Verizon has unveiled their new family plans, and the shift in importance from minutes to data has never been clearer. Recognizing that people in increasing numbers don’t really care about minutes allotments anymore, the new Share Everything plans make minutes (and texting) unlimited from the start. Pricing of the plans will depend on data allotments and the number (and kind) of devices.
Each smartphone on the plan will cost $40/month, while regular phones will cost $30/month. Those will require two-year contracts, but adding a data network-enabled notebook or netbook for $20/month or a tablet for $10/month will not come with a contractual obligation. Data, which is in much higher demand these days, will be offered in allotments that will be shared across all devices, so it will take some wrangling in large families to make sure everyone’s usage is in line with the monthly limit.
The data prices are a far cry from the unlimited data you could have gotten from Verizon for $30/month only a year ago. $50 will get you 1 GB of data per month, and it goes up from there to $100 for 10 GB of data per month. Depending on you and your family’s usage habits, the new plans could make your monthly wireless bill a little more manageable, or a little more nightmarish. You’ll have to crunch those numbers for yourself, but you’d better get used to seeing data charged like this – Verizon is craftily killing off unlimited plans for those who were grandfathered in from previous contracts by making subsidized phone prices unavailable to those who want to keep their unlimited plans, forcing them to pay the full price of the device.