Looks like Verizon is making some big changes to its tiered data pricing structures ahead of an all out LTE rollout. In what is surely to ruffle some folk's feathers, Verizon appears to be taking away the $15 150MB data plan. The interesting portion here however comes to light when you look at the $30 unlimited plan. Previously it applied to "smartphones" and now it applies to "feature phones and 3G smartphones" that of course, triggers our wallet alarms to the fact that we are likely to see "4G" plans come into effect at a higher rate.

Not that there was ever much doubt there but when you think about how Verizon is making this appear at the moment it looks as though a $30+ LTE / 4G plan is in the works. Would you all be willing to pay that for 4G? If not the feature phone plans went from $9.99 for 25MB to offering 75MB now. That's a bonus, right? [Engadget]

 
There are 58 comments

tim242 says:

Might be keeping my Evo afterall, even if Lte is coming to my area soon. I don't know when Wimax will be here. But, I don't know if Lte will be worth more than $30, unless it is $40 with no cap.

WhitePhone says:

Well, LTE might come sooner. Sprint is slowing down with the rollout because clear is broke. Also you will be most likely disappointed with the building penetration and range from wimax. LTE will be superb for coverage. It's worth it for me almost no matter the price.

Sprint has talked about keeping it's options open in regards to using LTE for 4G.Remember Sprint has already announced the impending death of Nextel(finally) so once that's done they'll have all that 800MHz spectrum to use for LTE.

cloud858rk says:

Nextel only has 7 MHz of spectrum, which I don't think is enough for LTE. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nextel_Communications#Radio_interference

Also, as a condition for the merger of Sprint and Nextel, Sprint has to have mobile broadband on the 2.5 GHz range, so I think they are stuck where they are. http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/Sprint_Nextel_%28S%29/Brs-ebs%20License%2...

rawvega says:

The spectrum is paired, so Sprint has will have 14MHz of spectrum from Nextel (7MHz up+7MHz down).

cloud858rk says:

"ESMR systems (primarily Nextel) will have exclusive use of 862-869 MHz range"

Maybe you mean it is split into 3.5 MHz halves? Because they only have 7 MHz in the 800 MHz band according to Wikipedia.

Edit: You're right. 817-824 MHz is for handsets and 862-869 MHz is for base stations.
http://www.800ta.org/_img/figures/img_channel_lrg.gif

ooops

Sprint has talked about keeping it's options open in regards to using LTE for 4G.Remember Sprint has already announced the impending death of Nextel(finally) so once that's done they'll have all that 800MHz spectrum to use for LTE.

kinster02 says:

Hahaha....this is so funny considering how many people complained about sprints $10 extra 4g fee and now the smart phone fee...nothing is free. I expect AT&T to follow suit.

cheburashka says:

The complaints were because sprint is making everyone (with capable phone) to pay it even though they may not be providing cervic because that city does notnot have 4g. In this case it is wrong of course and complains were just. You shouldnt have to pay for something you are not even offered. If 4g is available, then people should bite it becquse you knew what you signed up for.

chaloney says:

complaints were always stupid. what, you never travel outside of your home service area? they would have people going to -covered areas to sign up and then usingit in a covered area at home for $10 less. people choose what they knew was worse coverage because it was cheapand now are upset that iyts not as cheap. its no different than any other carrier. if you get an iphone on verizon, even if you live in the middle of nowhere with no coverage, you have to pay for a data plan you can't use. they are all out to charge as much as possible whether you use it or not

TXBlade#AC says:

I currently pay $29.99 for my data plan anyway ... I would have to see the coverage, how far from the city LTE reaches before handing off to EVDO Rev-A .. if the pricing is the same then I'm cool with that! but may not be worth it if it's higher since I live 15 miles outside San Antonio.

NYBKPRE says:

Ouchhhh I guess that Thunderbolt costs a lot

Chrisy says:

There's really no choice but to pay it! I'm getting the LTE Bionic so, I'll be stuck. Not happy about that. But not disable enough to pass of Bionic.

