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Verizon to ditch phone plans, go with shared plans

Updated: July 14, 2012 6:22AM

Verizon Wireless announced Tuesday new shared, unlimited minute and messaging plans that encourage customers to connect multiple devices, such as tablets and laptops, to Verizon’s network.

The company’s new “Share Everything” plans include unlimited voice minutes, unlimited texts, video and picture messaging for up to 10 devices. The plans will be available June 28 to new users and existing customers who wish to opt-in (the old pricing will no longer be available to new users).

The “Share Everything” plans start at $30 per month for basic phones, with extra costs for basic phone users wishing to buy shared data. Smartphone plans start at $40 plus $50 for 1GB shared data and unlimited features. It costs $20 per month to add a laptop and $10 to add a tablet. Mobile Hotspot is also included for all devices at no additional cost through the plan.

Verizon’s announcement comes about a year after the company stopped offering unlimited data plans, a move other industry leaders also made. (Sprint currently calls itself the only U.S. national provider with unlimited data plans.)

Current Verizon customers will be able to switch to the new plans or keep their old ones, with one exception. Those who have unlimited-data plans for their smartphones won’t be able to move those to new phones, unless they pay the full, unsubsidized price for those phones. (For example, an iPhone 4S that costs $200 with a two-year contract costs $650 unsubsidized, with no contract.)

The data allowances start at $50 per month for 1 gigabyte. That’s enough for prudent two-smartphone users who use Wi-Fi a lot, but Verizon recommends getting 2 gigabytes for $60. After that, each extra 2 gigabytes cost an extra $10 monthly. AP

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