Bonnie Cha

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Verizon Intros New Prepaid Plans for 3G Smartphones

Today, Verizon announced two new prepaid plans aimed at budget-conscious customers. But they’re only for 3G smartphones, and they’re not all that wallet-friendly.

VerizonLogo1

The new smartphone plans start at $60 a month for unlimited talk and text messages and 500 megabytes of data. You can also choose from a $70-a-month plan, which includes unlimited talk and text and two gigabytes of data. (Verizon charges overage fees if you go over your allotted amount of data for the month — five cents per megabyte or $20 for 1GB extra.)

It’s important to note that these new plans are only available with the carrier’s 3G smartphones. Compatible devices include the iPhone 4S, HTC Droid Incredible 2, Samsung Illusion and BlackBerry Curve 9310.

On the one hand, the new plans are a welcome addition to Verizon, which prior to this only offered an $80 monthly prepaid plan for unlimited voice, text and 1GB of data.

On the other hand, the new plans are quite expensive when compared to the prepaid competition.

MetroPCS, for example, offers prepaid plans starting at $40 per month for unlimited talk, text and 500MB of 4G LTE data, or $50 for 2GB of 4G data. Virgin Mobile has a $55 monthly plan that includes unlimited talk, text and 3G/4G data.

And a new crop of prepaid carriers is popping up, including Ting, Republic Wireless and Voyager Mobile, which are shaking things up with low monthly plans without annual contracts, albeit with some restrictions, such as limited handset selection.

Dealing with slower, older phones or limited selection is one thing when the plans are cheap enough, but it’s pretty hard to justify at Verizon’s current prices.

Verizon’s new prepaid plans are available starting today.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald