Later this week, Verizon Wireless will launch the Droid RAZR, a next-generation update to the classic flip phone of yore. To celebrate, Verizon is rolling out a promotion that allows consumers to double their 4G data consumption, without paying a cent more in monthly charges.
Here's how it works: If you're currently paying $30 a month for 2 gigabytes of data, you can now chew through as much as 4 GB every month.
Signed up for 5 GB for $50? You'll now get 10 GB. Signed up for 10GB for $80? You'll now get 20GB. As Brent Rose points out over at Gizmodo, existing users will have to opt into the promotion, either by calling customer service or by logging onto the Verizon site. Newcomers to Verizon should be offered the promotion when they sign up for a handset. (Verizon has not specified how long the deal will be available.)
Back in the day, of course, plenty of carriers, including Verizon and AT&T, offered unlimited data plans. But as networks got increasingly clogged, and data usage swelled, companies have all but erased the all-you-can-eat option from the menu. With one exception: Sprint, which recently introduced an iPhone 4S of its own and continues to offer an unlimited data plan across its phones. (The iPhone 4S, of course, doesn't offer 4G.)
Still, even that is likely to change. Late last month, Sprint announced it would cut unlimited 4G data plans for tablets, laptops, USB cards, and notebooks. From now on, Sprint will bill 4G usage on those devices at three different tiers – 3 GB, 5 GB, and 10 GB. You can expect Sprint to go the same way with smartphones, probably sooner rather than later.
For more tech news, sign up for the weekly BizTech newsletter, which ships every Wednesday.