Verizon Banishes Phone Contracts And Subsidized Phones, Intros New Data Buckets

It seems like the wireless industry changes by the day. It used to be standard practice to ink a two-year service agreement with a wireless carrier in exchange for a free for heavily discounted phone, and your monthly bill would depend on the number of lines and how much data you signed up for. And up until now, that was still the way Verizon was doing things.

Not anymore. Verizon just announced a set of simplified data options that do away with subsidized phones. Big Red also simplified its overall pricing structure, making it easier for wireless subscribers to pick out a plan and run with it, sans surprise charges or complicated math.


Here's how the data plans break down:

  • Small: $30 per month for 1GB of shareable data ($30 per gigabyte)
  • Medium: $45 per month for 3GB of shareable data ($15 per gigabyte)
  • Large: $60 per month for 6GB of shareable data ($10 per gigabyte)
  • X-Large: $80 month for 12GB of shareable data ($6.67 per gigabyte)

All of the above plans include unlimited talk and text. Each smartphone line carries a $20 per month charge, tablet and Jetpack lines are $10 per month, and smartwatches are $5 per month. So if you have a family of four, each with a smartphone, and you sign up for a Large plan, your monthly bill will be $140 ($60 for data, $80 for four smartphone lines).

"Choosing a wireless plan is now easier than ever. Customers said they don’t want to have to do a lot of math to figure out their best options, and we heard them," said Rob Miller, vice-president of consumer pricing for Verizon Wireless. "A plan with small, medium, large and x-large choices makes sense for the way people actually use their wireless service."

The caveat is that you have to buy a smartphone, and since there's no contract involved, there are no subsidized price breaks, either. The full retail cost falls on you, the subscriber, which you can pay for outright or in chunks through a device payment plan.