Verizon may launch its new tiered data plan as early as October 28th, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. The plan will be priced at $15 per month and will include 150MB of data. Unlike AT&T which abolished its unlimited data plan in favor of tiered plans, Verizon will keep its $30 unlimited data plan and offer it in addition to this $15 plan.
This move by Verizon and other carriers makes its easier for consumers to jump on the smarthphone bandwagon. Smartphone prices are leveling out at $199 for a flagship device and as low as $99 for an entry-level handset. Even in these tough economic times, many customers are willing to fork over extra cash to get the additional features offered by a smartphone. Most savvy consumers, though, look at the recurring costs of ownership in addition to this up-front cost. With the advent of these lower priced plans, customers can snag a smartphone without breaking their wallet.
Unfortunately, this lower price comes at a cost and most tiered plans offer a ridiculously low amount of data. While $15 is easy on the wallet, keeping within the 150MB allotment may prove much more difficult. Listening to streaming content, watching a video, or downloading some photos could easily push you over the cap and the overage charges can quickly balloon. While most current smartphones offer WiFi to help lower cellular data usage, it is difficult to remember to turn it on and inconvenient to only use data on your phone when it is connected via WiFi.
This $15/150MB plan from Verizon looks nice on paper, but it is much too low of an allotment to really be useful. Personally, I would rather see a plan similar to the one Verizon announced for the Galaxy Tab. A $20 plan with 1GB of data sounds just about right to me. Anyone agree?