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Verizon Announces Wireless Pricing Changes
As we leaked to you earlier this week...
by Karl Bode 10:18AM Friday Jan 15 2010
Though news of the changes already leaked here and elsewhere earlier this week, Verizon Wireless held a conference call this morning to discuss a number of wireless pricing changes that will be coming January 18. The press release highlights all of the changes, including new Nationwide Unlimited Talk plan that allows customers to call anyone in the United States for $69.99 a month, or Verizon's new Nationwide Unlimited Talk & Text plan to call and send text, picture and video messages to anyone in the country for $89.99 a month.

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In their conference call, Verizon Wireless CEO Lowell McAdam also said the company was also streamlining their device lineup from about eighty phones, to around fifty -- with that number possibly being reduced further. As we discussed earlier this week, phones are now classified in three categories ("simple feature," "3G Multimedia," and "3G smartphone"). All phones will now require some kind of data plan.

As for data plans, there's a choice of three: pay per byte ($1.99 per additional MB), $9.99 for 25MB of usage (20 cents per additional MB), or $29.99 for unlimited (usually that means a 5GB cap in Verizon parlance) 3G access. Which phone you have dictates what plan you can use. Simple feature phones can use any of the three, 3G Multimedia phones must now at least sign up for the $9.99 plan but can upgrade to the $29.99 plan. Smartphone users must use Verizon's pricier smartphone plans.

The biggest news of course is that Verizon's 25 megabyte for $9.99 per month plan (the one we're sure Verizon makes the most money from) is now mandatory for all of Verizon's "3G Multimedia" phones. It was previously restricted to the LG enV TOUCH and the Samsung Rogue. If you think 25 megabytes is a bit paltry for 2010, you'd be right. Given the average data user is going to use more than 25 megabytes, the new tier structure is designed to nudge all "3G Multimedia" phone customers toward that $30 price point.

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