Verizon's Tiered Fee Plans: After the Dust Settles

Now that Verizon has released its tiered data plans for tablets, smartphones, and USB modems, you're probably wondering what the company will charge you for data overages. The answer, unsurprisingly, is that it all depends on what data plan you're using.

Verizon tiered LTE plans fuel "bill shock" debate

Data plans for tablets, mobile hotspots, netbooks and notebooks offer the least-expensive data overage fees, clocking in at $10 to $20 per extra GB consumed. Smartphone users, on the other hand will pay around $51.20 per extra GB consumed, although it's far less likely that smartphone users will consume as much excess data as tablet users. The most expensive overage charge will be for Verizon's 250MB 3G USB modem plan, as subscribers on that plan will have to pay $102.40 per extra GB consumed. Verizon also offers a 5GB 3G USB modem plan that charges $51.20 per extra GB consumed.

The wireless industry has recently started moving away from all-you-can-eat wireless data plans and toward tiered service plans. AT&T got the ball rolling earlier this year when they announced they were dropping unlimited data plans for the iPhone in favor of plans that offered between 200MB and 2GB of data consumption per month. Verizon shortly followed suut by saying it would implement a similar pricing scheme for its 4G LTE services that are due to launch later this year. Verizon COO Lowell McAdam hinted earlier this year that LTE plans would give users a certain amount of data they could consume every month before they would have to pay overage fees.

Not all U.S. carriers are on board with metered wireless data consumption, however. Earlier this year Sprint 4G Vice President Todd Rowley explained that Sprint would be reluctant to implement 4G data caps after it experimented with 5GB data caps on its 3G EV-DO Rev. A network. Rowley said that the company found many customers becoming worried about using data after implementing the cap, meaning there was less consumption of data on the network overall.

Read more about lan and wan in Network World's LAN & WAN section.

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