profiles. I will be posting new profiles frequently, starting with the best known carriers. Eventually these posts will cover all the major US mobile operators' prepaid plans as well as the MVNOs that offer a good value.
Overview: Verizon Wireless is the largest US mobile operator with an estimated 137 million subscribers, including 5.7 million prepaid subscribers, as of Q3, 2015.
Technology: Verizon uses the 850 Mhz and 1900 Mhz band for CDMA voice and 1xRTT (2.5G) and EVDO (3G). Since 7/17/2014 Verizon's LTE 4G network,is available to prepaid customers. Verizon LTE mainly uses 700 MHz band 13 with supplemental coverage on 1700Mhz band 4. Verizon markets their band 4 service as XLTE.
Plans: Verizon offers monthly plans only. A hallmark of Verizon prepaid plans is strict control over which phones are allowed on each plan.
Verizon's prepaid smartphone plans are priced at $30/month for unlimited talk and text and no data, $45/month for unlimited talk and text and data with the first 2 GB delivered at high speed and the rest throttled to 128 Kbps or $60/month for unlimited talk and text and data with the first 5 GB of data at high speed. Customers using auto pay get a bonus of 1 GB of extra high speed data per month. Additional high speed data can be added using "Bridge" data packages which are available in three sizes: 500 MB good for 30 days for $5, 1GB good for 90 days for $10 and 3GB good for 90 days $20.
Verizon sells a range of Android phones as well as iPhone models for these plans. You can also use any Verizon Smartphone. Classic BlackBerrys work for talk and text only as Verizon no longer offers prepaid customers access to the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS), which is required by BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), BlackBerry Email and some apps.
|Plan||Monthly Cost||Voice Minutes||Texts||MMS||Data|
|$45/Month Plan||$45||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||Unlimited, 2 GB HS 1|
|$60/Month Plan||$60||unlimited||unlimited||unlimited||Unlimited, 5 GB HS 1|
Verizon also has two plans for basic feature phones. These plans are limited to feature phones sold by specifically for use on prepaid and some basic post paid feature phones. Smartphones and advanced feature phones that Verizon labels as "3G Multimedia Phones" or that have "full HTML" browsers are not allowed on these plans. To Verizon a "full HTML" browser seems to be any browser, except Opera Mini, that allows you to scroll horizontally as well as vertically! It's probably safest to stick to the handful of feature phones that Verizon sells specifically for prepaid.
|Plan||Monthly Cost||Voice Minutes||Texts||MMS||Mobile Web 1|
|$15/Month Plan||$15||300 total minutes plus texts plus MMS 2||unlimited|
2 Overage 25¢ per minute, 20¢ per text
Verizon's Pay As You Go and Daily plans were discontinued November 15, 2015 and are no longer available for new activations. Users who activated on these plans before 11/15/15 are grandfathered and can keep them indefinitely as long as they don't change plans or allow the plans to lapse due to non-payment.
|Plan||Monthly Cost||Voice Minutes||Texts||MMS||Data|
|Pay As You Go||$10 1||25¢/each||20¢/each 2||25¢/each||99¢/day unlimited 3|
|$0.99/Day 4||$10 1||10¢/min, unlimited M2M||10¢/each 2||25¢/each||99¢/day unlimited 3|
|$1.99/Day 4||$10 1||unlimited||2¢/each 2||25¢/each||99¢/day unlimited 3|
2 Or use a messaging pack: $10/month - 250 texts or MMS + unlimited texting to from Verizon customers, $20.month - unlimited texts and MMS
3 Unlimited data is available for 99¢/per day. The 99¢ charge is imposed only on days data is used and is valid for 24 hours from first use.
4 The daily fee on these plans is charged only on days you make or receive calls (incoming and outgoing texts do not trigger the daily charge) and is valid until 11:59 p.m. Checking voice mail from the prepaid phone will trigger the charge.
Tablets Verizon branded tablets require special data plans and will not work on prepaid phone plans. Available packages are $15/week 500 MB, $20/month 1 GB, $35/2 months for 2 GB, $60/2 months for 5 GB and $100/2 months for 10 GB.
International Calling: The $60 plan includes unlimited calls to Canada and Mexico.
International Add-On: Customers on the $45 and $30 Prepaid Unlimited Plans can add the $10/month Mexico & Canada Plan to their accounts. It provides 1000 minutes per month to landline and mobile numbers in Canada and Mexico,
International Rates: Verizon's pay per use international rates (rates below) are expensive. I recommend that you use a calling card or international call-back service for international calls.
|Mexico (landlines only)||10¢/minute|
|Mexico (mobile), Canada, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands and Northern Marina Islands.||29¢/minute|
|All other countries||$1.49/minute|
International Add-On: Customers on Prepaid Unlimited Talk and Text Plans can add the $10/month Mexico & Canada Plan to their accounts. It provides 1000 minutes per month to landline and mobile numbers in Canada and Mexico,
International Messaging: There is no extra charge for text or picture messaging to Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. To other countries texts are 25¢/each to send.
