If you were anxious to try out the Verizon 4G LTE network but didn’t want to be saddled with a new, two-year contract, you’ll be happy to know that the no-contract prices will be quite reasonable for service.
According to PC World’s Sasha Segan, the no-contract prices for the 4G LTE service will be the same as the monthly rates for those on long-term contracts. That means you’ll be able to get 5 GB of data for $50 a month or 10 GB for $80 without having to sign a long-term deal. The overage charges will be $10 per 1 GB and you’ll get text messages when you hit certain data allowances.
So, why would anyone want to sign a long-term deal? It’s all about the subsidies. The Verizon 4G LTE service is launching with two USB modems and signing a long-term contract will get you these devices for about $100 after mail-in rebates. Without that long-term deal, you’ll have to shell out about $250 for the USB modems.
The Verizon 4G LTE service officially launches Dec. 5 and we’ll be doing some traveling around the country to let you know how it holds up in multiple markets. I love that the no-contract prices won’t be any higher than the regular rates but I’m still a bit apprehensive shelling out $250 for one of those dongles, particularly because those things are huge.
While a Verizon 4G LTE smartphone with hotspot capabilities would be amazing, I wouldn’t expect that to hit the market until at least the end of the first quarter of 2011. If the carrier offered some form of MiFi device, I would have already purchased one.
One has to wonder if a MiFi will be 4G-only or if it will be dual-mode to utilize the 3G network for backup. Sprint has a dual-mode OverDrive unit but I could make do with an LTE-only version because of the markets that Verizon says it will cover.