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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 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.


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