May 1, 2012
Verizon Wireless Offers Prepaid Data Plans
Enid Burns for Redorbit.com
Prepaid plans aren't just talk anymore. Verizon Wireless said it would offer a prepaid 4G voice and data plan, which includes talk, text and data for month-by-month Smartphone users, as well as prepaid Jetpack data plan, beginning May 1.The new prepaid plan is introduced with the Samsung Illusion handset, a 4G phone running on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system. The new plan lets users go home with a smartphone and data without committing to a two-year contract. However, the handset for the no-commitment plan will cost subscribers. The full retail price of the Samsung Illusion is $329.99, which is free with a two-year contract. Verizon says the Samsung Illusion will be available for $169.99 under the Prepaid plan. The phone and plan will be available from VerizonWireless.com, and will soon be available at Best Buy, Target, RadioShack and Walmart.
Initially the Samsung Illusion will be the only handset offered with the prepaid bundle. In the future more handsets are expected.
A monthly bill for the prepaid plan will cost $80. This includes unlimited talk, text messaging and 1 GB of data. A comparable plan for two-year subscribers includes a monthly $69.99 for unlimited voice; $30 for 2 GB data, and $20 per month for unlimited text messaging. Certain packages, family plans and bundles can reduce the total monthly cost.
Verizon Wireless will also offer a prepaid, month-by-month 4G LTE mobile hotspot program under its Jetpack plan. Verizon is introducing the Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 4510L for $129.99. Under the prepaid plan, Verizon will charge $15 for 250 MB of data weekly; $60 for 3 GB of data monthly; and $90 for 10 GB of data monthly. On the Verizon Wireless a Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE Mobile Hotspot MiFi 4510L is free with a contract. The monthly Jetpack plan with 2GB data costs $99 per month.
Both the prepaid bundle and the Jetpack plans include data. For the voice, text and data bundle, the plan allots 1 GB of dat. Activities such as sending and receiving email, online browsing, Facebook and Twitter, connected apps and video will eke away at data allowances. While data usage varies widely, some estimates are helpful. 1 GB is equal to 1024 MB. One hour of web browsing takes roughly 1.3 - 25 MB; 100 minutes of talk on Skype or other voice and video service racks up about 50 MB of data; to download one photo ranges from 0.05 -2 MB. Streaming video can be costly. Streaming one hour of video equals between 250 and 500 MB; and streaming one hour of audio between 50 and 150 MB. Estimates were listed on Broadbandgenie.co.uk.
The Samsung Illusion running Android Gingerbread 2.3 might easily become a data hog. One benefit is the phone has built in Wi-Fi, so users will be able to connect to available Wi-Fi networks when possible, and avoid data usage.
The phone comes with integrated Google Mobile services; Microsoft Outlook Exchange for contacts and calendars; social networking integration for contacts and calendars; Amazon Kindle Reader and Android HTML browser. Services such as YouTube, Gmail, Google Talk, Slacker radio, and of course unlimited apps through the Android app store Google Play.