Verizon will launch brand new, simpler data plans and kill subsidies as expected from August 13. Today, the company introduced a set of plans which will require customers to pay for their smartphones in monthly installments, or buy them outright, instead of having the cost subsidized.
Similar to the Simple Choice plans launched by T-Mobile a couple of years back, the data plans come in four tiers: small, medium, large and extra large. Those plans will get you buckets with 1GB, 3GB, 6GB or 12GB of data for $ 30, $ 45, $ 60 or $ 80 respectively. Every plan will include unlimited calling and texting, but customers will have to pay a flat-rate access fee for each device on the plan. Smartphones cost $ 20 each while tablets and hotspots cost $ 10 and other, smaller devices like smartwatches will cost $ 5 each. (No more varying access fee depending on plan cost.)
Since there’s no subsidized phone, customers aren’t tied to a specific length contract for the data plan. Subscribers will be free to change to a different plan whenever they feel like it. That’s information definitely worth knowing if you want to avoid the hefty $ 15 per GB overage fee Verizon will charge you once you hit your allowance limit.
Customers on More Everything plans will be able to switch to the new plans once they’re available on the market. Those still in contract, however, will still have to pay their current access fee until that contract is up before they can switch to the lower $ 20 fee for their smartphones.
It’s a shift in mentality for Verizon, with no more focus on individual lines or family plans per se. You can have one of the plans and use the bucket for just one smartphone, or you can add multiple smartphones and devices. The only difference in cost will be the additional access fees charged per connected device. For those worried about not having enough data, Verizon will offer higher data allowances for its highest users, but won’t advertise them publicly.