International Roaming: Verizon prepaid offers roaming in Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean at the following rates:
Puerto Rico, Canada and U.S. Virgin Islands 69¢/minute
Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Jamaica, St. Kitts & Nevis $1.99/minute
Texts are 50¢ to send and 5¢ to receive in all the countries listed above
Taxes and Fees: Verizon adds applicable state and local sales taxes and point of sale e911 fees to auto payments and online airtime payments. Taxes and fees can be avoided by buying refill PINs from callingmart.com and other online retailers.
Coverage: Verizon's native coverage is second to none. Roaming at 20¢ extra per minute is available almost everywhere in the US where there is any cell phone service.
Devices: Verizon offers feature phones as well as iPhones, Android, Window Phones. All Verizon branded phones are allowed on the prepaid Smartphone Plans.
BYOP: In addition to Verizon phones, Verizon accepts the unlocked iPhone 6 and later, the Nexus 5X, 6 and 6P and the 3rd generation Motorola Moto G Pure Edition. A Verizon SIM is required when activating LTE phones. Verizon SIM are reusable, inactive SIMs can be reactivated. SIMs are available on the Verizon site, Verizon stores or by calling customer care at 1-800-922-0204 (press 0 four times for a live operator).
How to Buy: Verizon prepaid phones are available from Verizon stores, "big box" retailers like Target, Best Buy and Costco and online. Basic models can be purchased supermarkets convenience stores and chain drugstores.
How to Activate: Start by activating online at http://www.verizonwireless.com/activate or by calling (800) 294-6804 from another phone.
Non-LTE phones require an extra step after activating online or by calling. Turn the phone off and on. If the phone displays "Press SEND to activate", press the SEND or call button. If the phone doesn't display "Press SEND to activate" complete activation by dialing *22898 SEND from the wireless phone.
LTE phones LTE phones activate automatically when turned on after activating online or by calling. Do not dial *22898 when activating an LTE phones
Payment Options: Verizon offers may ways to add funds to your prepaid account.
You can top up by sending a text containing your refill PIN to VZPAY (89729) or online at verizonwireless.com/myprepay or by calling *611 from your mobile phone or (888) 294-6804 from another phone.
Automatic payments using a credit or debit card can be set up at verizonwireless.com/myprepay or by calling *611 from your mobile phone or (888) 294-6804 from another phone.
You can make a one time payment with a credit or debit card at www.verizonwireless.com/refill or by calling *611 on the phone or (800) 294-6804 from another phone.
Taxes and Fees: Verizon adds applicable state and local sales taxes and point of sale e911 fees to auto payments and online airtime payments. Taxes and fees can be avoided by using refill PINs from callingmart.com and other online retailers.
Account Management: You can check your balance and expiration date and view detailed call records at My Verizon. You can also check your balance and expiration date by calling *611 from your wireless phone, or (888) 294-6804 from any phone.
Call Forwarding, Call Waiting and 3-Way Calling
To forward all calls to another number: Press *72 followed by the number you want calls forwarded to (*72-123-456-7890), press Send and wait for a confirmation tone or message. You will be charged for forwarded calls.
To cancel call forwarding: Press *73 SEND and wait for a confirmation tone or message.
To forward unanswered calls only (conditional call forwarding): Press *71 followed by the number you want calls forwarded to (*71-123-456-7890), press Send and wait for a confirmation tone or message. You will be charged for forwarded calls.
To cancel conditional call forwarding: Press *73 SEND and wait for a confirmation tone or message.
Call waiting: Call waiting is enabled by default. It lets you place one call on hold while you take another call. When you are on a call and have another incoming call, you will hear a short tone. You'll have approximately 30 seconds to answer before the second caller hears a standard message or is forwarded to voicemail. You will be charged for both calls.
To answer Call Waiting: To put the first call on hold, press "SEND." You'll automatically be connected with the second call. To return to the first call, press "SEND" again. To switch between the two calls, press "SEND."
To cancel Call Waiting before placing a call: press *70 + the 10 digit number you are calling, then press "SEND."
3-Way Calling: Lets you create a conference call between yourself and two other people. You will be charged for both calls.
- While on the first call, dial the 10-digit number of the second person and press "SEND." The first person is automatically put on hold while the call is made.
- When the 2nd person answers, press "SEND" to create the conference call.
- If the second person does not answer, press the "SEND" key twice to end the connection and go back to the first person. To end both conversations completely, press the "END" key
All are free to use.
*611 - call customer support
#DATA (#3282) - shows data used
#MIN (#646) - balance in minutes
#BAL (#225) - balance in dollars
#PMT (#768) - make a payment
Free information services calls
711 - Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) for the hearing and speech impaired
911 - Emergency services
Phone support: Call *611 or (888) 294-6804 for 24/7 customer telephone support. To reach a live operator press 1 for English, then 4, 6 and 4. To order an LTE SIM card call (800) 922-0204 and press 0 four times for a live operator.
Chat support: Use the online chat form.
Phone Sales and General Information Web Site: verizonwireless.com/wcms/consumer/shop/prepaid.html
Verizon Pros: Outstanding coverage, LTE, 24/7 telephone support. Detailed online call records. Call forwarding, call waiting, conditional call forwarding and 3-way calling are supported.
Verizon Cons: Expensive "Use it or lose it" data. No pay as you go plans. High international calling rates.
Updated 18-July-2016: $45 and $60 plans now include unlimited unlimited 128 Kbps data after the high speed data allotment is used.