phoneArena is reporting that Verizon Wireless will launch two new prepaid monthly smartphone plans on Feb 1st. The report is based on what appears to be a leaked Verizon internal training document (image, above).
The new plans are:
$60/month: unlimited voice minutes, unlimited messaging and 500 MB of data.
$70/month: unlimited voice minutes, unlimited messaging and 2 GB of data.
Users who use up their data allotment can continue to use data at the overage rate of 5¢/MB or can purchase 1 GB of additional data for $20.
The new plans replace the current $80 smartphone plan which also included unlimited talk and text and 2 GB of data. Customers currently on the $80 plan will be grandfathered on that plan and will need to contact Verizon to switch to the $70 plan and save $10/month.
The new plans are a step in the right direction but are still considerably more expensive than Verizon's own MVNOs Straight Talk, NET10 and Page Plus which offer unlimited talk and text and 2 GB for $45, $50 and $55 per month respectively. But Verizon has some advantages including name recognition, superior 24/7 phone support as well as sales and support at Verizon stores.
The leaked flier is vague about which phones qualify for the new plans but I expect it will be the same as with the current $80 plan which can be used with any non-LTE Verizon phone including BlackBerrys and the iPhone 4 and 4S. BlackBerrys even get BIS service which is required for BlackBerry Mail and Messenger.
Update 1-Feb-2013: The new $60 and $70 Verizon Prepaid Smartphone plans are now live on the Verizon Web site and are as described in the leaked document. According to the fine print on the Verizon site the $20 for 1 GB overage bundle is only available with the $70 plan and only when the user has 100 MB of data or less remaining from the 2 GB which come with the plan.
There are also two new Verizon prepaid smartphones available; the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9310 for $299.99 and the HTC Rhyme Android phone for $439.99. These are very high prices, Boost Mobile has the BlackBerry 9310 for $79.99 and the HTC One V, which is similar to the Rhyme goes for $149.99 on Virgin Mobile or $139.99 from Cricket. According to Verizon's press release announcing the deal you can also use,
"...many 3G smartphones that run on the Android, BlackBerry or iOS operating systems, such as the Samsung Illusion, the HTC DROID Incredible 2 and most BlackBerry models".Which suggest the device eligibility rules are the same as they were with the now discontinued $80 plan which allowed any non-LTE Verizon smartphone.
Source, image: phoneArena.com