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Verizon Wireless

Sunday, October 31, 2004; Page F08

Phone: 800-256-4646 ; Web: www.verizonwireless.com ; Type: Digital (CDMA) with analog backup

SERVICE PLANS:

_____Headlines_____
When Cell Phones Go Bad
How to Make the Right Call on Service
_____Service Details_____
Cingular Wireless
Nextel
Sprint PCS
T-Mobile
Verizon Wireless
_____Direct Comparisons_____
'Real World' Costs
Fine Print
Messaging and Web Options
Reviewer's Notes
_____About This Guide_____
For explanations of what plans we list, how the coverage maps were created, and what the "real world cost" categories mean, click here.
_____Local Tech News_____
Independence Numbers Fall (The Washington Post, Dec 7, 2004)
DirecTV to Sell Half of Hughes Network Systems to SkyTerra (The Washington Post, Dec 7, 2004)
Recruiter Puts Its Money Where Its Workers Are (The Washington Post, Dec 6, 2004)
More Headlines
Tech Events Calendar

"DigitalChoice"
$39.99: 400 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 45 cents/minute.
$59.99: 700 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 40 cents/minute.
Long-distance adds 20 cents/minute. No roaming charges in Virginia, Maryland (excluding western half), Delaware and northeast tip of North Carolina; elsewhere, add 69 cents/minute. Unlimited calling to other Verizon Wireless phones in home rate area.

"America's Choice"
$39.99: 400 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 45 cents/minute.
$59.99: 800 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 40 cents/minute.
No roaming or long-distance charges on Verizon Wireless network; elsewhere, add 69 cents/minute. Unlimited calling to other Verizon Wireless phones on Verizon network.

"Digital Choice Family Share"
$59.99: 400 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 45 cents/minute extra
$79.99: 700 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 40 cents/minute extra (45 cents/minute on secondary phones)
Plans cover two phones; additional phones, up to four total, add $20 each. Long-distance adds 20 cents/minute. No roaming charges in Virginia, Maryland (excluding western half), Delaware and northeast tip of North Carolina; elsewhere, add 69 cents/minute. Unlimited calling to other Verizon Wireless phones in home rate area.

"America's Choice Family Share"
$59.99: 400 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 45 cents/minute.
$79.99: 800 anytime minutes, unlimited night/weekend minutes, then 40 cents/minute (45 cents/minute on secondary phones).
Plans cover two phones; additional phones, up to four total, add $20 each. No roaming or long-distance charges on Verizon Wireless network; elsewhere, add 69 cents/minute. Unlimited calling to other Verizon Wireless phones on Verizon network.

Messaging/Web/etc.
Text messages cost 2 cents each incoming, 10 cents each outgoing, or $2.99 for 100 messages, $4.99 for 250 messages, $9.99 for 1,000 messages or $19.99 for 2,500. Picture and video messages cost extra. "Mobile Web" access costs $7.99 (including 500 text messages); download speeds up to 144 kbps.
Walkie-talkie service available between compatible phones, with plans starting at $59.99.

Fine print
One-year contract required, but can change plans without penalty. 15-day trial. "Night/weekend" means 9:01 p.m.-5:59 a.m. Mon.-Fri. and 9:01 p.m. Fri.-5:59 a.m. Mon. Prepaid "FreeUp" service available, starting at $15 for 30 days and $75 for 90 days (10 cents/minute, plus 25 cents/call).

Smartphones offered
BlackBerry 6750 and 7750, PalmOne Treo 600, Kyocera 7135, Samsung i600 and i700

Real-world cost estimates
1: Light use (30 minutes): $39.99

2: Moderate use (three hours): $39.99

3: Heavy use (eight hours): $39.99

4: Land-line replacement (20 hours): $59.99

5: Chatty couple (six hours, two phones): $59.99

REVIEWER'S NOTES:
Verizon's almost-perfect coverage earned it a close second to Nextel; we heard minor scratchiness during some calls and ran into one outright ugly spot in the Sterling area. The network outages we found last year were apparently just that.

-- John Breeden II


© 2004 The Washington Post Company