Last Updated: September 3rd, 2011
It seems the explosive growth of smartphone use has had some unintended consequences: U.S. carriers are moving towards tiered data. While some carriers have had "soft" caps for years, we've recently seen a move towards hard caps. "Tiered" plans have long been standard in other parts of the world, but the simple difference is that US carriers charge significantly more across the board - be it basic plans (just minutes), add-on's (such as texting), or data (whether used on a plan or as-you-go).
Last Updated: March 30th, 2011
4G is here - and it seems like all four of America's biggest carriers are more than happy to advertise the fact that they've got it. Sprint was first on the scene - offering their WiMax 4G, and T-Mobile shortly thereafter began its upgrade to HSPA+ technology. Verizon was next, providing mobile broadband LTE via USB dongle for laptops, though its much-awaited debut 4G handset, the Thunderbolt, has yet to hit shelves after numerous delays. Finally, lagging behind in truly characteristic fashion, AT&T has begun to roll out its own HSPA+ network, with plans to offer LTE in the second half of the year.
Last Updated: December 30th, 2011
Well, we knew it was coming. Did you honestly think Big Red would bundle your 3G and 4G into one big, happy family? Neither did we. An anonymous Engadget tipster snapped a picture of Verizon's latest data plans - probably set to be released in time for the iPhone 4. Check it out:
Droid-Life posted a helpful companion image of the old pricing for comparison's sake:
Notice the 150MB smartphone plan has vanished, along with an increased base data cap for feature phones. This is likely meant to simplify things for upcoming 4G devices and new iPhone 4 adopters - Verizon doesn't want to have more than one 3G smartphone plan confusing customers, they'll leave that to the more profitable 4G tiers.