Starting July 7, Verizon will no longer offer new customers unlimited data plans. And, oh yeah, you're going to start paying for using those LTE mobile hotspots too (that includes existing customers; more on that below). Have a nice day!
First, let's cover the new data plans.
This is similar to the data tier plans AT&T introduced last year, but a little pricier.
New customers that sign-up as of tomorrow will have the option of paying $30 a month for 2 GB of data use (AT&T charges $25 for the same amount), $50 a month for 5 GB, or $80 for 10 GB of data use.
To give you an idea what a GB of data use means; if you streamed one movie each day on your smartphone that would add up to about 9 GB of data use on that billing cycle.
AT&T offers a price break for customers who download less than 200 MB a month (i.e. someone who doesn't have kids who snatch your phone at every chance to play "Gravity Guy"). In other words, people like my mother can probably get by on the 200 MB/$15 a month plan on AT&T. Verizon is not offering a similar deal with tomorrow's changes.
This leaves Sprint as pretty much the last offering unlimited data use. T-Mobile doesn't have the tiered plans like AT&T and now Verizon. However, it does "throttle" data use for heavier users.
So why didn't Verizon do this months ago, following suit after AT&T went to data limiting plans?
1. Months ago, AT&T had the lock on the iPhone. Untold thousands (millions?) were dissatisfied with AT&T's service and its new data plans just added to the grump factor of those customers.
2. Verizon launched its version of the iPhone in February in the plum position of being the only alternative carrier to AT&T. Verizon's promise of unlimited data plans was just one more carrot to entice AT&T iPhone users.
3. Fast forward to July 7. It's months later and the week of the Fourth of July holiday when many, many are on vacation.
You do the the math.
As for hotspots...
Starting tomorrow, existing customers will now have to pay $30 a month for unlimited LTE mobile hotspot usage. New customers will be charged only $20 a month, but limited to 2 GB of data use at hotspots.