Verizon Wireless has just begun offering its customers the option to sign up for a less expensive wireless service plan if they don't do much web surfing or streaming video on their smartphone.
This carrier requires its customers who use a high-end phone with 3G access to have a service plan that includes wireless data. Previously, the only option was an unlimited data plan that costs $30 a month.
Under a new pricing policy that goes into effect today, subscribers have the option to drop down to a plan that gets them 150 MB of data transfers per month for $15. Those who run over this amount will have to pay an additional $15 for each 150 MB block they use.
An allowance of 150 MB per month is enough to access about 125 average web pages a day.
The $30 unlimited data plan is still available, and it is up to current customers to decide if they want to switch to the cheaper plan.
Up Against the Competition
Verizon's new tiered data structure benefits those who don't transfer much data over cellular-wireless networks, while not penalizing those who use more.
It stands in contrast to a plan AT&T put in place earlier this year, in which this carrier dropped its unlimited data plan for new customers. Instead, AT&T offers customers two choices: $25 a month for 2 GB of data ($10 extra for each additional 1 GB) or $15 for 200 MB ($15 extra for each additional 200 MB).
The smaller rivals Sprint and T-Mobile still have unlimited data plans.
However, customers should be aware that plans that carriers call "unlimited" aren't in fact unlimited. They are generally capped at 5 GB per month, though that doesn't always mean the user is cut off at that amount. T-Mobile, for example, will reduce the speed at which the device can exchange data after the 5 GB mark is reached.
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