Verizon simplifying plans, cutting voice costs, requiring data packages this month?

Verizon's not known for simplicity when it comes to plan selection (actually, most carriers aren't) -- currently, individuals can choose from Basic, Select, Connect, and Premium plans in a variety of voice bucket sizes, each featuring different text message and data allowances. It looks like that's about to change, though, on leaked slides showing that the current postpaid individual plan structure will be completely wiped out and replaced with just six options on the 18th of this month, down from 16 prior. Overall, the move is a trade-off -- unlimited voice pricing will come down a whopping 30 percent, while data packages will now be required on all but the most basic handsets. Comparing all-you-can-eat packages from all the major carriers, this slots Verizon $10 below AT&T but still well above Sprint and T-Mobile, same as always. Prepaid is getting tweaked, too, with all postpaid plans magically turning into prepaid for $5 more per month minus Friends & Family numbers. It's a thorough restructuring from a company that doesn't move very fast or very often, and it'll be interesting to see if (and how) the other guys respond.