Verizon today announced some refreshed rate plans in an attempt to simplify its offerings. The new base plans come in Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large sizes, all of which offer unlimited talk and text. The difference between them is how much data they offer. The Small plan comes with 1GB and is $30 per month, the Medium includes 3GB and is $45 per month, the Large offers 6GB for $60 per month, and the X-Large comes with 12GB for $80 per month. There’s also an overage fee of $15 per gigabyte if you use up your allotment.
Once you’ve selected a plan, you’ll need to pony up a monthly access fee for each device on that plan. Smartphones will cost $20 each, tablets and dongles are $10 each, and wearables are $5 apiece. Then you’ll also add on any monthly payments for the smartphone itself. Speaking of device payments, Verizon is dropping the “Verizon Edge” branding that it previously used for its device payment system.
If you’re a current Verizon customer, you won’t have to switch away from your current plan to one of these new ones. However, when you do switch to the new plans, you’ll have to buy your phone using monthly payments because there will no longer be a contract option.
These new plans will launch on August 13. The goal is to offer a plan selection that’s easier to understand than Verizon’s current More Everything plan lineup, which offers data packages that range from 500MB to 100GB. The new plans offer considerably fewer options for data packs, which does mean that customers will no longer be bombarded with options when selecting a new plan.
The news that Verizon is killing off two-year contracts is a big deal, too. The US wireless system has been all about two-year contracts for years now, and a lot of consumers are used to it. Now a lot of Verizon customers will be forced to make monthly payments on their phone the next time that they upgrade, which will help them to better understand the true cost of a phone. That said, the change will probably come as a surprise to some folks, and Verizon will likely have to do some explaining about how its new plans work, despite the fact that their goal is to make things simpler.
It’s definitely interesting to see the industry change from being all about contracts and subsidies to focusing more and more on device payments. T-Mobile no longer deals in contracts, AT&T and Sprint still offer contracts online but place more focus on their payment plans, and now Verizon is ditching contracts totally as well. What do you think of Verizon’s new rate plans?