Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) Wireless will offer no-contract LTE rate plan options in addition to its postpaid LTE pricing, a Verizon spokeswoman confirmed.
Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney said the carrier's no-contract LTE service will cost the same as its postpaid offering -- the only difference being the cost of the carrier's LTE devices. The carrier will offer 5 GB of LTE data for $50 per month or 10 GB of data for $80 per month; both options will carry a $10 per GB overage charge. Verizon's two USB LTE modems -- the LG VL600 and Pantech UML290 -- will cost $99.99 when subscribers sign a two-year contract. They will cost $250 in a month-to-month scenario.
Verizon will launch its commercial LTE service in 38 markets and at more than 60 airports Sunday. The modems also will work on Verizon's 3G EVDO network.
During a conference call Wednesday to introduce the plans, Verizon Wireless CTO Tony Melone said the company wanted to provide simple data plans to start, but that the pricing plans could change at some point in the future. "As the network evolves, other aspects around our offerings will evolve," he said.
According to speed tests of the network conducted by PC Magazine, Verizon's LTE service offered a peak speed of 21 Mbps. At that speed, the publication noted, customers would burn through a 5 GB data allotment in 32 minutes. Verizon has said that its LTE network, even when fully-loaded, will deliver real-world downlink speeds of 5-12 Mbps and uplink speeds of 2-5 Mbps.
Currently, MetroPCS (Nasdaq: PCS ) offers prepaid LTE service in six markets, and charges $55 per month without a contract for unlimited voice, texting and LTE data access. The Samsung Craft, MetroPCS' only LTE phone, costs $299. MetroPCS also has a $60 plan that gives users access to premium on-demand video content as well as the carrier's new MetroSTUDIO, which offers multimedia content including access to full-track downloads, ringtones and ring-back tones.
Clearwire (Nasdaq: CLWR ) offers its mobile WiMAX service -- which it said provides average real-world downlink speeds of 3-6 Mbps -- on an unlimited basis for $45 per month. The average Clearwire subscriber uses 7 GB per month, the company has said. Clearwire recently introduced a prepaid brand, Rover, that offers a monthly access option for $50 per month, a weekly plan at $20 per week, or a daily plan for $5 per day.