By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Basking Ridge, N.J. – Verizon Wireless wants to expand its small share of the prepaid cellphone market with the launch of two plans that are less expensive than the plan they replace.
3G iPhones are eligible for the prepaid plans, as they were under the previous plan.
Only 5.7 million of the carrier’s 98.2 million retail subscribers at the end of 2012 were prepaid-plan subscribers, the company’s financial reports show. Prepaid service is also the fastest-growing segment of the cellphone market, analysts said.
The two new plans are available for many currently available 3G smartphones that run on the Android, BlackBerry or iOS operating systems, including the Samsung Illusion, the HTC DROID Incredible 2 and most BlackBerry models, Verizon said. In another change, however, consumers can bring their own smartphone or feature phone to Verizon to activate it on one of the prepaid plans.
Under the plan that expired, consumers paid $80/month for 2GB of data and unlimited talk and unlimited text messaging. Verizon also offered limited-time promotions that doubled the data limit.
The two new options are priced at $60 and $70/month. The former offers 500MB of data and unlimited talk and text messaging. The latter offers 2GB of data and unlimited talk and text messaging.
Both plans limit unlimited calling to domestic calls, but texting can be to any network in the U.S. and participating carriers in Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Consumers who go over their data allowance can purchase an extra 1GB of data for $20 when your data balance reaches 100MB or lower or pay 5¢ per MB. Consumers can pay extra for such extras as ringback tones or VZ Navigator service.
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