This has been rumored to be coming but VZW E dropped the bomb on us all by leaking a Verizon Wireless document detailing some drastic changes to Verizon’s data plans. Starting November 14th, 2008, all new PDA / Smartphones will require a $29.99/month or greater data plan. Gone are the pay as you go data plans, 1X data block plans and the 10 MB $24.99/month plans. The good news is that those who are currently signed up for any of the now canceled plans will not be forced to change. If you have a data block, you can keep your data block and continue to use Wi-Fi instead of EV-DO for you data connection. The bad news is that once you swap out your phone for any reason, you will be forced to upgrade to a $29.99 or higher monthly plan. The leaked document also notes that a similar plan will go into effect in 2009 for select Mobile Web 2.0 phones. Since the document mentions HTML web browsing capability as the criteria for a mandatory data plan, we assume this will affect phones such as the LG Dare, the LG Voyager and the new Krave ZN4. With this change, you will be forced to subscribe to the $15/month VCast plan that provides unlimited data for email and web browsing. This move, though controversial, is not entirely surprising. Verizon is apparently trying to better montize the growing interest in smartphones and generate a constant revenue stream by requiring data for all its advanced data-capable phones. Oh, one other thing. You know all of the hot new phones set to hit store shelves in November? Don’t be surprised if we see them become available after November 14th when this new mandatory data plan policy takes affect.
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