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Summary:

Verizon Wireless is once again overhauling its mobile data plans. And if you’re planning to purchase a new mid-range feature phone from the nation’s largest carrier, it’s going to cost you. The Boy Genius Report has turned up an internal slide deck outlining new data plans […]

verizonwirelessstoreVerizon Wireless is once again overhauling its mobile data plans. And if you’re planning to purchase a new mid-range feature phone from the nation’s largest carrier, it’s going to cost you.

The Boy Genius Report has turned up an internal slide deck outlining new data plans that will launch next week and include the creation of a new device class of “Enhanced Multimedia Phones.” It appears the carrier will scrap its $15-a-month, unlimited-data Vcast Vpak for feature phones (current subscribers will be grandfathered), replacing it with a $10-a-month plan that will provide unlimited videos but require an additional $10 or $20 package for additional mobile web services. (Customers who forgo the data package can pay $1.99 per MB.)

Meanwhile, customers who pick up an “Enhanced Multimedia Phone” — any new handset that features an HTML browser, 3G and a QWERTY keypad — will be required to purchase a data plan of $10 for 25MB or $20 for 75MB.The Samsung Rogue will be the first handset to fall under the new category.

The move underscores what appears to be an increasing trend among U.S. carriers: As mid-range handsets are being squeezed from both ends of the spectrum, mid-range users are feeling the pinch. While Verizon continues to offer a $60, 5 GB data plan, customers who shy away from that monthly commitment are being faced with onerous monthly charges and brutal overage charges.

And don’t expect the trend to ease up any time soon — at least not until we begin to see the rollout of 4G networks. Verizon saw its mobile data revenue rise 41 percent from 2007 to 2008, and its mobile data revenue in the second quarter of 2009 skyrocketed more than 50 percent over the year-ago period. Despite the sluggish economy, there seems to be little pushback from consumers when it comes to paying for wireless data services. Except for those — like Stacey — who see the value in the new prepaid mobile data plans.

  1. I really find comments like “And don’t expect the trend to ease up any time soon” conveys that consumers have no say and that its fruitless to complain or change vendors. Let’s stop giving the upper hand to the corporation instead of encouraging customers to be in the drivers seat. If we would all stand up for ourselves maybe these guys would stop qouging. If you look at the way these telcom companies price their services they all track one another and offer just about he same terms. Verizon is running this one up the flag pole and if it sticks, they all do the same thing. While we may be free to move to another carrier, there are so many gottchas – we need a new attitude about how we handle telecoms.

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  2. I barely use my phone for data, just to check my yahoo on my En-V. I’m sorry, I don’t need to watch youtube clips on demand, I’ll just use a laptop. There are such people as those who have no need for a smartphone or semismart phone. I’ll buy a stupid phone on a pay as you go plan if they are going to just start forcing me to pay more for the little data I use.

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  3. this all shows how important it is for us to develop the same kind of ‘prepaid culture’ found in much of the rest of the world here in the USA. we tend to pay far more for cell service here than other countries of similar wealth; this is largely linked to our willingness to fall for the two yeaqr contract lockinns that have been rejected by masses of users in other countries.

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  4. Yep, I hate AT&T but compared to Verizon their data plans are almost reasonable (the the original iphone plan of 20$ for unlimited including a bunch of SMS was the only fair plan to come out in years). It was exactly this kind of bullshit over data pricing that landed iphone on ATT instead of verizon.

    Sprint by contrast is pretty good compared to either, to bad they don’t have the iphone :p (pre is just not there hardware wise)

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  5. I always love unlimited package.But In my point of view unlimited packages are very costly.I never used my cell for data but in future I need data services.As expected that verizon will launch 4G in 2010 and I am waiting for 2010..

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  6. Yep this is some bullshit, I have wanted to get a new cell phone for like 2 years now because my shitty Env2 broke AGAIN and I have use tape to keep it together but I can’t afford another $100 a year that I won’t use!
    I have no need to check my email, watch YouTube videos, shop online, etc. From my cellphone. That’s why they make computers. I don’t have a data plan now and I don’t want one ever. I’ve been a verizon customer for over 5 years and they shouldn’t be pulling this shit with these data plans. I’m just going to have to switch my provider to AT&T if they don’t let me reduce my calling minutes(who the hell calls people anymore???) so I can afford this fucked up data plan crap.
    -Loyal, pissed off verizon customer

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