Get Ready to Be Gouged, Verizon Plans on Tiered 4G Data Pricing

Ryan Whitwam

We were a little worried that the change over to 4G mobile data standards like LTE and WiMAX would get expensive for consumers. ON the heels of Sprint's announcement that users of the EVO 4G would have to pay a $10 premium for data, Verizon is talking about a tiered pricing model for LTE data when it launches. Instead of allowing "unlimited" plans (5GB data cap), Big Red may instead charge different fees based on the amount of data used.

This might be a good deal for people that only use a little data, but in the future with much faster data connections, who's only going to use a little data? The thing to be aware of is that LTE data networks are expected to be much more efficient at delivering data. Carriers may only incur a half or one-third of the costs per megabyte of data on LTE as they do now. All things considered, we'd be surprised if even the cheap plans are a good deal.

Of course, we won't know how bad of a deal we're getting until LTE rolls out. Verizon is expecting the first round of LTE handsets to be available in early 2011. These will be LTE for data only, much like the EVO 4G uses WiMAX only for data. Verizon expects to be using LTE for voice calls by 2012. How much wireless data do you use in a month? Would you like a tiered pricing structure?

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