Verizon Wireless announced today that it would cut costs of its wireless plans by about 30% to 60% and also be offering its customers new prepaid plans for $5 more a month than monthly contract subscribers.
- Nationwide Unlimited Talk is now $69.99, down from $99.99
- Nationwide Unlimited Talk & Text plan is now $89.99, down from $119.99
- Nationwide Unlimited Talk Family SharePlan is now $119.99, down from $199.99
- Nationwide Unlimited Talk & Text Family SharePlan is now $149.99, down from $229.99
Analysts are suggesting that the reduced pricing is to make the wireless market more hostile to newcomers like Metro PCS, Leap Wireless or Boost mobile.
It's also to increase market share when the market nears its wireless saturation point -- i.e. everyone has a cell or smartphone who wants one. That means the only difference is going to be in stealing each other's business by pricing or better reception. Also, with the new 4G network rolling out soon, they want customers already wrapped in contracts.
Verizon also announced its 25 MB data package for 3G Multimedia phones, such as the Samsung Alias, LG Chocolate Touch or Motorola Entice, would be $9.99 a month. Data packages for 3G smartphones would still remain $29.99 a month. If you don't pick a plan with a regular phone, expect to still pay $1.99 per megabyte.
This is Verizon and the wireless industry's first foray into data-usage charges and will likely expand as the new 4G network does. That means while costs look low now, they will rise steadily based on the amount of bandwidth customers use.
If you aren't a texting, smartphone-using person, all this will be irrelevant -- but if you are, you will be paying significantly higher fees in the next few years.