Nitros7 says:

Well thats throughly disappointing... Hope its not too much more or I may have some explaining to do when I come home with a 4G data plain in an aria that wont get 4G for 2 more yeas... Any one know if the 4G plain is going to be required for 4G phones or not? My guess is it will be mandatory.

drdagreenphd says:

my guess would be if you have a 4g capable phone, you are going to pay the 4g capable prices.

Ya im guessing it will be mandatory also, which really sucks b/c i live where there won't be 4g for awhile :( big red was amazing...now idk

trenen says:

Unless these companies have changed their policies - if the service is not available, the device is not sold at the retailers so you couldn't buy it anyway.

Spork1673 says:

im with sprint and im kinda pissed my city was on the launch list and was pushed back to some time next year LTE is set to launch in my city when they flip the switch ... what to do

silverfang77 says:

As long as LTE is fast.

Noble.Four says:

Definitely no surprise that 4G is going to be more expensive. I just hope the premium to pay for 4G is optional, considering a small number of areas are covered by it from the start. No reason to pay for it if you don't have 4G coverage and never go anywhere that does.

No surprises so far. Everyone who knows Verizon should have expected this. No way was LTE going to be included with the current 3G smartphone data plans.The foundation's been laid for LTE pricing and service,now it's time to see it. Be Gentle,Verizon

Ouch!

chris_1985 says:

Verizon sucks!, they are very conceited & there phones are crap. There to worried about how many stores they can build rather then building on the quality of there phones.

Noble.Four says:

In most cases, Verizon actually does have the best service, both in coverage and customer relations. They have the Incredible, the X, the Droid, Droid 2, etc. The phone lineup is pretty strong. And even if the phones Verizon sold were poor quality, it wouldn't be due to Verizon. They don't make the phones they sell.

chris_1985 says:

...But they don't stand behind the phones they sell. Every time im in vzw store there always customers in there because of problems with there phone... last time I was there I was there for 3 hrs trying to get my phone fixed that I only had for a week, They couldn't get it to work so they gave me a different phone had it for 3 hours it screwed up as well so back to the store I go and this time I tell them to stick it where the sun don't shine. If they sell something it reflects you as a business. Screw Verizon! If they had the best in customer relations then why so they score so low?... Fail.
Customer Service Report Card for 2010
Carriers In Store Web Support Phone Support Overall
AT&T C+ C+ B- C+
Sprint B+ C+ A- B
T-Mobile A- B+ B B+
Verizon C C- B+ C+

"the best in customer relations then why so they score so low?... Fail."
Your grammar equals a fail sir.

richdroidx says:

I just hope its 40 with unlimited data. With my job discount it will be 30 which is fine by me. Just make it optional so I can add it when my city gets lte

trevor83 says:

The $29.99 unlimited plan for Feature Phones has been out since October. Its not new. Only thing new about the above is the $10 deal.

ZiggyStar#AC says:

Lets do some algebra:

y1(data) = $2 * data + 0
y2(data > 75MB) = $10 (until the next tier)

When can exploitation arrive
y1=y2 => $2 * data =$10
data = 5 MB
so at 74 MB could they charge you $148

I understand at 5MB you probably are then allowed 70MB more for same price but would you be surprised if they snuck it in on the bill?

albertdc says:

The same is true for any texting plan or phone usage (minutes) plan. They will always charge you more if you are paying per MB, per text, or per minute than if you are paying for a plan which is giving you an allotment of usage for the month. The reason, of course, is that most people will get a plan slightly larger than they need to avoid the overage charges and therefore won't actually use everything they've paid for. So, yes, without a plan, if you use 74MB, you will get a $148 charge....

Telperion says:

It won't be optional.

zero neck says:

fuuuuuuuuuuu

bucky716 says:

A couple years ago we were all paying $44.99 for data plans on our slow Blackberry's (BD - Before Droid).. no one likes paying higher prices but in this case at least we'll be paying for something faster with 4G.

Really? I was paying $29.99 for my BIS plan BD.

socal says:

$30 for personal internet service on Blackberry.
$45 for enterprise service.

Data package of $29.99 or higher? Required for 3g smart phones

kinster02 says:

I said it once and i'll say it again, it "SUCKS" to be on Verizon.

trevor83 says:

Actually it sucks to be ignorant. Do some research before you make your assumptions based on message boards.

intheb0x says:

sorry the truth hurts....

