Update: Verizon set to drop unlimited data plans for smartphones

Three new Verizon Wireless monthly data plans, starting at $30 for 2GB, will be launched Thursday

Editor's note: The original version of this story quoted a news report which said there were four smartphone data pricing tiers coming July 7. Verizon later said there are only three plans to be launched Thursday.

As expected, Verizon Wireless will end unlimited smartphone data plans.

On July 7, Verizon will start offering three smartphone data plans that are priced from $30 for 2GB per month. The other plans are priced at $50 for 5GB and $80 for 10 GB, according to Brenda Raney, a Verizon spokeswoman.

The three smartphone tiers also apply to other "feature" cell phones, but feature phones will get a smaller fourth tier that is $10 for 75 MB per month, she said via email.

Users going over the limits of their plan will be charged $10 per extra 1GB.

Current contracts are not impacted, and existing customers who upgrade to a new smartphone and new contracts can keep the current $30 monthly unlimited data plan.

Online news site FierceWireless first reported the new Verizon plan.

AT&T moved to a tiered pricing model for data plans last year. It charges $15 for 200 MB per month, and $25 for 2 GB per month.

T-Mobile USA affects data usage by throttling transmission speeds of users that go over a specified amount.

Sprint is the only large U.S. carrier that doesn't have usage-based smartphone data plans.

A separate report in Droid Life said Verizon will also begin charging $30 for unlimited LTE mobile hotspot usage on smartphones like the HTC ThunderBolt and Samsung Droid Charge, starting on July 7.

New customers will be charged $20 for an extra 2GB of data used in a mobile hotspot.

Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed . His e-mail address is mhamblen@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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