Good news for the Verizon faithful.
Instead of offering different tiers of service, Verizon now offers prepaid smartphone customers a single $45 a month plan that comes with unlimited voice minutes and text messaging plus 500MB of data. Customers who want more than 500MB of data can add it a la carte.
And customers who add 1GB or more of data per month get to use their unused data until it's gone or up to three months, whichever comes first.
The AllSet prepaid plan allows customers to add data via what it calls its Bridge Data plan. Customers can add 500MB more data on top of the 500MB offered through the plan for $5 extra. Customers also can add 1GB of data for an additional $10, and they can add 3GB of data for an extra $20. The additional 500MB of data expires after 30 days. But if you're adding 1GB or 3GB of data, customers get to carry that data over for 90 days. The excess data is only tapped into when users have exhausted their monthly 500MB allotment of data.
Also included in the deal is unlimited messaging from the Verizon prepaid service to Mexico, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The company also is offering a promotion in which new customers can get 1,000 free voice minutes to Mexico or Canada.
Customers with basic phones can get
an AllSet plan for $35 a month, which includes 500 voice minutes instead of unlimited voice calling.
The new plans are an improvement over Verizon's previous prepaid offering. Even though the 1GB and 3GB a la carte data still has an expiration date on it, the new pricing and Bridge Data option give Verizon prepaid customers more flexibility than they previously had. Instead of losing unused data from their plans each month, customers can carry it over for a few months.
For customers on a budget who tend to talk more than they use data, it could be a good alternative to Verizon's contract plans -- even under its new More Everything pricing. Service with 500MB of data plus unlimited voice and texting is $70 a month on a two-year contract. It's $60 a month if you forgo the contract and buy your device at full price and pay it off in monthly installments.
But there is a catch. Verizon's prepaid service does not allow users to access their 4G LTE network. So even if someone is using an LTE-capable phone on Verizon's prepaid service, it will still only get 3G data speeds.
Corrected Thursday 3/6/2014 12:30 pm PT A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the terms of Verizon's $60 Edge plan. Customers are not able to bring their own devices to this plan. The story has been updated to reflect the correction.