Verizon has announced that they will begin offering a new $20/300MB data plan option for subscribers in DC, Maryland, and Virginia for any 3G or LTE smartphones.  The plan is promotional, and will only be offered from Aug. 18 through Sep. 30.  Nobody likes the idea of tiered data plans, but for many the biggest issue was that there was no option that saved money, even though the new plans were described as such.  It appears that Verizon is considering a low cost, low use option for those that need one.  Personally, I think it was held off just long enough to make me eat my own words, but I've been known to wear a tinfoil hat from time to time.  Well played, Verizon!

In all seriousness, it's a great idea to offer a cheaper plan for those transitioning from a feature phone to a smartphone, or those that use Wifi all day.  With this plan, users will have 300MB a month, and if they go over they automatically are billed for another 300MB at the same $20 rate.  While not for everybody, it's great to see another option.  The full press release is after the break.

Verizon Wireless Introduces New $20 Data Plan in Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia
Promotion allows customers to dabble with data for only $20 monthly access
LAUREL, Md., Aug. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Starting Thursday, existing Verizon Wireless customers inMaryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia will be able to add a 300 MB data plan to their smartphone or basic phone for just $20 monthly access when added to a voice plan.  All new and existing customers are eligible for the promotional data plan that will be available from Aug. 18 through Sept. 30.
Customers in Maryland, Washington, DC, Virginia and North Carolina can choose from an array of 3G- and 4G LTE-enabled devices that include top sellers on all mobile operating systems including BlackBerry, Android, iOS, Palm and Windows Mobile. The plans are not restricted to specific phones but are geared to customers whose data use falls within the 300 MB allowance. Customers who go over their monthly allowance will automatically receive an additional 300 MB for an additional $20 per month.
"This is a great introductory plan for customers who have been contemplating moving from a basic phone to a smartphone but were hesitant because of cost," said Mike Maiorana, regional president in Maryland,Washington, DC and Virginia.  "The $20 monthly access promotional plan is an opportunity for customers to learn the many benefits of having a smartphone with email and calendar functions, as well as Internet access and apps, at their fingertips."
Data Plans and Pricing
In addition to the new $20 monthly access data, customers can also choose from an array of existing data price plans that begin at $30 monthly access for 2GB.
Before purchasing any data plan, customers are encouraged to examine their data use by going to their My Verizon Account online or by estimating their monthly data use with the Data Usage Calculator, available at:
All data plans must be purchased in conjunction with a Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk or Talk and Text plan beginning at $39.99 monthly access.    
Data Management
Verizon Wireless offers a variety of free tools to monitor and manage data usage, including:
  • #DATA – Customers can check data usage by dialing #DATA and pressing send from Verizon Wireless phones to receive a free text message with the information.
  • My Verizon and My Verizon Mobile – Customers can monitor data usage directly from their handsets via My Verizon Mobile or online through My Verizon.
  • Data Usage Widget – Customers with data plans also can download a Data Usage Widget to most Android™ smartphones and BlackBerry® devices.  The widget tracks usage with a quick glance at the phone screen and with one click connects to the customer's My Verizon Mobile account.

For additional information on Verizon Wireless products and services, visit a Verizon Wireless Communications Store, call 1-800-2 JOIN IN or go to
About Verizon Wireless
Verizon Wireless operates the nation's fastest, most advanced 4G network and largest, most reliable 3G network. The company serves 106.3 million total wireless connections, including 89.7 million retail customers.  Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 83,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE, NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (LSE, NASDAQ: VOD).  For more information, visit To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at

Reader comments

Verizon announces new $20 data plan for DC, MD, and VA


Not enough for me on 3G and I'm about to upgrade to LTE fairly soon so ill pass...not to mention I still have unlimited data....

Same here. I normally use between 2-3GB/mo on 3G.

My wife could get by with this data plan though. I just checked our data use & right now we are 27 of 31 days into our cycle...I have used 1.899GB to her 163.31MB.

ok so 20 bucks for every 300 mb or 30 bucks for 2gb... seems to me this will go over like a ton of bricks!! I think that it should be more of 20 bucks for 300 mb if you go over then you get charged 30 bucks for the 2 gb. If you continue to go over the 300 mb for x number of months then your contract is automatically upgraded to the 2gb plan.

I just downloaded a rom to flash to my evo 3d the other day, I wasn't around any wifi hotspots so I had to use sprints network and the download was 395meg. In know I am not a basic user and more options are always good but these tiered plans pricing is just rediculous. We are not on 2g any more, we are on a lte revolution and the faster speeds we have the more we will inevitably consume. Anyone with an lte phone or even wimax can blow through 300meg in an hour easily.

Who in their right mind would do this? It's not enough data to even dabble. One would do better to just go with something like Virgin or another similar and forget Verizon's charges. Even if you had plenty of money and were willing to spend it, it's still a giant ripoff.

Looks like Verizon is trying to get ahead of Obama's proclamation that "poor people" have the right to smartphones with data. Just look at the locations, it's a preemptive strike.

This is a terrible deal. I was initially excited cuz hey I live in the DMV, but 300 mb for $20 isn't a good deal. And its TERRIBLE (all Caps) for LTE users.

