Verizon is tweaking its prepaid options a bit, starting with launching one new plan and dropping the price of another.
Today Verizon has announced that it is introducing a new prepaid option that will be priced at $30 per month. Customers will get unlimited talk and text and 500MB of data. Mobile hotspot is supported in this new entry-level plan, too, and as long as you pay your bill on time, you’ll get Carryover Data as well.
If unlimited data is more your speed, then there’s good news for you, too. Verizon also announced that it is dropping the price of its Unlimited Prepaid plan beginning next week. Right now it’s priced at $80 per month, but when the price change kicks in, customers will only have to pay $75 per month. Verizon is also including mobile hotspot, but it’s capped at 3G speeds.
Last but not least, prepaid customers can now get access to the Verizon Travel Pass, which means they will be able to call, text, and use their data while visiting Canada or Mexico. You will need to fork over $5 per day to use Travel Pass.
What do you think of Verizon’s prepaid plan changes?
As of right now, smartphones purchased from Verizon Wireless are SIM-unlocked and can be used on other carriers. Most people would consider that a benefit, but Verizon says it has encouraged theft — unlocked smartphones are especially popular on the black market, because they can be used on any carrier with compatible bands. In an effort to stop bad actors in their tracks, Verizon announced Monday that it’ll begin locking phones it sells to customers for a certain period of time.
“We’re taking steps to combat this theft and reduce fraud,” Tami Erwin, executive vice president of wireless operations for Verizon, said in a statement. “These steps will make our phones exponentially less desirable to criminals.”
Verizon has yet to say how long it’ll make customers wait before it allows them to use one of their phones on another network. But it says it’ll continue to unlock phones regardless of whether they’re paid off or not, and that it’ll accept unlocked phones from other carriers. It also says that devices will get unlocked immediately through a software update.
Now, it should be noted that other wireless carriers have a SIM unlock waiting period, as well. AT&T requires you to use its service for 60 days, and then wait another 14 days after making a SIM unlock request before you can swap out your phone’s SIM card. Sprint requires that you wait 50 days, and T-Mobile users have to wait 40 days — though the carrier’s known to be lenient with this rule if you’re traveling overseas.
Verizon didn’t previously have a SIM lock waiting period because of a deal it made the FCC, which required it to sell unlocked phones as part of its acquisition of a block of 700 megahertz spectrum.
We’re expecting to learn more about the carrier’s new policy as we get closer to its introduction in the spring.
Ever since Verizon Wireless started selling 4G LTE devices, the biggest wireless carrier in the United States has been generous enough to sell those handsets unlocked. But times they are a-changin’.
CNET reports that beginning this spring, Verizon is going to start locking down its smartphones in a fashion similar to the other U.S. wireless carriers. The reason for the change, according to the carrier, is due to theft of smartphones.
Verizon says that the fact its smartphones are sold unlocked, they have become a primary target for thieves. The fact the handsets are able to go to other (supported) wireless networks without any extra steps from Verizon means that scammers can set up a wireless service with a fake name, then turn around and sell the devices and make a profit.
As noted in the original report, other carriers have already been locking their handsets from day one. Each offers the ability to unlock a handset at some point after service has been started, but each carrier also requires the the handset has been active on the network for a certain amount of days and that the device has been completely paid off.
AT&T requires a 60-day activation period and then tacks on another 14 days after the unlocking request has been sent over. T-Mobile has a 40-day waiting period, and Sprint has a 50-day waiting period. In each case, the device needs to be paid off.
Unfortunately, Verizon wasn’t keen on detailing when this specific change will be rolling out, nor was it able to say any specifics on just how long the waiting period will be or if customers will be required to pay off the device like the other carriers require.
This is a big change. What do you think?
Verizon has launched a new promotion to welcome the first day of February, seeing a noteworthy discount on one of 2017′s best flagship smartphones and other devices and services.
Beginning today, February 1, Verizon is offering the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 for $200 off its original price tag. That means it costs $760 instead of $960, and with a device payment plan, the monthly cost breaks down to $31.66 per month rather than the standard $40.00 per month. The deal doesn’t require a device trade-in to kick in the deal and is available for new and existing customers.
That $200 discount on the Galaxy Note 8 is certainly worthwhile, especially for someone who might be in the market for a new device and wants to save some money.
In addition, Verizon is also offering a $30 discount on the Lifeprint Photo & Video printer during the whole month, and $50 off the JBL Link 10 speaker until the end of February as well.
Finally, new or existing Verizon customers that sign up or upgrade to a Verizon Unlimited plan and also sign up for a Verizon Fios Gigabit Connection double or triple play bundle will get $20 off their bill: $10 off the wireless bill, and $10 off the Fios Gigabit bill.
Sources: Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Verizon); JBL Link 10 (Verizon); Lifeprint Photo & Video (Verizon)
Huawei has substantial traction in markets like Europe and China, but hasn’t managed to get a foothold in the United States. It’s sold smartphones from US retailers including Best Buy, Amazon, B&H, and others for years, but that’s no substitute for shelves in wireless carrier stores. To that end, it planned to launch a flagship smartphone, the Mate 10 Pro, on AT&T this year, but those plans fell through at the last second. And according to Bloomberg, a separate partnership with Verizon Wireless is off the table, too.
Verizon was pressured by the US government not to sell smartphones from Huawei, according to the report. The companies declined to comment.
Before the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show, we heard reports that Huawei had been in talks with both AT&T and Verizon Wireless to get its phones on store shelves. The company was so confident in a deal that it told the public it had “big plans” to announce at CES 2018. But things didn’t go according to plan, which seems to have really hurt Huawei’s momentum.
Huawei was hit with more bad news in early January when a new bill in Congress proposed banning government agencies from using Huawei and ZTE equipment. And this week, a leaked memo from the White House National Security Council floated the idea of a nationalized 5G network designed to protect against “foreign actors” like Huawei.
They aren’t the company’s first run-ins with the government. Huawei came under US scrutiny in 2003, when Cisco accused it of stealing router firmware code. In 2012, the government blacklisted Huawei and ZTE, and the House Intelligence Committee urged US companies to avoid entering into contracts with the companies. Huawei was subsequently labeled a “spy threat”.
“We serve 170 countries,” Richard Yu, Huawei’s consumer products chief, said in an impassioned speech during the company’s CES press conference. “And for 30 years we’ve proven our quality and we’ve proven our privacy and security protection.”