What I don't understand,is where bloggers get all this extra info. the picture to me says what it says; and that's not 4G is gonna be more expensive. I can guarantee it's gonna be $5-10 more, but bloggers like Engadget and even AC make a lot of assumptions from meaningless pictures. And everyone knows when you ASS-U-ME what happens.

ThatShaneGuy says:

I can't afford the 29.99 data plan which is why, when I got my first smartphone twenty days ago, I decided to get the cheaper 15 dollar plan. Now that I paid 300 dollars for a phone, I learn that I effectively wasted my money beacuse in a short amount of time I will have to stop using it because I can't afford the full 29.99 monthly price. Thanks for making me look like a sucker Verizon! I guess you don't want those "fringe" people after all.

You do know that you can grandfather in and continue to pay $15 right?

ThatShaneGuy says:

No sir, but I suppose I do now. Thank you for your reply.

You're welcome.

scanline says:

Um they have to let you keep the 15 dollar plan till your contract runs out

drdagreenphd says:

actually, they usually let you keep whatever plan you have until you upgrade your phone or package.

tompro53 says:

Wimax is open LTE is closed so Verizon decides where to put it and how much to charge so if $40 for LTE and $10 extra on bill for Wimax give me Wimax.

You guys are all ignorant and uninformed. Don't talk if you don't know what your talking

Hand_O_Death says:

I could have upgraded in Dec, but I am waiting for the Bionic. I kind of figured that this was going to happen, not was hoping that VZW wouldn't pull this crap. Guess I will wait and see what VZW ends up doing and see if LTE actually gets coverage in my area. (WiiMax was not scheduled to be around me, but yet it is, maybe LTE will follow suit)

RAWRONSTYLE says:

The $15 data plan was just a promotional data plan, and yes those who have it will be grandfathered in just like any other plan or feature.

Raptor007 says:

Sprint's wimax is fully capable of being switched over to LTE with software upgrades, on the towers that is. For the phones, well you just have to buy all new hardware, how do you love them now. I will take LTE from the best carrier instead of wimax from the worst carrier.

intheb0x says:

lmao.

you have NO idea what your talking about.

troll.

I gotta say we are lucky enough to live in a great coverage area for Sprint. I get 6Mbps down and 1Mbps up. When we left Verizon, we were paying upwards of $225 for 2 lines with data. When we stopped by our local Sprint store, they offered us the same deal for $130 for 2 lines. Tough to pass that up.

Now, I do remember back to when VZW had two data plans - $44.99 for data or $59.99 to tether. Then they came out with the email & web for smartphones for $29.99...

The prices come and go, and when someone comes in a bit lower, they will lead the other carriers down the road to cheaper pricing.

Overall, i still say people need to go with who offers them the best service at a decent price. I use my Evo with 3G more than 4G simply due to the fact that unless I am loading a large flash file, the 3G speeds are more than fast enough.

evoss05 says:

Now I want to see the faces of those ppl that wanted to change to vzn because of the $10 from Sprint.

Who's your daddy now?????

davidnc says:

Why would you get a 4G phone tho if you couldnt use it? hahaha I'm sticking with what I got even tho I am in a city with 4g. There are no 4g phones I like on vzw yet ,and I like what I got :)

beirlilny says:

I don't know where to start...I am currently with VZW in Louisville,KY and I have checked the website containing information about LTE roll-outs, and my area isn't even scheduled to receive LTE until after 2012!
However, I am IN LOVE with Android and happen to love the marriage of HTC and Android, so naturally, I am pacing back and forth waiting to get the ThunderBolt. I already pay close to $25 for a data plan with my DINC, but cringe at the thought of having to pay for something the company doesn't even offer to me.
If you are in a "non-LTE" area, the LTE capability on the phone should be disabled so customers don't have to pay for a premium service they're not getting and the company doesn't have to worry about customers using something they are not paying for (God forbid).
I understand the "why-buy-a-4G-phone-without-being-able-to-use-4G" mentality, however 3G really is fast enough for some people. And and Android phone is soooooo much more than it's upload/download speeds!

Jude526 says:

the Thunderbolt will be usable on the 3G network for those who won't have 4G in their area.