Mobile

Verizon to kill unlimited data plans on July 7

Beginning Thursday, Verizon will no longer offer new customers an unlimited data plan for smartphones, the company confirmed to FierceWireless.

Verizon is making its newest customers pick from four data plans capped at between 75 megabytes and 10 gigabytes of data. The monthly data fees range from $10 for the 75-megabyte plan to $80 for the 10-gigabyte plan. Tethering the phone to another device to enable Internet access on any plan will cost an extra $20.

The company is currently rolling out its latest fourth-generation wireless network, which is supposed to be much faster than its existing network. Verizon has released 4G-enabled smartphones and USB dongles that give notebooks and computers access to the 4G network. The iPhone, which launched on Verizon in January, still runs on the company’s 3G wireless network.

Verizon will also charge customers using 4G-enabled phones as wireless hotspots an extra $30 per month to continue using the wireless hotspot feature.

(The latest generation of wireless networks, including LTE and other 4G networks, will be a big part of our MobileBeat 2011 conference next week in San Francisco.)

Verizon said in October that it would hold onto its unlimited data plan. At that time, it offered the plan for $30 a month. The company introduced a smaller data-limited plan for $15 a month. But those plans were put in place before Verizon finally added the iPhone to its array of smartphones.

AT&T killed its unlimited data plan last year amid complaints about its wireless network’s performance in large cities like New York and San Francisco. AT&T’s iPhone woes led to some speculation that Verizon would close the curtain on its all-you-can-eat data plan whenever it began selling the iPhone.

Here’s a breakdown of each plan:

75MB: $10, amounts to around seven minutes of standard definition YouTube videos or browsing 150 websites. AT&T’s smallest data plan is 200MB for $15 per month.

2GB: $30, amounts to around 200 minutes of standard definition YouTube videos or uploading 500 photos to Facebook. AT&T’s 2GB data plan costs $25 per month.

5GB: $50, amounts to around 25,000 one-page email messages or 1,250 photo uploads to Facebook. AT&T has a 4GB data plan for $45 per month.

10GB: $80, amounts to around 1,000 minutes of standard definition YouTube videos or loading 20,000 typical web pages. AT&T does not have a data plan that offers more than 4GB of data.

We’ll be exploring the most disruptive mobile trends at our fourth annual MobileBeat 2011 conference, on July 12-13 at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco. It will focus on the rise of 4G and how it delivers the promise of true mobile computing. We’re also accepting entries for our mobile startup competition at the show. MobileBeat is co-located with our GamesBeat 2011 conference this year. To register, click on this link. Sponsors can message us at sponsors@venturebeat.com.

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