Verizon’s tiered plans aren’t as scary as we thought — at least for smartphones [OPINION]

October 19, 2010 | by Chris Smith


Verizon Wireless Logo

We knew that tiered data plans for Verizon Wireless was inevitable and for the past couple of months many VZW users (this one included) were scared of what Big Red was going to push on them. Today we get a peak of what Verizon will be changing their data plan pricing to coming October 28th and surprisingly it looks like smartphone users are pretty safe while tablet and netbook users feel the pain.

According to Engadget here are the upcoming 3G data pricing options:

  • 3G Feature Phones — $1.99 pay as you go or $15 monthly access for 150 or 150 MB ($15/150 MB overage) or $29.99 for unlimited monthly access.
  • 3G Smartphones Plans – $15 monthly access for 150 MB ($15/150 MB overage) or $29.99 for unlimited monthly access.
  • 3G Tablet Plans – $20 monthly access for 1 GB ($20/1 GB overage), $35 monthly access for 3 GB ($10/ 1 GB overage); $50 monthly access for 5 GB ($10/1 GB overage) and $80 for 10 GB ($10/1G overage).
  • 3G Netbooks/Notebooks Built-In Plans – $50 monthly access for 5 GB ($10/1 GB overage) or $80 monthly access for 10 GB ($10/1 GB overage).
  • MiFi 2200 and Five Spot Mobile – $50 monthly access for 5 GB ($10 /1 GB overage), $80 for 10 GB ($10/1G overage) or as part of a 90-day promotion $35 monthly access for 3 GB ($10/1 GB overage).

For most of us Android fanboys and girls that use smartphones, it looks like that we are going to be paying basically the same rate that we currently do; $29.99 for unlimited data. It’s also nice to see that VZW is offering a plan for $15 dollars a month, which honestly probably isn’t enough for most music streaming, file downloading, Android users out there. But it’s a nice gesture, right?

Now for the stuff that doesn’t make any sense at all: Tablet, Netbook, and MiFi pricing. How can you honestly say that “unlimited” data on a smartphone is any different from “unlimited” data on any other device? Verizon is definitely using some marketing here to try and convince consumers that using a tablet is a “premium” action and therefore consumers will have to pay more for it. That’s funny because the last time I checked, bits were still bits no matter what device I was accessing them from.

Many Android users have rooted their phones and tethered their phones for “free” using their “unlimited” data plans for laptops and other WiFi enabled devices making them no different than a MiFi. In fact, an Android user doesn’t even have to root their phone to get tethering access; they can simply use PDANet in the Market. To suggest that these other devices are different from smartphones shows that Verizon is trying to pull the wool over their customer’s eyes. And by the way, these prices are for 3G data access. When 4G hits the market, expect to be charged even more.

It looks like if you are going to be buying some of the “latest and greatest” devices, you will be paying the early adopter price in data access fees.

Source [Engadget]