Verizon Wireless announced today that users of its two prepaid monthly smartphone plans will be getting more data.
The $60 Smartphone Plan will include 2GB of data/month, instead of the current 500 MB.
The $70 Smartphone Plan gets its data allotment bumped up from 2GB to 4GB.
The changes are effective immediately for current customers and will be available to new customers starting
Update 6/3: the increased data is now available to new customers.
This news reflects the increased importance of prepaid in the US mobile market. According to a FierceWireless post by Recon Analytic's Roger Entner, new wireless subscribers chose prepaid over contract plans by a margin of 10 to 1 in the first quarter of 2013.
Tracfone, which includes Straight Talk, NET10, Telcel America, Simple Mobile and SafeLink, gained 839,000 subscribers in Q1, making it the fastest growing US of all US operators whether prepaid and postpaid. Sprint and T-Mobile also made big gains in prepaid. On the other hand, AT&T lost 143,000 prepaid customers and Verizon only gained 43,000.
Verizon and AT&T seemed to have woken up to the fact that they are in danger of being left behind by the shift of customers to prepaid. Last week AT&T launched Aio Wireless, a new value priced unlimited prepaid brand. Today's move by Verizon is both a reaction to Aio and a recognition that it needs to become more competitive in the prepaid space.
Source Verizon via FierceWireless