killed unlimited data plans in May.

Currently the only carrier with no official plans to switch to metered connections is Sprint Nextel Corp. (S).  CEO Dan Hesse argues that customers value the simplicity and value of its unlimited plans.  However, he warns that Sprint may someday consider metered plans if the market demands it.

Sprint has also suggested that if the pending AT&T/T-Mobile merger gets approved, that it may be pushed out of business.  If Sprint indeed folded or was acquired by another carrier (such as Verizon), the U.S. would be left with only two mega-carriers -- AT&T and Verizon.  Those carriers, notably, also have the highest planned data costs for new subscribers.


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RE: Bait and switch
By quiksilvr on 7/5/2011 8:11:48 PM , Rating: 5
It is time for us Americans to go for the underdog. We cannot live in a duopoly. Look what happened to soda. $0.75 for a CAN. A CAN PEOPLE.

This may be an advert but dammit I don't care. If you guys switch to a Sprint plan now, simply give them your old phone number from another carrier and they will provide you with $125 credit.

For $70 a month, you get unlimited (TRULY unlimited) 3G and 4G, unlimited texting, 450 minutes and unlimited (TRULY unlimited) calls to ANY mobile phone on ANY OTHER network. Calls after 7pm are free and for $5 more a month, you can make that 6pm.


RE: Bait and switch
By kknd1967 on 7/5/2011 8:27:35 PM , Rating: 2
and best of all, Sprint offers 20~25% discount for many businesses and state employees


RE: Bait and switch
By mcnabney on 7/6/2011 1:03:48 PM , Rating: 2
When a company hasn't shown a profit for five years you can get a pretty good deal.

Right now, Sprint is trying to maintain customer numbers so that the company can sell itself for more money. Much like T-Mobile - the current low prices are just there to pump their line count. They can't compete on service, so they compete on price. Nothing wrong with it, but you can't lose money forever.


RE: Bait and switch
By Souka on 7/6/2011 2:42:39 PM , Rating: 2
and how long until Sprint raises their rates? It's not if, but when....


RE: Bait and switch
By quiksilvr on 7/7/2011 2:01:37 PM , Rating: 2
Never, because AT&T and Verizon will be the two big ones next year and Sprint will have to be competitive (in other words, become the T-Mobile) in the new market to survive.


RE: Bait and switch
By Geraldo8022 on 7/5/2011 8:30:57 PM , Rating: 2
with Sprint I get 3G for $70 and another $10 buys 4G. With taxes it all comes to about $93 per month. I don't have any other Net as I live too far out in the sticks. I don't know why anyone in my position would go with anyone but Sprint. Hope they don't terminate unlimited. That would hurt. I guess it would be sat or Clearwire.


RE: Bait and switch
By Samus on 7/5/2011 9:04:01 PM , Rating: 3
I had Sprint a long time ago and it was great service, but I switched to T-mobile in 2006-ish because the phone selection was better (Sidekick, G1, etc.) I live between Chicago and San Diego, and both have excellent '4G' coverage in both areas, and importantly, both are the least expensive in the industry with arguably better phones.

I like T-Mobile, but I will leave them simply to favor the 'underdog.' If the AT&T/T-Mobile merger goes through, I'll be switching back to Sprint. Both companies have treated me well.

My first phone was with Verizon in the 90's and the problem with them back then (other than they were expensive) was what they did to the phone firmware and contents. I remember getting one of the first camera phones and not being able to download them via USB they removed that function. They wanted me to upload them to VCAST for $0.25/picture, basically a MMS charge. That was the last straw.


RE: Bait and switch
By bplewis24 on 7/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: Bait and switch
By Jeffk464 on 7/5/2011 10:56:10 PM , Rating: 2
You suck, I'm stuck in my current 3G contract and so can't get into the unlimited 4G until after it goes through the roof.


RE: Bait and switch
By theapparition on 7/6/2011 10:00:54 AM , Rating: 2
Not true. You can go into any Verizon store, buy a Thunderbolt today (at retail), and add unlimited 4G to your account.

You are not stuck by any means. It will just cost you a bit.


