By Jared Newman | Friday, October 29, 2010 at 2:42 pm
Verizon Wireless now offers tiered pricing for smartphone data, adding a 150 MB for $15 per month option beneath it’s existing $30 per month unlimited package.
The cheaper plan is a terrible value in terms of price per megabyte, but it’s not unwelcome. I know people who’ve opted for AT&T’s 200 MB for $15 per month package, on the logic that they consume most of their data on home Wi-Fi networks, but still wanted smartphones because, well, they’re cool.
The bigger news here is that Verizon didn’t touch its unlimited plan. AT&T, in the other hand, dropped the limit of it’s most expensive offering to 2 GB per month, and shaved the cost from $30 to $25.
For now, AT&T has the better deal for all but a sliver of smartphone users — the company claims that only 2 percent of its customers use more than 2 GB of data every month — but with a caveat: Smartphone data use is bound to grow, especially as the next generation of wireless networks comes online. Nowhere does AT&T promise that your monthly data allotment will grow accordingly. I’m having premonitions of steep overage charges for all.
Meanwhile, Verizon is sticking with unlimited data, and that’s pretty important coming from the largest wireless carrier in the United States. Of course, nowhere does Verizon promise that it won’t relent and replace the unlimited plan with capped data tiers in a few months (or years). But at the moment, the idea of unlimited wireless data seems safe from peril.