May 17

Refurbished cell phonesI hope you like buying used and refurbished cell phones, because Verizon adopted the tiered data plans just under a year ago, but if you had unlimited data before then, you were fine. I got my Droid X just before the tiered service started and have been enjoying the freedom of not having to keep an eye on how much data I use. Well, those days may be numbered.

What Does This Mean?

Verizon just announced that, in the near future, when you go into a Verizon store to upgrade your two year contract to 4G, you will be offered the tiered data service, as the unlimited service will no longer exist. They have yet to release when this plan will be set into motion. So if your contract is up within the next month or so, I would suggest upgrading ASAP if you want to stick with the big red. Verizon is known to have some of the best smart phone devices out there. The Droid Razr and Thunderbolt are only the most recent additions to Verizon’s impressive cell phone lineup. Though a rise in refurbished cell phone sales may follow as more people try to drag out their 3G service for as long as they can.

Time To Jump Ship?

I, on the other hand, am torn on what to do. I enjoy using my phone for various things. One of the most important things to me is tethering to other devices to use the 4G network. It is unclear is people already on 4G unlimited will keep their unlimited plan. I have to jailbreak my phone in order to do this, but if I was put into the tiered data plan, I would burn through my limit within a week. I have been looking around and some friends have told me to make the leap to Virgin Mobile (technically Sprint) because they offer unlimited data and voice for $35. this is great for someone in a city or on the north-eastern coast. But it just doesn’t compete with Verizon’s extensive 4G LTE coverage. Do I stick with Verizon and accept my tethering loss in order to have the peace of mind that most places I go with have 3G or 4G service? Or do I make the leap for a much cheaper monthly bill and less continental US coverage? Not to mention every other cell service having a far more limited choice in Android devices compared to Verizon’s long list. I could always buy a used or refurbished cell phone.

I have until September to decide, which I think will be well into when Verizon begins cutting off Grandfathered unlimited data. If you just renewed your contract you should be fine for the next two years, but don’t expect that plan to be the same when you upgrade, or even possible when you renew your 4G service. As the big two, Verizon and AT&T, get rid of their unlimited data it seems the smaller companies, like Sprint and Virgin Mobile, are gaining some customers for their smaller monthly charges and unlimited data plan.  They still own a major chunk of the market, but no one has ever said competition is a bad thing. We’ll see how the end of Grandfathered plans will effect their sales in the coming years, if at all.

Sources: Gizmodo

 



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