Since last year, Verizon has gone from 2 mobile broadband plans (excluding prepaid options) to offering two 4G plans plus a bevy of 3G plans to fit any device you’ve got.
Here’s how VZW likes to categorize them:
- 4G Mobile Broadband Plans (4G USB Modems)
- 3G Mobile Broadband Plans (tablets, mobile hotspots, netbooks & notebooks)
- Mobile Broadband Connect & 3G Mobile Hotspots (smartphones & smartphone mobile hotspots)
- Prepaid Mobile Broadband
In this section, I’ll cover Verizon 4G plans.
Verizon 4G Plans
At the time of this writing, Verizon 4G plans are designated for 4G USB Modems. However, with the release of the Novatel 4G LTE MiFi and the forthcoming Samsung 4G LTE mobile hotspot, expect this to be updated soon on Verizon’s site.
While AT&T’s 4G plan is identical to Verizon’s $50 plan, VZW takes it a step further and ups the industry standard data allowance from 5 GB to 10 GB, a much more reasonable data cap for the current web environment of YouTube HD streaming videos, 192kbps streaming music via Pandora, as well as higher quality Skype voice and video calling.
At $80 per month, it’s better than doubling the price.
Perhaps the most excellent improvement over previous years is a simplification and drastic reduction in overage charges. Previously, overage charges were $102.40/GB (quoted as $0.10/MB to mask their more realistic price). Now, they’ve been reduced to $10/GB.
That’s a 90.23% drop.
Not sure how much data you need?
While Verizon data calculator is great, it doesn’t deal with the pink elephant in the room. Yeah, the one trying to use Skype, watch video and stream music on their blazing fast 4G LTE network.
With Verizon 4G speeds, it’s possible to blow through your entire 5 GB monthly cap in 32 minutes. With that potential readily available, consumers may need more than data calculators. Instead, they may need unlimited mobile broadband. However, Verizon fears for their network quality if they were to dare offer such an option.
As competition builds and networks all build out their 4G networks, one of 2 things will happen: Either they all cap mobile broadband or all offer unlimited options as they’ve done with voice ‘minute capped’ plans.
Next up, I’ll be covering Verizon 3G plans, explaining differences such as mobile broadband plans you can use mobile hotspots vs. smartphone 3G plans that allow you to use your phone as a mobile hotspot.
Also part of this 2011 review: