Verizon Offers Prepaid Data Plans With a Pretty Big Catch

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.


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