Verizon starts offering bigger data buckets on its prepaid smartphone plans

Verizon Wireless(s vz)(s vod) figures if it’s a bit more generous with data spigot it can reel in more prepaid subscribers looking to get a smartphone but not get tied down by a contract. This week it boosted the data caps on its prepaid smartphone plans, making them available to existing customers.

Its $60 and $70 prepaid plans still aren’t exactly cheap, but you get a lot more data value out of them. The $60 plan now includes 2 GB of data (up from 500 MB), while the $70 plan includes 4 GB (up from 2 GB). Both includes unlimited talk and text, but as with the previous plans prepaid customers don’t get access to the LTE network. If you want a 4G connection, you’ll have to sign a contract.

I’ve noted before that Verizon is getting a lot more aggressive in the prepaid space – a market it has historically ignored. But Verizon has always been all over the premium smartphone subscriber, and increasingly those customers are moving away from contract plans to prepaid services. In the first quarter, nearly one-third of all smartphones activated landed on a prepaid plan, according to The NPD Group.

While the bigger data buckets are only available to current prepaid customers, Verizon said it will extend them to new customers on June 6.