Verizon spokesperson Brenda Raney has confirmed to the media that Verizon Wireless will move away from unlimited data plans to a usage-based plan lineup in July. This follows months of confirmation by other Verizon representatives that the carrier would also move to a usage-based model for monthly data access in order to ease the strain on its data network as a result of the rapid increase in smartphone usage. More details will be officially forthcoming. Read more for what the slate of plans will look like when they launch on July 7th and what to do to lock in unlimited data until the 6th.
The following slate of plans will be rolled out on July 7th for new customers and customers that upgrade without an unlimited data plan already on the account:
Data plans for smartphones and featurephones:
2GB â€“ $30/month
5GB â€“ $50/month
10GB â€“ $80/month
2GB of additional data for tethering is set at an additional cost of $20 per month along with the following rates for data access with tethering included.
Data plans w/ tethering:
4GB â€“ $50/month
7GB â€“ $70/month
12GB â€“ $100/month
The above rates are markedly more expensive per month than AT&Tâ€™s current DataPlus and DataPro options with the advantage that 3G and 4G access is being treated equally in the same plan. More specific information is expected within the next week ahead of the launch of the new plans.
How to Lock in Unlimited Data Access
Right now, the best way to lock in unlimited data access is to sign up right now as a new customer with a new smartphone and the current $30 rate for unlimited data. The data plan will be grandfathered in for the life of the agreement and can be renewed when a new agreement is signed. If you are close to upgrading right now, bite the bullet and upgrade early since the option to add unlimited data will disappear on the 7th. Those with unlimited data plans already will not see any changes, since the new rates are for new customers and upgrading customers without an unlimited data plan.
It is likely that Verizon may force those with unlimited data plans that want to upgrade to a new phone released after July 7th to switch data plans. While the possibility is remote at this point, there is precedent for the move, as a result of the increase in smartphone usage due to the popularity of the Droid series and the popularity of the iPhone. Should the carrier decide to force the issue with the next wave of phones being released this summer, the carrier risks angering those customers with unlimited data plans that are under an agreement.