Add Verizon Wireless to the fraternity of mobile operators no longer offering unlimited data plans. The carrier today said that starting tomorrow (July 7), new customers will only be offered several tiers of usage-based data plans.
Those tiers start at $10 for 75 MB a month to an $80 tier for 10 GB of data a month. Customers with existing unlimited data contracts will retain their plans until their contract expires.
AT&T pulled a similar move last year, as did T-Mobile, while Sprint retains an unlimited plan option. The move from unlimited data usage to tiered plans is a direct result of the smartphone boom. Some smartphone users simply stream far more video and music than others, which can tax the carrier's network. Tying usage to increased payments is one way of dealing with the problem, but it can make it difficult for users to understand how much data they need on a given month (See various provider's data calculators below).
While much has been said about how tiered data plans may impact music streaming services, there's little to be concerned about. Most streaming services today allow users to cache copies of songs on their phones, so listening to them over and over again doesn't eat up nearly the bandwidth that streaming them each time would. And, video is really the main culprit regardless.
Verizon's new plans go into effect tomorrow, July 7.
Providers Data Usage Calculators
AT&T's Data Calculator: