updated 10:35 pm EST, Sun February 17, 2008
Verizon Unlimited Soon
Verizon hopes to fight AT&T soon with genuinely unlimited calling and data plans, according to multiple reports. Beginning as early as Tuesday, the carrier is allegedly poised to offer several tiers that offer increasing amounts of unlimited service. A comparatively basic plan will start at $100 per month for unlimited calling in the US, without roaming charges; $120, $140, $150, and $170 plans will add messaging, V CAST video and VZ Navigator, e-mail, and ultimately international data to the plan. Family plans should also be available that maintain similar rates for each additional line.
The switch should also make at least on-device data a staple of service and eliminate the often-cited 5GB data cap on most data use. While no received tips have clarified whether the plans will extend to include tethering -- the act of using a phone as a data modem for a computer -- the received tips point to unrestricted data use through Verizon's portal application when supported by any given device.
If supported by a Tuesday announcement, the shift will mark a significant turnaround for Verizon, which until recently was largely considered one of the most restrictive carriers in the US with tight control of data, device choices, and software. The provider announced in the fall that it would allow unofficial applications and devices on its network later this year, doing so in part as a competitive move against AT&T but also to avoid pressure from regulators, who have recently investigated the frequent practices of locking wireless subscribers into long-term contracts and using specific hardware.
The current leak suggests that customers would be able to apply the unlimited services to both one- and two-year plans as well as switch to the new approach without extending any existing agreements.