Wireless Wars: Verizon Slashes Prices After Pressure From Rivals
By Julianne Pepitone
Forget early phone upgrades and other incentives; the wireless war is now all about low prices. Under pressure from rivals, Verizon unveiled a new plan that cuts prices and increases data limits for some customers.
The new "More Everything" plans will replace Verizon's current "Share Everything" offerings, so current customers will automatically be switched to the new plans and rates.
Lower rates: Verizon's plan comparison webpage now includes the new details. Customers will pay $40 per month to share 1 gigabyte (GB) of data, twice the previous cap of 500 megabytes (MB); $50 for 2 GB, which is also double the previous limit; and $60 for 3 GB, up from 2 GB.
It's perhaps Verizon's biggest move in an industry-wide fight that broke out last year, when T-Mobile upended the traditional wireless model by eliminating contracts in what it calls an “uncarrier” approach.
The other carriers began fighting back by offering incentives like early device upgrades and termination-fee reimbursements — but now the focus has turned to price. Just last week, AT&T slashed prices on its own family plans.
Verizon's new "More Everything" program adds new low-cost plans for people who don't use much data: $15 a month for 250 MB of data, and $30 for 500MB. (Heavy-use plans that include 4 GB or more data remain the same price as before, starting at $70 a month up to $375 for a whopping 50 GB.)
International messaging and cloud storage: Extra bonuses on the "More Everything" plans include unlimited international messaging — previously, it was only domestic — and up to 25 GB of cloud storage for users to upload photos, contacts or anything else they want to store remotely.
Steeper discounts for Edge customers: Verizon also included an extra incentive for customers on its early-upgrade "Edge" plans, in which they pay the full retail price of their phones split into monthly payments in exchange for lower service bills.
Edge customers get a further price cut of $10 off monthly plans of up to 8 GB, and $20 off monthly smartphone access on plans of 10 GB and higher.
First published February 13th 2014, 8:50 am