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Verizon nixes phone subsidies and simplifies its data plans

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Following the lead of alternative carriers like T-Mobile and Google Fi, Verizon announced today that it will be doing away with phone subsidies (the precise opposite of what it said last October) and rejiggering its data plans beginning August 13th. Don't get excited just yet, though, since there's no guarantee that your revamped service charges will be any less than what they are now.

The new structure has you paying $20 for each phone, $10 for each tablet and hotspot, and $5 for every smartwatch on your plan as well as one of Verizon's four data buckets -- 1GB for $30, 3GB for $45, 6GB for $60 and 12GB for $80. Any data usage over your bucket limit will cost $15 per gigabyte, though you can share the contents of your data bucket amongst 10 devices. The company is also doing away with offering discounted phones with a two-year service agreement, à la T-Mobile. Instead, customers are expected to either pay for the new device up front or have that cost amortized over a set period and tacked on to the monthly bill, which was formerly known as Verizon Edge.

[Image Credit: Invision for Verizon Wireless]

*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.

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