Not to be outdone by MVNOs, Verizon has rolled out a new $35 monthly prepaid plan targeted towards those users that do not use voice service very much but instead favor messaging to keep in touch.
The new plan features 500MB of data per month but cuts voice to 500 minutes a month and retains the unlimited messaging features of the recently realigned $50 plan. The new plan has officially launched today and is available on all non-smartphones.
This also makes the plan the first service plan from Verizon that dips below the $50 price point that still offers unlimited messaging that doesn’t require a catch of some sort, as Verizon is usually loathe to drop monthly pricing below a level that it considers high enough to encourage ARPU growth.
It should be noted that once the 500 minutes are used, Verizon is implementing the $0.25/minute overage rate on the plan instead of allowing another $35 airtime purchase for an extra 500 minutes. The plan will also default to the complete PAYGO rate table if the account is not reloaded with either the new $35 or current $50 refill and is as follows:
- $0.25/minute for voice
- $0.25/picture and video message plus data rates
- $0.99/day for Mobile Web access
With the proliferation of successful flat rate prepaid services within the past 24 months, the carrier is starting to feel the pressure to compete with MVNOs without risking getting left behind in the new race to the bottom. With the recent addition of Verizon BYOD to the prepaid service within the past year, this also makes the plan perfect for those with spare feature phones that are going unused, as Verizon is also adding a $10 bonus activation credit for activating a new boxed prepaid handset in order to take advantage of the $35 plan.
It should also be noted that new prepaid cards with the new adjusted rate will not be made immediately available for purchase and the plan must be added by either buying the airtime via debit/credit card or buying and combining separate airtime cards for the time being until the new cards are available for purchase within the next two months.