RE: Bait and switch
By BSMonitor on 7/6/2011 3:29:54 PM , Rating: 2
Who only texts 500 messages a month. Add unlimited texting and you are at $93 with the rest of us.


RE: Bait and switch
By Mr772 on 7/8/2011 5:49:05 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget to add the cost for visual voicemail @ $2.99 Verizon is the only major carrier that charges for it. It's free with AT&T and Sprint. Verizon is a scumbag company. They should change the company moto to Vamprizon.

The only way they can get away with this is becaus of idiot consumers who buy the BS network claims. The fact is you can get the exact same coverage on Sprint because of roaming agreements. As long as these suckers keep paying out like chumps Vamprizon will never change.


RE: Bait and switch
By strapmonkey on 7/9/2011 10:18:59 AM , Rating: 2
Well, sonny, some of us remember when we UPGRADED from the telegraph to the telephone, which was wonderful because we no longer had to learn Morse code to chat across the Atlantic (ah, the landline of yesteryear, seems so down home, old fashioney quaint now). Then (much, much later) came the first portable phones, only they weren't all that portable, being about the size of a short loaf of bread (not to mention prone to inducing male sterility at 20 paces due to all the extra Z-beam transmissions).

Fast forward 20 years, and out comes the cellular phone; mostly portable, end user friendly, no more sterility, fewer brain tumors - winning proposition all around. Oh, and texting too! So, from telegraph, to telephone, to cellphone and back to telegraph again in less than two generations - now THAT is progress!

In all seriousness, some of us old farts have sent precisely 8 text messages on our current cell phone, which is 5 years old. It's....a.....phone. You can use it to make these things called "phone calls", where (again, through the eloquent magic of Z-beam transmission via the ether) voices appear out of thin air; sometimes the voices are actually attached to people you are interested in holding a conversation with.

Oh...OH...gotta cut and run, the Metamucil just kicked in....


RE: Bait and switch
By Motoman on 7/6/11, Rating: 0
RE: Bait and switch
By erple2 on 7/6/2011 2:48:55 AM , Rating: 2
Other than by rooting your phone, and technically "cheating", Straight Talk doesn't give you unlimited data - at least not what I'd consider data. Access to a couple of hand-picked websites and a couple of hand-picked services doesn't make for what I'd consider 'data'.

But they do provide unlimited talk and texting in that $45 plan.


RE: Bait and switch
By Motoman on 7/6/2011 9:54:40 AM , Rating: 1
Nice post, other than the fact that you have no clue what you're talking about.

Nokia E71. Natively supports wired tethering, out of the box. Supports wireless tethering with a $10 app. Where was the "rooting" you mentioned? Oh yeah...that was you lying about something because you've not got the slightest clue what you're talking about.

Unlimited data is part of the plan. Go look. There's no restriction on anything - it's the internet. Access anything and everything you want.

Why exactly did you feel moved to make such stupid statements about something you clearly have no information on at all?


RE: Bait and switch
By frobizzle on 7/6/2011 10:51:14 AM , Rating: 2
I don't have any conclusive evidence about it but there are a lot of discussion boards where Straight Talk customers are complaining that if Straight Talk suspects you are tethering with your unlimited data plan, they cut your service off without any warning.

I don't know if that is accurate or not but it is something to keep in mind.


RE: Bait and switch
By mcnabney on 7/6/2011 1:05:58 PM , Rating: 2
That is true of all networks and providers. Straight Talk buys minutes and gigabytes from Verizon by the billions, but they still don't want to give it away for nothing.


RE: Bait and switch
By RealTheXev on 7/10/2011 9:29:25 PM , Rating: 2
In my area, not going with Sprint is simple: No 3G (yes that's right) coverage in most of northwest PA. Go look at their coverage map if you think I'm full of it.

I'd have switched to Sprint ages ago if not for the lack of 3G coverage in my area.


RE: Bait and switch
By Captain Orgazmo on 7/5/2011 9:02:37 PM , Rating: 3
I wish I lived in the US-of-A. Try $2.00 for a can of soda here in Soviet Canuckistan (that's $2.08 'Merican).

Cost of living here is 2-3 times that of most US states, despite our strong currency. Wages range from $10/hr for retail type McJobs to around $30/hr for skilled trades, however our overall taxation rate is around double that of the US. Plus it's friggen cold here 9 months of the year.

