In an effort to gradually tailor internet connectivity to new smartphone users, Verizon’s putting out data plans for as low as $20 per month in five states: Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland and North Carolina. The plan provides 300 MB worth of data monthly available to any smartphone in Verizon’s catalog–including 4G phones. This is a complementary offering to your Verizon Wireless Nationwide Talk or Talk and Text Plan starting $39.99 per month. All new and existing smartphone users are eligible for the promo running from August 8 through September 30.
The amount is reasonable enough for user who refuse to pay an added $30 because they don’t consume that much data in the first place, common way of thinking among new smartphone users. The downside, however, is that the amount can grow by $20 more once the users consumes another 300 MB of data.
“This is a great introductory plan for customers who have been contemplating moving from a basic phone to a smartphone but were hesitant because of cost,” said Mike Maiorana, regional president in Maryland, Washington, DC and Virginia. “The $20 monthly access promotional plan is an opportunity for customers to learn the many benefits of having a smartphone with email and calendar functions, as well as Internet access and apps, at their fingertips.”
Customers can choose a phone from an assortment of 3G and 4G LTE-enabled devices; Blackberry, Android, iOS, Palm and Windows Mobile. Should the consumer think his consumption goes beyond 300 MB, he can opt for 2GB plan for $30 a month.
Verizon’s amont the latest to modify its data plans, ridding of unlimited options all together. This latest offering is part of a grander scheme to tier data offerings, especially for new users, leveraging 4G capabilities as a prime marketing lure for those seeking new devices with more network support. Rival AT&T has also gotten rid of unlimited data plans, leaving customers with only one option for avoiding overcharges–Sprint. As mobile carriers see opportunities in expounding consumer data use, and recognize the demand that will grow along side this, it’s no surprise that Verizon’s offering even more varied price points around data usage.
On the other side of the coin, Verizon is in a pinch. They lost an infringement lawsuit filed by Active Video against them, and ended up cashing out $155 million for the damages. They’re also facing massive strikes from Virginian employees– from field technicians to call center agents rallying and picketing on the streets.
Meanwhile, AT&T is heavily focusing on LTE expansion before they dwell into compatible phones. It would be the center of their dealings over the next few months. They are expecting to launch 4G networks in cities -Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and 10 more market by the end of 2011. The company’s also acquiring T-Mobile and has already cashed out $5 billion worth of bonds in order to pay T-Mobile’s maturing debt.