The great news
As Verizon moves folks onto LTE this is going to free up their 3G/EvDo networks for wholesale, and hence a new dirth of prepaid options on a great network, and the same can be said for the other guys.
These evacuated 3G networks are going to host a prepaid renaissance because there will be so much excess capacity--yes I mean excess.
My current iphone 4s runs on their 3G network and the speed while not blistering is stable, and that is a big deal. I can't remember the last time an audio stream or media page (youtube can suck) had an issue.
The biggest problem Verizon has is that no phones coming out anymore are 3G, so they are going to need to come up with a solution there. Right now PPC people have to jump through hoops to get an LTE phone working.
I hear the Straightalk iphone runs on VZ evdo network, so that would be a great example of Verizon starting to monetize their legacy network.
If people want to pay a premium for LTE and contracts, I'm all for it. You can see people are happy--ratings went up. They just subsidize my wholesale rates for prepaid.
Mrs is on ST, and it's $46 all in (tax included) and she has "unlimited" everything, and this is on fauxG which can get to 7-8 Mbps in my hood. My other family members use for mild internet and mostly talk/text and they are all on PPC which is awesome and the price is right (no more than $12/month).
So to say there is no choice or rates are high, OK. But you DONT have to pay them.
Agreed, their are much better options, byod on Solavei is my personal favorite. It's just that most americans don't consider it, I think partially because we have never had cell phones that were inter-operable between networks to a great extent, some t-mobile and at&t phones can be swapped, but other than that not much.
Since we aren't used to buying phones outright, we're lulled into the greedy hands of the big 4, who take care of all of those issues for us, in exchange for charging us 50 - 100% more than we'd pay for prepaid.
Some Americans are starting to wake up, prepaid is getting more popular.