Uncle Sam, please let me in!


RE: Bait and switch
By Samus on 7/5/11, Rating: -1
RE: Bait and switch
By amanojaku on 7/5/2011 9:19:35 PM , Rating: 4
Thank you for turning this into yet another pointless political debate.


RE: Bait and switch
By cmdrdredd on 7/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: Bait and switch
By troysavary on 7/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: Bait and switch
By Nfarce on 7/5/11, Rating: -1
RE: Bait and switch
By Jeffk464 on 7/5/2011 11:11:50 PM , Rating: 5
The fact of the matter is that except for the minor set back of being dead I would say that Osama Bin Laden achieved his goals. The US has depleted the treasury and gone massively into debt fighting two wars, one of which(possibly two) we can't win. We as well as our kids are being molested by the government at airports. The Bill of Rights was basically done away with by the patriot act, which is beginning to look permanent. China has been working to secure deals with foreign countries for future resources all over the world, while at the same time laughing at our stupidity. Yup, thanks to our dumb as* politicians I would say mission accomplished.


RE: Bait and switch
By retrospooty on 7/6/2011 1:38:53 AM , Rating: 1
"Thank you for stating the facts, and putting a mindless mouth breathing Obamabot libtard in its place. "

Troy's post was just as blindly to the right, as the first post was to the left. Both overly blamey, and overly simplified. Neither are correct and neither accomplish a damn thing.


RE: Bait and switch
By Samus on 7/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: Bait and switch
By Nfarce on 7/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: Bait and switch
By Nfarce on 7/6/11, Rating: -1
RE: Bait and switch
By Samus on 7/7/2011 2:33:58 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
It was the US Army Corps. Of Engineers that didn't maintain the levees


Bush reduced their funding in 2002 to aid the war in Afganistan. An internal probe reveiled the levies would have never failed as they hadn't in over 100 years through more serious storms had they been adequately maintained.


RE: Bait and switch
By Samus on 7/7/2011 2:45:54 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
We've seen an $860 billion "stimulus" bill do JACK SH!T for jobs and the economy - if anything it's worked backwards


And Bush gave the same amount to wall street after he (de)regulated the banking system into finding violent loopholes and nearly crashed our economy. That money has never proven to have helped anything.

Just about any economist will tell you TARP funds that Obama passed have trickled down to more sectors and helped more people than the wall street 'bailout' has.

Sure. If you look at the numbers, Obama has added the same amount to the national debt in 2 years that bush added in 8 years.

However, Bush spent SIX TIMES more money than Obama has thus far. He was able to add so little to the debt because the economic state he was handed from the Clinton Administration was excellent. To date, that administration is the only administration to have a budget surplus in decades.

Bush spent 1.8 trillion on the Iraq war in 6 years alone. That is more than Obama has been allowed to spend on his programs so far.

Bush killed thousands of people and put hundreds of thousands in harms way. He has damaged the lives and displaced millions of families world-wide. He single-handedly created a 21st century vietnam. The Iraq war is undoubtedly one of the largest military disasters in world history.

You guys just hate your lives so much because a black man is running the show better than a shrivled up retarded white man. We all got played by Karl Rove, and if you don't realize that, you should just jump off a bridge and cleanse the gene pool.

Bush is so ashamed of what he did, he couldn't even appear at the WTC memorial site after Osama Bin Laden was terminated. He has rightfully stayed out of public.


RE: Bait and switch
By CrimsonFrost on 7/7/2011 10:07:44 AM , Rating: 2
Oh STFU, all of you with your political rhetoric. You all act like it's one side's fault, or one man's fault. Also, conveniently, you all blame it on someone else, rather than looking in the mirror... We elected these people and we continually support the ass-backwards system of electing these people. We *allow* them to do all the mean and nasty things they do... If you all think that simply voting them out of office is going to fix it every 4-8 years at this point... You're delusional, each one will be worse than the last, and none of them will ever give you back the power the last one took.