Verizon is up to something.

How can you praise VZW for something that is only offered for a month and a half and in only two states and DC?

This is all well and good and intended for people who don't use any data except maybe for sending an occasional e-mail, but they still have yet to explain why I have to have a $40/month voice plan when I only use 1/10th of it at the most and why I have to pay an arm and a leg for data. I think the data plans should be 5/10/15, where $15 is the unlimited plan. And voice plans should not be required or they should at least give you a pay-for-what-you-actually-use plan. Me, I've used a whopping 24/450 minutes and the cycle ends in a week. If we use their rates, that's 39.99/450 = $0.088867 per minute. So I should only have to pay $2.1328 for my voice usage this cycle. But no, because of their stupidity, I have to pay $40.00 for something I don't even get 10% use out of. Why is data $30? There's no way it should cost around half of what FIOS costs, considering it's nowhere near half the speed IIRC.

I'm really hoping to get grandfathered in. Currently in an unlimited data plan, upgrading when the Bionic or Galaxy comes out. Did you have any issues?

Good luck limiting yourself to 300 MB once you have an LTE device. A netflix movie running 1.5 hours is about a gig of data. I guess you won't be doing that or watching music videos on Vevo, or downloading any apps since many are around 20 MB now, or receiving e-mails with .pdf attachments, or checking your facebook, or catching the Sunday football game on NFL Mobile, or streaming Slacker music and for that matter Pandora, or using Skype video chat to catch up with an old friend. Alright I'll stop there. I think you get the point. I can go on all day. The only reason they are doing that plan is to entice people to get a smart phone and once they do they'll realize 300 MB is like taking a sip of beer on a Friday night and then putting it down and going to bed.

20 dollars for 300 megabytes? Am i the only one that finds that absolutely ridiculous for a product with no marginal cost? 300 megabytes costs 20 dollars to download in 2011? It would be one thing if this was an emergency service, like phones on airplanes, but this is a contract customer that you're ripping off.
Also, the way they make their "Tiny or Gigantic data plan" pricing tiers is also shady. The whole reason behind this unfair pricing is that dumb customers don't know to be offended by what they're being charged.

I might care if it were accompanied by an announcement that they were turning on LTE in Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore. (Ok, the Shore is s stretch, but it would be faster than my Vz DSL)

I really hope Sprint never follows in their footsteps with this nonsense. That is absolutely insulting. Seriously, if this catches on, Verizon will be responsible for the demise of the smartphone. $20 should get you at least 10GB. I'll be fine with a stupid little prepaid dumbphone.

"Nobody likes the idea of tiered data plans, but for many the biggest issue was that there was no option that saved money, even though the new plans were described as such..." Hahahaha, that's because saving people money HAS NEVER BEEN the focus of these carriers. All they want is more money to stuff in their executives and investors pockets while doing nothing to improve service or expand service. Pathetic. Thankfully I'm on Sprint.

I stream talk radio and music streams all day at work. I use around 4 GB in a month. A friend has an ATT limited \data plan with his iPhone and is always concerned with going over the limit because it gets so expensive. I personally would never have anything other than unlimited data.

Just another reason why I hate Verizon. They act like there are such great options for their customers, but really you just get to choose what degree of screwed you are. T-Mobile's unlimited plans—even though they are throttled, who cares!—start at $10 for 250 MB. I think this lower option may have been done away with, but it's what I've got and I don't come close, since I'm on Wifi so much. However, even T-Mo's 2 GB data package is a better option at $20 than vzw's 'promotion.'

Just another reason why I will never go back to Verizon. Also another reason why AT&T should keep their dirty, grubby hands off of T-Mobile!

While this plan is a little weak (500 MB - 1 GB seems about right), there are people who may actually take advantage of the offer. Obviously, non-power users may be a target, but additionally there are those of us who use Wi-Fi most of the day.

Out of curiosity, I went back and looked at my usage and I have averaged 263 MB over Verizon's network and 915 MB over Wi-Fi during the past three months. This is with connecting to Wi-Fi at home and work and not even optimizing it by adding in my favorite hang-outs which have networks of their own. So, I could probably shift that usage even more.

I don't plan on giving up my grandfathered-in unlimited plan, but if they ever force me out of it, I may watch my cell usage and take a lower tier. I'm no Verizon apologist, but to dismiss the plan as bogus because you can't stream a Netflix movie over 3G for $10/month seems a bit much.

I'm grandfathered (for now) so it is not an issue personally, however I think this is how tiered data plans should be set:

$15-$20 for the lowest tier of 500mb to 1gb
$30 for 5gb enough for most users
$50 for 10gb for power users who want more data and can pay for it.

Going over on any of the lower tiers will simply bump to the next level for that individual month.

Has anyone actually tried to use this promotion? Everyone I contacted at Verizon seems to never have heard of this offer.

I agree with many of the comments here, but for me, I will probably never use more than 300mb per month, so it lets me get a smartphone (which requires the data plan) for a few bucks less per month. And if I get to the point where I need more, I can always upgrade to the $30 plan.