As expected based on speculation earlier this week, Verizon Wireless formally announced changes to their wireless calling plans.
The new calling plans, which take effect on January 18th, will be renamed "Nationwide Talk" and "Nationwide Talk and Text," and unlimited options will be available for $69.99 and $89.99, respectively. Family options will be available as well, with unlimited talk starting at $119.99 and unlimited talk and text starting at $149.99 (both including two lines). Additional lines will cost $49.99.
Prepaid plans will be revised as well, with a $5 price increase across the board over postpaid options. The unlimited talk plan will be available for $74.99, while the unlimited talk and text will be $94.99. 450 and 900 minute options will be available as well.
In addition to the LG enV Touch and the Samsung Rogue (which were billed as "multimedia phones" last year), data packages will now be required on the LG Chocolate Touch, LG enV3, LG VX8360, Motorola Entice W766, Nokia 7705 Twist, and Samsung Alias 2. Options include a 25 MB data plan for $9.99 monthly, or an unlimited option for $29.99 monthly.
Existing Verizon Wireless customers will not be affected by the changes, unless they choose to move to one of the new "Nationwide" plans. While the unlimited plans have been lowered to a reasonable price (are you listening, AT&T?), the concept of data requirements on the phones listed above is a bit frustrating, to say the least. For those that want one (or more) of the 3G devices above, make sure to buy before Monday in order to avoid the data requirement.