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When AT&T introduced its tiered data plan in June, it caused a mini-outrage. The company stopped offering its $30/month unlimited data plan to new customers and unveiled usage-based pricing systems. Media guru Jeff Jarvis called it "retrograde," "cynical" and "evil." Now, according to The Wall Street Journal and Gizmodo, Verizon is joining the club, offering two new tiered pricing plans and an additional plan for iPads and netbooks. Has there been a similar outcry? Not yet. Perhaps it's because Verizon is still offering its unlimited plan or maybe everyone's resigned to the inevitability of industry-wide tiered pricing. Whatever the case, here's what's buzzing about it in the blogosphere:

  • Here's the Difference Between Verizon and AT&T, writes Phone+:

Verizon’s rumored pricing differs substantially from AT&T’s. AT&T offers a $15 plan for 200MB and a $25 plan for 2GB, but the overages run $15 and $10, respectively. The company axed unlimited pricing earlier this year... [Verizon's] will cost $15 per month for 150MB, with an overage charge of 10 cents per extra megabyte. The cap should allow for about 900 webpages or five hours of music-streaming each month, the Journal said. Verizon should introduce the new plan on Oct. 28; a two-year contract is required.

  • Apparently Tiered Pricing Is Working for AT&T, writes Phil Goldstein at Fierce Wireless: "AT&T shook up the U.S. wireless market in June when it unveiled tiered pricing.... AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson said last month that the lower introductory pricing has served to encourage users to try out AT&T's data services... Sprint Nextel CEO Dan Hesse said the carrier doesn't have plans to implement tiered pricing for mobile data--but he didn't rule out such a move at some point in the future.
  • How Bizarre, notes Alex Wilhelm at The Next Web: "In a surprising move the company will keep its unlimited plan at its current rate $30 a month, creating a somewhat ridiculous price tiering setup in which people will pay 10 cents per megabyte under the less costly plan, and marginally nothing per megabyte under the unlimited plan."
  • Gives More Options to Users, writes Kit Dotson at Silicon Angle:

Data capped rates certainly look like an extremely economical way for smartphone users to get data on their phones without incurring too great of expense. Good for people who only sporadically check their e-mail, web pages, traffic, and et cetera; but it’s probably not the best sort of plan for users who want to stream movies or music to their phones like most of the commercials want to sell them to us. The real kicker will be who downloads an app that tracks their usage and immediately warns them before they push themselves into the danger zone and jump from the low cost plan back into the expensive one due to an overage fee.

  • A Nice Gesture, writes Chris Smith at Androinica: "For most of us Android fanboys and girls that use smartphones, it looks like that we are going to be paying basically the same rate that we currently do; $29.99 for unlimited data. It’s also nice to see that VZW is offering a plan for $15 dollars a month, which honestly probably isn’t enough for most music streaming, file downloading Android users out there. But it’s a nice gesture, right?"
  • Also a New Data Plan for the iPads and Netbooks, writes Sarah Jacobsson Purewal at PC World: "Finally, if you pick up a MiFi-enabled iPadAT&T's iPad plan. (on sale October 28) from Verizon, you will be able to choose between 1GB/month for $20, 3GB/month for $35, 5GB/month for $50, and 10GB/month for $80. All of these plans will have the overage rate of $10 per gigabyte. Depending on how much data you use, this could be more expensive than AT&T's iPad plan."
  • A 4G Data Plan to Come, writes Chris Ziegler at Engadget: "Notably, this is just 3G data pricing -- the company says it'll announce 4G plans closer to the launch of its 4G network. Existing customers can stay grandfathered on their existing plans if they so choose, just as AT&T's been playing it. Thing is, the fact that Verizon is preserving its unlimited smartphone option is a big deal -- it'll be interesting to see if it twists AT&T's arm hard enough to bring it back."

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