· Small: $30/month for 1GB of shareable data· Medium: $45/month for 3GB of shareable data· Large: $60/month for 6GB of shareable data· X-Large: $80/month for 12GB of shareable data
As for devices, everyone will be buying their phones separately from their data plans for the full price of the phone — either in installments or all at once. That means an iPhone will cost $649 rather than that old familiar model of paying $199 upfront with a monthly device fee that more than covers the remaining cost of the phone over time. There will, however, will be a device access fee: every smartphone line will cost $20 per month, while Verizon's tablets and "Jetpack" hotspots will cost $10 per month. Devices such as smart watches, the company said, will carry a $5 per month fee.
Existing Verizon customers can keep their current plans, the company said.
The move follows a broader trend across the industry to kill the two-year contract and device subsidies, in favor of paying for the two separately. Separating the cost of the plan from the cost of the device is arguably simpler in concept, but has led to a confusing rise in the number of plan options out there. T-Mobile was the first to do so, as part of a broader plan to distinguish itself from the rest of the wireless industry; the plan has worked enough to help T-Mobile unseat Sprint as the nation's third-largest wireless carrier.
Others, including Verizon, followed suit by introducing this option alongside the traditional two-year plan, at times aggressively pushing consumers to the new model. But Verizon had held onto the traditional contract option as well, as it ramped up ads that painted other networks as unreliable while trying to get people to "come home" to the carrier.
Now that Verizon will no longer off two-year plans, consumers should know that picking up more data will cost $15 per gigabyte — so it's better to overbuy than underbuy. The new plans go into effect Aug 13.