It used to be the case that you’d walk over to the cell phone kiosk at your local mall, play with some of the dummy phones for a little while, and then sign a two-year contract so you could get a cheaper phone and sign up for one of the monthly plans. But times, they be a-changing. The Verizon plans set to launch next Thursday do away with contracts altogether, putting you on a month-to-month instead.

After seeing how well T-Mobile is doing with its whole “Uncarrier” approach to the wireless industry, Verizon Wireless has decided to follow suit. The crux here is that you can effectively leave at any time, since you’re going month-to-month with Big Red. There’s also no such thing as a “single” or “family” plan anymore.

Instead, what you end up doing with these new Verizon plans is paying for a monthly bucket of data and then you pay for each device you want to add to that bucket. Among the options are 1GB for $30, 3GB for $45, 6GB for $60 and 12GB for $80. Adding a smartphone is $20, while tablets and hotspots are $10. A smartwatch is just $5.

So, let’s say that you have a family of four. You opt for the 12GB plan, adding four smartphones and two tablets among you. The calculation will then be $80 + (4 x $20) + (2 x $10) = $180 per month. If you go over your monthly limit for data, you’ll be charged at $15 per gigabyte.

You have to go into these monthly plans with a different mindset than you may have previously, because hardware subsidies are going the way of the dodo with these Verizon plans too. You either have to buy your new smartphones outright (flagships are typically in the $600+ range) or you can opt for the monthly “device payment option” which replaces the old Verizon Edge program. Suddenly, more affordable smartphones like the new Moto G or some of the devices from ZTE sound a lot more compelling, don’t you think?

Via The Verge

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