Big Red is eliminating subsidies, service contracts, building its plans around a fixed cost for unlimited talk text with data usage on top, an industry trend largely pushed by T-Mobile. y this matters: As the nation’s largest carrier, what Verizon does impacts not just its customers but the entire industry. The American carrier lscape continues to move in the direction of no contracts easier-to-underst plans. The days of subsidized smartphones are surely numbered.

Four plans to choose from

Customers will pay $20 per month for each smartphone line to get unlimited talk text, then choose among four different data packages. There are no separate “family plans” anymore: just buy as many lines as you need, buy data for them to share. The smallest option, with one gigabyte of data, is $30 per month. One step up is 3GB a month for $45. Finally, you can go bigger with 6GB for $60 12GB for $80. Unfortunately Verizon is keeping its penalties, so you’ll get dinged $15 per additional GB. This data is shared among all the lines on your plan. Another downside is Verizon is dropping its 500MB plan, which was $20 per month a good option for someone who wanted data access but didn’t use a ton. ly, it should have just replaced the 500MB plan with 1GB, kept the price. The other major change is the elimination of smartphone subsidies, something that AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, other smaller carriers have embraced. Typically, carriers would offer a smartphone at a substantial discount in exchange for a two-year contract.  ile the good news is you’re not stuck with a contract, you’ll need to pay full cost for a smartphone. In order to avoid sticker shock, you can pay for the cost of the phone in monthly installments. Typically, phones that are sold unlocked direct to consumers are GSM phones, don’t always work on Verizon’s CDMA network. th Verizon’s switch away from lock-in subsidized phone contracts, we might start seeing more unlocked CDMA phone models.