Top 4 Mobile Carriers' Pricing: Lots of Tiers

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Verizon ( VZ) has all the pieces of its 4G offensive in place: 10 devices, 38 cities ... everything except the data plan prices.

The so-called 4G Long Term Evolution network promises desktop Internet speeds on mobile devices. This is a transformative an event in modern communications -- not unlike 3G or even 2G, when they first rolled out.

With each upgrade there's an opportunity to rewrite the pricing playbook.

Telcos tend to have two approaches: One price or many prices. Will it be the $50 all-you-can-eat buffet or will it be the taqueria menu where every ingredient has a price?

At the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month, Verizon showcased some of the biggest muscle phones in the world to introduce its 4G LTE network. But missing from the big mobile shop's splashy message was just how much people were going to get soaked on the monthly charges.

Industry observers expect 4G to be a turning point where some unlimited plans will be abandoned as tiered pricing takes over. For the telcos, faster speeds will be a marketing advantage and a key distinction as exclusivity ends on iconic phones like the Apple ( AAPL) iPhone.

Captured in the following slides, here are the current data plans from the big four carriers.

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