It's like being in an abusive relationship, they promise they'll change, and we want so badly to believe them, that we keep giving them another chance, because we like our country; our luxuries, our way of life. We'd rather be subservient, and mindless wretches than to disturb those things... None of us are willing to do what is necessary to make a real change. So instead, we attack each other for the things are politicians want us to believe. They put these ideas in our collective head, and instead of railing against them, like we should, we rail against each other, distracted from the real problem... Oh well, right?

Back on topic!
As I tell other people who look at Sprint because it's so inexpensive, "you get what you pay for". Sprint, at least around the Washington DC area has very shoddy service. Yeah, the "4G" kinda works here and there, but in general it kicks back to EvDO more often. It also seems the further you get from DC the worse the service gets as well, and closer to the Chesapeake you'd be lucky to get anything if at all. Meanwhile, Verizon, the most expensive carrier works everywhere I've been, even their 4G in most places (when I've turned it on in those areas because I usually stick to EvDO for battery life). The other draw for Verizon is the LTE network, sorry if there's any naysayers still out there, but Verizon has pretty much crushed everyone else's "4G" offerings, it's usually double, if not triple the speed of UMTS+ and WiMax. Even now after the network has become more saturated, the speed is still there and showing no signs of slowing down.

Just my 2 cents.


RE: Bait and switch
By Samus on 7/7/2011 2:44:01 PM , Rating: 1
Isn't that the amazing thing about it? It is one man's fault. As the most powerful man in the world, he single-handedly destroyed the global economy.

Two men named Dick and Karl played a sucker named Bush, which makes it not all three mens fault, but the laters'


RE: Bait and switch
By CrimsonFrost on 7/8/2011 7:37:11 PM , Rating: 1
Perhaps it was, but it was the Supreme Court who put him in office, and it was the people in this country who voted for him enough that he even had a chance. So how many parties involved in getting him there were wrong? Hint: All of them.

Samus, we allow these things to happen, we all bitch and complain about the obvious travesties that happen, and then we all.... ALL OF US! Do nothing, not one god damned thing... Our apathy and lethergy will allow us to be slowly dominated, in fact we already are. We don't even fight back anymore... We're pathetic.


RE: Bait and switch
By retrospooty on 7/8/2011 10:08:04 AM , Rating: 2
Thank you...

SO many people like Nfarce and Samus blame everything on one side or the other. This is how they want it, divided and conquered we are.

The truth is BOTH sides are the same criminals that rob us blind through wasting our tax money to the point of being criminal. Its not the right or left, not the reps or dems , its all of them. When Obama took office in Jan 2009, the economy was in a tailspin, at that time, the reps had hte oval office for 20 of the previous 28 years, and they had Congress for 12 of the previous 14 years. Everything CANT be the dems fault, they havent had power. OF course now they do and arent helping matters, but that is how it is. Divide and conquer. Open your eyes people.


RE: Bait and switch
By Captain Orgazmo on 7/5/2011 9:39:56 PM , Rating: 2
Let's trade passports, you'd fit right in with all the paranoid schizos up here.


RE: Bait and switch
By FITCamaro on 7/6/2011 6:49:03 AM , Rating: 1
This level of stupidity makes the BP oil spill look insignificant.


RE: Bait and switch
By Arsynic on 7/6/2011 9:00:10 AM , Rating: 2
Please shut the fuck up with your Bush Derangement Syndrome. You sound like a blabbering idiot. "Letting 9/11 happen..." Fuck me, you're an idiot.


RE: Bait and switch
By troysavary on 7/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: Bait and switch
By cmdrdredd on 7/5/11, Rating: 0
RE: Bait and switch
By troysavary on 7/5/2011 9:42:40 PM , Rating: 2
Soda is bad for you even in moderate amounts, but that isn't the point. My point was that crying about the price for the convenience of buying something you don't need from the most expensive place you can find it is a piss poor way to judge a country.


RE: Bait and switch
By Captain Orgazmo on 7/5/2011 9:50:55 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, the price of common goods, like Coca-Cola or Pepsi, or a Big Mac is a great way of comparing cost of living in different countries, and is often cited by respected economists.


