Verizon's tiered data plans will save money

Verizon's tiered data plans for smartphones keep the $29.99 unlimited data package, lower some prices, and raise data caps.

Verizon will move to tiered data pricing Oct. 28, but the changes will probably not affect most subscribers. Currently, Verizon charges $29.99 a month for an unlimited data plan that's required for all its smartphones, and that price won't change at the end of the month.

The only difference is that Verizon is raising its lowest data allowance from 25MB to 150MB and raising the price from $9.99 to $15, with a 10 cent per MB overage fee. That's better than the previous 20 cents per MB overage fee. Verizon will still keep its $1.99 per MB pay-as-you-go offering for users of feature phones.

Verizon, unlike AT&T, has not rid itself of unlimited data plans for smartphones. While unlimited data plans don't exist in the mobile broadband segment, Verizon has at least adjusted the caps on its mobile broadband prices, adding different price points and lowering the price for 5GB per month users by $10. If you're a subscriber, I can't think why anyone would stay in the plan and not opt for a newer, cheaper plan destined to save you $120 a year.

Right now, Verizon's mobile broadband service for MiFi, notebooks, and netbooks is capped at 5GB monthly for $59.99. The new prices will actually be lower -- $50 for 5GB -- and Verizon will raise the cap to 10GB per month for $80.

Verizon is also planning on promotions, including a $35 version at 3GB per month. (There is a $10 per GB overage.) The MiFi-enabled iPad will also use the same prices, but Verizon has added another special tier for the device at $20 for 1 GB per month. All prices are based on a 3G network.

The savings for those with multiple tablets or netbooks becomes much more obvious. If a company has 10 tablets, that would be a savings of $100 a month. Or if someone has the option of choosing new plans, the IT manager could pick a $35 plan of 3GB per month instead of the old 5GB monthly plan, saving $250 a month, or $3,000 from the year before.

For those looking at buying iPads, realize that rates for AT&T are simply $15 for 200MB per month, or $25 for 2GB per month. Anything above that rate will include $10 for each GB of overage, which could mean paying much more per month for a high-volume user.V erizon's new tiered prices offers more plans to fit individual needs.

So while many may complain about tiered data plans, the raw truth is that at least in Verizon's case, the new plans will likely save businesses and consumers money.

Reach or follow Barbara E. Hernandez on Twitter: @bhern.

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Barbara E. Hernandez

PC World (US online)
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