Verizon Wireless To End Unlimited Data Plans For Smartphones

verizonVerizon Wireless plans to scrap its unlimited data plan for new smartphone subscribers beginning Thursday and replace it with monthly packages that range from $30 to $80, as carriers adapt their pricing plans to subscribers’s increased use of the wireless Web.

The company, jointly owned by Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) and Vodafone Group Plc (VOD), was one of the few remaining carriers to offer an unlimited plan, giving subscribers the ability to use as much data as they wanted for $29.99 a month.

Wireless companies have been moving away from unlimited plans as users spend more time browsing the Internet and downloading media from their smartphones. Demand for data is expected to rise as features such as 4G become more common.

“This change sets the stage for all the promise of 4G … [and] when much of the computing we do will be wireless,” Verizon Wireless spokeswoman Brenda Raney said. “It’s preparing for the future and setting the stage where people will pay for what they use.”

Starting Thursday, Verizon Wireless will offer two gigabytes of data for $30, five gigabytes for $50 and 10 gigabytes for $80, Raney said. Customers will pay $10 for each additional gigabyte they use beyond their plan.

Verizon Wireless plans to give customers usage alerts when they cross certain thresholds, such as 50% of plan allowance. Raney noted 95% of Verizon Wireless subscribers use less than two gigabytes of data a month, which equates to about 1,000 emails or 20 hours of streaming video.

“Those customers who are the heavy data users are going to pay for what they use,” she said. Raney added that Verizon Wireless is considering offering shared family plans for data.

Verizon Wireless customers already subscribing to the unlimited plan will retain their current pricing even when upgrading to another smartphone.

“If you are an existing customer with a smartphone and you walk in on July 8 and want a brand new smartphone, then you get to keep your unlimited data plan,” Raney said. More in Wall Street Journal.

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  1. LOL #2 people just need assurance sometimes change is hard, I am sure #1 was able to read clear as day in the last paragraph that the plan would not change.

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