Up until now, Verizon Wireless has charged people with any America's Choice plan $5 per month extra to use the Mobile Web for any reason, and has charged airtime minutes while you use it. In a transition that is intended to pave the way for more variety of data usage, VZW is dropping America's Choice altogether. The new Nationwide plans will have Mobile Web included, without a $5 monthly charge. But here's the thing: instead of charging airtime for web and other data use, you will get charged $1.99 per megabyte of use. There are some exceptions to this rule:
You won't get charged for data use if you are downloading songs from V Cast Music Store, or sending and receiving picture or video messages, though they still cost 25 cents a piece. Ditto for 15-cent text messages. Subscribers to V Cast video service (starting at $15 per month) will get unlimited data use for Mobile Web, as you would hope.
New add-ons to Nationwide include $20 for unlimited text messages and $40 for the full meal deal: monthly subscriptions and unlimited megabyte usage for Mobile Web, Get It Now, V CAST Video, VZ Navigator and Mobile E-mail. That is one "I HEART Verizon" plan.
Word is, some of this will also apply to the new BlackBerry plans, but I don't have details on that just yet, so stay tuned.
It's not a whoo-hoo, thrilling plan revision meant to save you loads of money, but it does show that Verizon is no longer clinging to this antiquated concept of airtime in a data-based world. I have confirmed that if you do want to ditch your old America's Choice plan and swap into a Nationwide one, you will be able do to so without renewing your contract, just like we told you. [Verizon Wireless]