On Friday, Verizon Wireless is set to release the Droid 4, a handset which has been described as "the greatest Android keyboard slider yet." But the Droid 4, which runs on Verizon's 4G LTE network, can also be something of a data hog – after all, if you can download media very quickly, you often tend to download a lot of data, full-stop. (It's no accident that one reporter, reviewing a Verizon 4G modem, called the device "dangerously fast.")
So this week Verizon is also reintroducing a double-data promotion: Sign up for a new 4G data plan, and get double the data cap for no extra cost. Right now, Verizon prices its data plans at three different points: $30 for 2 gigabytes of data a month, $50 for 5 GB, and $80 for 10 GB. With the promotion, those data limits are raised to 4 GB, 10 GB, and 20 GB, respectively.
Why is doubling the data cap important? Well in that "dangerously fast" review, CNET found that a Verizon 4G modem can regularly hit download speeds of 12 Mbps, fast enough to download a 2-hour, 1080p HD movie in about an hour. That means 10 gigabytes in one hour – or, phrased differently, it means that you might burn through your entire 10 GB monthly limit in just one hour.
The LA Times has reported that the deal – which is a repeat of a similar promotion issued in November of last year, in the run-up to the holiday shopping season – is restricted to customers "who are either new to Verizon or are upgrading from a non-4G handset to a 4G phone." So if you've already got a 4G Verizon handset, you won't be eligible for the deal.
The timing of the promotion, of course, is no accident. "The first quarter often sees a letdown in sales for wireless carriers, particularly after the frenetic pace of sales during the holiday period," Roger Cheng of CNET writes today. "Verizon has been particularly aggressive in pushing its 4G LTE products."