In a press release today, Verizon Wireless has announced the availability of annual combined messaging and data inclusive plans that do not require the addition of a voice plan.
Previously, if a potential customer wanted to purchase a device primarily for messaging without the need for voice services the customer would have had to compromise by purchasing the cheapest voice plan and adding the desired messaging services, which would inflate the cost of service.
The new Nationwide Messaging plans were created to fill the growing demand for this type of service, and can be compared to similar options offered primarily in European countries where messaging and data are bundled separately from voice service and often much cheaper. The plans are also being primarily targeted to deaf and hard of hearing individuals who have no need for voice services and are dependent on messaging devices to communicate.
The plans are split according to device type and require a one or two year agreement, with standard phones starting at $34.99 per month for unlimited text, MMS, and instant messaging with data usage included. The per minute rate for voice services is $0.40 cents.
The next plan up is meant for smart devices and BlackBerry devices and begins at $54.99 per month with all of the aforementioned features included, with the exception of a much lower per minute rate of $0.25 cents and the capability to add Mobile Email access for an additional $5 a month on all non-BlackBerry smart devices and the following phones: LG VX8300, VX8350, VX8700, VX9400, Chocolate, Venus, enV, and Voyager; MOTOKRZR K1m, MOTORAZR V3c, MOTORAZR V3m, and MOTORIZR Z6tv; Samsung Alias (SCH-u740), Samsung SCH-u900, and SCH-u620, as well as the FlipShot by Samsung and the Gleam.
International text messages will still be charged at the $0.25 cent rate, while other forms of international messaging will be charged at their respective rates.