RE: Bait and switch
By troysavary on 7/5/2011 9:58:14 PM , Rating: 1
I'd rather go by prices of things like electricity, which is pretty much the same in both countries; housing, which I am sure is much cheaper where I live than most of the US; gas, ok, the US has us beat there by a long shot; etc, you know, the things generally needed for "living". I'd hardly consider popping money in a vending machine to be a normal living expense. It is hardly a realistic portrayal of the price of buying food. Use the supermarket, at least, if you feel you must include soda as a living expense.

Besides, I'd much rather live under Harper's policies than Obama's.


RE: Bait and switch
By FITCamaro on 7/6/2011 6:50:25 AM , Rating: 2
I guess you think talking on the phone or standing in front of the microwave is too.


RE: Bait and switch
By troysavary on 7/6/2011 3:22:41 PM , Rating: 3
Microwaves are shielded, there is practically no radiation escaping, so, no I see no danger in those. The jury is still out on cellphones, but the risk seems small enough that I have no problem using one.

Are you seriously trying to say that the health risk of soda is as dubious as the risk from eating microwaved food?


RE: Bait and switch
By cmdrdredd on 7/6/2011 5:19:25 PM , Rating: 2
Soda doesn't kill you when you have one with your lunch at work. If it did, I'd have been dead years ago. I guarantee I'm healthier than 99% of america and I drink soda daily.

I also don't sit watching TV all damn day, I exercise (BMX racing, running, swimming). I also don't eat exclusively at crapdonalds.


RE: Bait and switch
By Captain Orgazmo on 7/5/2011 9:37:55 PM , Rating: 2
I was making a point, but thanks, mom. :P


RE: Bait and switch
By Mr772 on 7/8/2011 5:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
Don't worry we're headed in that direction if the socialist liberal nut cases (thank you Obamafail) have their way here in the USA.


RE: Bait and switch
By Jeffk464 on 7/5/2011 10:51:52 PM , Rating: 2
I currently get unlimited 3G data on my HTC incredible. I guess this means when my phone finally dies or Verizon forces out of my current contract I will just head back to a plain old feature phone. I guess this is what happens when all the cell phone companies buy each other out, not enough competition. Verizon needs to consider a lot of people will just opt out and go without a data plan.


RE: Bait and switch
By Obujuwami on 7/6/2011 2:21:43 AM , Rating: 2
The problem is that the smart phones themselves require you to have a data plan if you are with Verizon, and possibly others. You will get the $30 tagged on you either way unless you just go with a stock flip phone or something like that, and even then they may try to get you with data that you didn't know existed.


RE: Bait and switch
By cmdrdredd on 7/6/2011 5:24:00 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
The problem is that the smart phones themselves require you to have a data plan if you are with Verizon, and possibly others. You will get the $30 tagged on you either way unless you just go with a stock flip phone or something like that, and even then they may try to get you with data that you didn't know existed.


That plus Verizon is really sticking it to people. Here's how.

Ever notice how their commercials exclaim 4G Speeds, watch TV on your phone, do streaming video from youtube, and with the iPhone you have facetime (like skype and that's already been in use), and then you have netflix. That stuff eats up data like the fat woman at the free buffet. It's sad because they advertise and promote the devices that can do so much then say "ahh ha! I gotcha...now you pay for overages!" That's shit. Pure shit.


RE: Bait and switch
By Omega215D on 7/6/2011 8:00:40 AM , Rating: 2
No, you are grandfathered into the plan. It was the same way when I had a $15 data plan for my Droid. I was eligible to keep it for my LTE HTC Thunderbolt but that really made no sense. An extra $15 for Unlimited and now grandfathered in.

The most usage I saw on my smartphone was 2GB just by app updates, web browsing and email. This was only the extreme when I was testing out LTE. I'm usually on WiFi and LTE is for on the road type of thing.


RE: Bait and switch
By Jeffk464 on 7/5/2011 10:53:30 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but as it stands I'm still on an unlimited plan through verizon.


RE: Bait and switch
By Fracture on 7/6/2011 10:06:35 AM , Rating: 3
Sad to hear. I just bought 12 packs for $2 each over the weekend of the 4th here in the midwest.

Fortunately, we also just got an alternative cable provider (WOW cable) that is keeping Comcast in check. If only someone were to do the same for the cell companies.

Who the hell cares about 4G speeds if you can only stream 1 movie a month thanks to caps?


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