Verizon Wireless is dropping nearly all of its phone plans in favor of pricing schemes that encourage consumers to connect their non-phone devices, like tablets and PCs, to Verizon’s network.
The new plans will become available on June 28, and reflect Verizon’s desire to keep growing now that nearly every American already has a phone. The plans let subscribers share a monthly data allowance over up to 10 devices.
Verizon’s new “Share Everything” plans, announced Tuesday, include unlimited phone calls and texting, and will start at $90 per month for one smartphone and 1 gigabyte of data. If used only with a smartphone, “Share Everything” prices are lower than for current plans with unlimited calling and texting, but higher than plans with limited calling and texting.
With “Share Everything,” adding a tablet to a plan will cost $10 per month. Adding a USB data stick for a laptop will cost $20.
Under the new plans customers will still have to keep a close eye on data consumption. Verizon will allow subscribers to adjust their data allowance from month to month, but if they go over their monthly allotment, that will cost $15 per gigabyte.
The data allowances start at $50 per month for 1 gigabyte. That’s enough for prudent two-smartphone users who use Wi-Fi a lot, but Verizon recommends getting 2 gigabytes for $60. After that, each additional 2 gigabytes cost an extra $10 per month.
Verizon will also stop charging extra for letting devices act as “mobile Wi-Fi hotspots.” That means subscribers who have a recent smartphone could use it to connect a tablet to the Internet, without paying the extra $10 per month for a tablet.
Verizon has not revealed the details or pricing.
Current Verizon customers will be able to switch to the new plans or keep their old ones, with one exception. Those who have unlimited-data plans for their smartphones won’t be able to move those to new phones, unless they pay the full, unsubsidized price for those phones. (For example, an iPhone 4S that costs $200 with a two-year contract costs $650 unsubsidized, with no contract.)