Jun 20 AT 2:04 PM Russell Holly 53 Comments

It’s finally happening – a look at Verizon’s upcoming tiered data plans

There have been whispers, signals and signs all over that Verizon was going to implement a tiered data plan similar to AT&T or T-Mobile. Some of us may have passed the signs blindly, uttering things like, “There’s no way they would do that.” or, “They better not; my bill is high enough as it is.” But the signs have been around. The most recent was the uncommonly generous offer by Verizon to extend their unlimited wireless tethering service on LTE devices until July 6th. Since the announcement, we’ve been waiting for July 7th to see exactly what was coming. Now, thanks to a tipster over at Droid Life, it’s clear we feared the worst for a good reason:  Verizon tiered data plans are on their way.

According to the Droid Life tipster, there’s going to be three tiers for normal data and three tiers for WiFi tethering for new subscribers. For 2GB of data monthly, you’ll be shelling out $30/month. ($5 more than AT&T’s 2GB plan). The 5GB and 10GB tiers are offered at the familiar prices of $50 and $80, the pricing offered up for MiFi devices right now. While the prices for normal data seem on par with Verizon’s current schema, the tethering data plans are a little harder to swallow.

Considering these prices are in addition to the data charges, you’d think the tethering prices would be less, right? No. And seeing prices like $50/month for 4GB, $70/month for 7GB and $100/month for 12GB worth of internet per device on your account is nothing to shrug at. On top of this, tablets will be given 2GB plan options instead of the 1GB they have now and will have the same tethering expense, should you activate the feature. As always, you aren’t capped at the data plans you’ve selected, but you are charged $10/GB for overages.

With numbers like these, I’m a little concerned to see what the new Family data packages will look like. The big rumor is we’ll be looking at a single allotment of data across all the devices on the plan, like with minutes. I suppose as we get closer to the 7th, more details on these plans will be leaked and served up for us to rage about.

I feel the need to address what will undoubtedly be a surge of “Well hello there, Sprint” and “I’m on Sprint hahaha” in the comments. If you’ve had a cellphone for a bit, you might have noticed that, for the most part, the four nationwide carriers are pretty similar in terms of pricing and terms of service. Granted, in this instance, Sprint is obviously the cheapest. But consider the possibility here. Sprint is witnessing the en masse flood from T-Mobile to other carriers due to the merger and due to data caps on both T-Mo and AT&T. They responded by throwing CEO Dan Hesse in front of a camera on a wintery bridge talking about how unlimited Sprint is, and it drew in the crowds.

For awhile now, there’s been speculation that Verizon would go tiered like the other carriers. If you were a carrier looking to scoop up some customers, wouldn’t you freeze your plans while everyone ran from Big Red as though they were on fire–only to turn around later and implement the same tiered plans, since it’s working so well for everyone else? Do you really think Sprint will not eventually decide it’s a good idea to make their prices and plans more competitive? Food for thought.

What is your take on this? Has Verizon crossed a line? Or should we just accept this as the new paradigm for data plans?

I write things.

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