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Verizon Prepaid Smartphone Data Packages

Wow, can’t believe I let this get by me.  With Verizon offering prepaid Smartphones, there’s a whole new level of complexity when selecting a plan.  Here’s the scoop.

If you’re going to the Verizon website to select a prepaid Smartphone, you have to kiss the pay as you go option goodbye.  You can only use your Smartphone if you purchase the monthly prepaid option. Granted, you don’t have to lock yourself into a 1 or 2 year plan, but you will have to Verizon's Palm Pixichoose one of the three monthly plan options of either 450 minutes for $64.99 or 900 minutes, 900 minutes for $84.99 or the unlimited plan for $94.99 (this does not include the data package).

Now that you selected your plan, you have to choose your data package option. What’s the use of having a Smartphone if you don’t use the internet connectivity features?

Go to Verizon’s data package plan page (mobile broadband page)  and take a gander at their plans.  The interesting thing is that when you go to their site to choose a Smartphone from their selection, they include the caveat (must purchase at least a $15 data package). They could have saved the screen real estate because their least expensive data package is $15 so if you’re going to use the phone you have to at least spend an additional $15 for data transference (you should also note that if you had purchased the contract plan Verizon hits you with a $350 fee for early termination – Ouch!)

Verizon Data Package Rates:Verizon

They have all sorts of data transfer rates for gadgets such as Netbooks, Notebooks, 4G USB modems and more, but since were’ only concerned about phones, here are their phone packages:

Smartphones and Feature Phones:

Verizon charges a $20 monthly access fee for 2 GB of data.  If you go over 2 GB you pay $20 per GB over your monthly allowance.

Prepaid Mobile Broadband:

There’s the pay as you go option for Smartphones. You can pay by the day, the week or the month:

Time Amount Data Package
Day $15 100 MB
Week $30 300 MB
Month $50 1 GB (not cost effective at all)
or Month $80 5 GB

Sometimes you have to test the waters to figure out your average monthly usage. If you’re not sure how much data you transfer each month, you can try the pay as you go option, but monitor it carefully.  The pay as you go option is pretty costly.  It’s probably more economical to go with the $20 monthly access fee option.  If you find that you don’t need the 2GB of data each month, you can always opt for the daily plan.  Let’s face it, it’s a monthly plan (no contract), you can change your plan at any time.

5/23/11 Update: Apparently Verizon got wise and now forces consumers to purchase the unlimited email/web package when purchasing a smartphone.  The unlimited package costs $30 per month.

About the author: LaForey is a parent and a freelance writer who has done quite a bit of research on prepaid cell phones.