Verizon Wireless has announced a significant shake-up to its plans to simplify and reduce prices for customers. The change will happen next week, on Thursday 13 August to be precise. Verizon believes that its new plan will appeal to the vast majority of customers: all plans include unlimited voice and testing plus the ability to share data with up to ten devices. The entry-level smartphone plan, called Small, costs $30 a month and includes 1 GB of data, which is the same price as before. The next plan, Medium gives customers 3 GB for $45 a month, which is down from $50. The Large plan comes with 6 GB of data for $60, a reduction from $70. X-Large costs $80 and comes with 12 GB of data and the closest current offer is Verizon's promotional deal, giving customers 10 GB of data for $80 a month. With the exception of the Small plan, these are meaningful discounts for customers. To further simplify things, Verizon is removing the data buckets from the More Everything shared data plans (2 GB for $40 a month, and 4 GB for $60) to simplify things: customers needing more than 12 GB of data should talk to their Verizon representative for details of higher plans.
There will be a featurephone plan for $25 that will come with 700 minutes and unlimited testing, but Verizon is expecting the majority of sales to be the unlimited minute smartphone plans. Verizon is also reducing the costs for adding devices to plans – from the 13 August, every smartphone line costs $20 a month, which is half price. It's $15 or $25 if the device is from Verizon's Edge equipment installation plan, although the name "Edge" is being dropped and being replaced by the catchy "device payment option." The Jetpack mobile hotspots are also being halved in price, the same as adding a tablet at $10 a month. Connected wearables will be $5 a month.
Verizon's Vice President of Pricing and Promotions, Rob Miller, explained that the carrier wishes to simplify the charging structure following feedback from its customers, sales representatives plus competitors. It has certainly delivered: the four data buckets will cover the majority of customers without introducing too many choices. One minor complication is that existing customers wanting to move to the new plans can do so but their device line charge remains at $40 a month until their two-year plans are finished, when the price will drop to $20 a month. However, these two-year plans are being phased out: going forwards, customers will need to buy a device outright or pay for one using the equipment installation plan. For many customers, this will simply represent a different way of buying a device rather than a seismic shift.