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Summary:

Amid the slew of exciting, new phone announcements (the HTC Hero turned Droid Eris!!!) Verizon Wireless said it would offer prepaid data plans, something we’ve been saying the industry should do for a while. The company is offering folks the chance to pick up data on […]

verizonlogoAmid the slew of exciting, new phone announcements (the HTC Hero turned Droid Eris!!!) Verizon Wireless said it would offer prepaid data plans, something we’ve been saying the industry should do for a while. The company is offering folks the chance to pick up data on an as-needed basis, instead of having to buy it as part of a monthly contract. That’s mighty fine of them, and should net the carrier some extra dollars, especially since the convenience charge for the prepaid data is pretty darn high.

But if there’s no expiration date on how long people can use the data, even at a huge markup, these plans might help get people hooked on mobile broadband by allowing them to start using data without an expensive monthly commitment. However, folks will need to purchase a $130 USB modem in order to access the cell network. I’m waiting to hear from Verizon to see if the data expires or if the daily, weekly and monthly titles are mere suggestions of how much someone should use in that time period. The plans are as follows:

  • Daily – $15 for 75 MB (20 cents a MB)
  • Weekly – $30 for 250 MB (12 cents a MB)
  • Monthly – $50 for 500 MB (10 cents a MB)

For comparison’s sake, I pay $60 a month for 5GB or 1.2 cents per MB, although the 250MB plan Verizon offered for $40 on contract seems like a loser when compared with getting the same amount for $30 on prepaid. My guess is these things expire.

  1. I’m actually near the end of my two-year contract and will be checking to see if my existing USB adapter, the USB 727, can be used with this pay-as-you-go deal. I can’t see why not — it’s a perfectly good EVDO Rev. A adapter I use on my Mac and Windows machines. If I can save the initial $130 outlay, I may go this route as I rely more on Wi-Fi these days. I only need 3G every now and again.

    1. as i travel a few times a year to rural wisconsin, i’ve been looking at these plans – no 3G available in much of wisconsin.

      but it looks like i’m out of luck. i checked with the local wireless carrier and they don’t offer any data plans; maybe because their networks are able to offer it.

      keep writing about this and someday i won’t have to go ‘internet-less!’

      ValleyDriver

  2. Oprah to Move Her Show to Her OWN Channel?: MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer November 6, 2009 | MediaBytes with Shelly Palmer Friday, November 6, 2009

    [...] Verizon is now offering customers the chance to purchase prepaid data plans. However, while users will be able to pay for a prepaid amount of data, they will be subject to a hefty convenience charge. Users looking to buy data seperately from their wireless plan will have the option of a daily ($15 for 75 mb), weekly ($30 for 250 mb) or monthly ($50 for 500 mb) plan. [...]

  3. AT&T Matches Verizon’s Prepaid Data Plans Monday, November 23, 2009

    [...] a prepaid mobile broadband product that exactly matches the pricing of similar plans launched earlier this month by Verizon Wireless. I was skeptical of Verizon’s offering because it’s pretty pricey, and I’m not [...]

  4. Virgin Mobile’s Mobile Broadband is still a much better deal. The only catch is that you have to purchase the modem outright – no subsidies.

  5. MetroPCS a Symptom of the Ailing Prepaid Space – GigaOM Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    [...] the rest of the field. And the prepaid guys don’t have much to look forward to this year as Verizon, Sprint and others try to increase their share of the audience, according to a recent note from Pali [...]

  6. $50 for 500Mb is a ripoff. Virgin Mobile is offering 5gb for $60, 10x as much for $10 more. The only advantage verizon has is that it has wider nationwide coverage. Virgin runs off Sprint’s coverage, so ymwv.

  7. the answer is right there – Daily, Weekly, and Monthly – the MB’s expire after a day, week, or month. Virgin Mobile’s rates are better, and last longer – but if your location doesn’t get good Virgin (i.e. Sprint) coverage, the Verizon plans are not bad.

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