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Verizon To Ditch Phone Plans, Go With Shared Plans

Verizon stopped signing people up for unlimited-data plans last summer. The industry as a whole is moving away from the plans, since the data capacity of their networks is limited.

Under the new plans, subscribers can stop worrying about monitoring the number of calling minutes or text messages their families use in a month, but they'll have to keep a close eye on data consumption. Verizon will allow subscribers to adjust their data allowance from month to month, but if they go over their monthly allotment, that will cost $15 per gigabyte.

The data allowances start at $50 per month for 1 gigabyte. That's enough for prudent two-smartphone users who use Wi-Fi a lot, but Verizon recommends getting 2 gigabytes for $60. After that, each additional 2 gigabytes cost an extra $10 per month.

Under "Share Everything," Verizon will stop charging extra for letting devices act as "mobile Wi-Fi hotspots." That means subscribers who have a recent smartphone could use it to connect a tablet to the Internet, without paying the extra $10 per month for a tablet.

Verizon had telegraphed the move toward shared plans, but had not revealed the details or pricing.

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of New York-based phone company Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC, a British cellphone company with wide international interests.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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