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Cellphones Businesses The Almighty Buck Wireless Networking

Verizon Droid Tethering Comes At a Hefty Price 555

Posted by timothy
from the unlimited-and-5GB-are-not-the-same dept.
Pickens writes "Tom Bradley reports in PC World that the new Motorola Droid smartphone will cost users $199.99 with a 2-year contract, with an additional $30 per month for the mandatory 'unlimited' data plan that has a monthly cap of 5Gb. Verizon will charge $50 for each additional gigabyte over the 5Gb limit on the unlimited data plan. Verizon has confirmed that tethering will cost another $30 per month for an additional unlimited data plan that is also limited to 5Gb. If you want tethering you will pay $60 above and beyond the monthly contract for service for an 'unlimited' 10Gb of data per month, and if you plan on connecting with an Microsoft Exchange email account you have to pay another $15 a month. 'Verizon seems to be doing everything it can to make the Droid as unappealing as possible by nickel and diming customers so that actually using it is not cost-effective,' writes Bradley. 'After all of the hype around Verizon's marketing efforts, and generally favorable reviews of the Motorola Droid, users that rush out to get the new device may be in for a shock.' Droid users will have to wait until sometime in 2010 for tethering. 'That service is on our schedule for next year,' says Verizon spokeswoman Brenda Raney. The delay is because 'the service has to be tested on the phone so until we know it works, we don't offer the service. It is not uncommon for us to introduce the phone and continue to test the service and offer it later.'"
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Verizon Droid Tethering Comes At a Hefty Price

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  • Tethering (Score:3, Informative)

    by biryokumaru (822262) * <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Monday November 09, 2009 @08:57AM (#30031370)

    For all of us cavemen out there who still just use our cell phones to make phone calls:

    Tethering is using a mobile device to gain Internet access for another device.

    - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tethering [wikipedia.org]

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Locutus (9039)
      so now I'm wondering why is this added tethering cost a big deal when the phone/service to beat is the iPhone and they don't have the tethering option? Just last weekend, an iPhone user told me he jailbroke his iPhone and tethers it and IIRC, he already pays around $70/mon to use that phone. And really, $30 for 5 GB( it is Bytes, not bits ) and who would _not_ expect them to charge more for tethering if that really was an option?

      Now where's the link to all the 3G carriers who allow tethering and how much t
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by gabec (538140)

      OP is ranting to a degree that he's misrepresenting his case.

      First, all smartphones require this crappy extra $30/month fee. Blackberries, iphones... Droids. It sucks, but Droid isn't the bad guy here, it's every carrier.

      Second, tethering isn't supported for most smartphone plans on the major networks. You want it on your iphone, too bad. The iphone itself supports it (as does Droid obviously) and AT&T doesn't. Well, apparently they will, but they will charge extra, just like Verizon. (http://mashable.c

  • Quick Guys! (Score:5, Funny)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday November 09, 2009 @08:59AM (#30031402) Journal
    Sounds like we need a fourth law of robotics:

    4. A Robot may not grossly overcharge a human being, or through inaction, allow a human being to be grossly overcharged, except where such orders would conflict with the first, second, or third laws.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:00AM (#30031410)

    If the plan is limited, it's not "unlimited", so please stop pretending. No, any cap is a cap is not no cap is not "unlimited". How many marketeers do you need to fire to stop believing otherwise, verizon?

  • Free market (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fotograf (1515543) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:01AM (#30031422) Homepage
    they are free to kill their sales and nobody should be in urge to stop them
    • Re:Free market (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Skater (41976) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:10AM (#30031518) Homepage Journal

      Pretty much. My fiancee and I will be combining our accounts next spring (she has AT&T, I have Verizon), and AT&T is sort of our default because both of our families use AT&T. We want smart phones, not necessarily the iPhone, and I was excited about the Droid. I should have expected that Verizon would come up with an 'unlimited' but capped at 5 GB plan. Guess it'll be the iPhone after all.

      I really do want to be able to tether, because we occasionally travel and don't have WiFi access and I want to use the laptop. But I've survived this long without tethering, and a smart phone will be enough for light web browsing and email.

      • by sleeponthemic (1253494) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:32AM (#30031726) Homepage
        Come a few months, this isn't going to be the situation. This is a highly deregulated industry, prices like these don't work in the longterm. You be patient for a few months and competition will drive it all down and you'll have the luxury of a choice.
        • by jo42 (227475)

          You haven't been around much, have you?

          Or maybe your are from another universe where things work differently?

          In Canada, Bell and Telus just started offering the iPhone. At the exact same, if not higher prices than the incumbent Rogers. So much for 'free market competition'.

        • Re:Free market (Score:5, Informative)

          by Sponge Bath (413667) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:47AM (#30031872)

          This is a highly deregulated industry...

          Which allows collusion, continued high prices and lackluster service.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jmauro (32523)

          In a deregulated industry will keep prices high if the barrier to entry into that industry is high as well. For cell phone providers the barrier to entry is really high since it costs millions to buy spectrum and billions to buy and install cell towers.

          Yea, you can lease time from the already installed towers, but again it's really expensive and since those who run the towers also provide end-user service so they can dictate the terms to the renting providers and don't really care if you lose money or not

      • by Mr2001 (90979)

        I should have expected that Verizon would come up with an 'unlimited' but capped at 5 GB plan. Guess it'll be the iPhone after all.

        I really do want to be able to tether, because we occasionally travel and don't have WiFi access and I want to use the laptop. But I've survived this long without tethering, and a smart phone will be enough for light web browsing and email.

        Light web browsing and email isn't going to come close to 5 GB per month. I use my G1 for email, web browsing, maps, RSS, Facebook, Twitter, and internet radio, and it adds up to less than 1 GB per month.

      • Re:Free market (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Nerdfest (867930) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:38AM (#30031800)
        Just out of curiosity, how can a wireless company tell whether or not you're tethering, when you run a device that can run pretty much any sort of software? Also, is a wireless proxy considered tethering? It seems to be quirte ridiculous to charge for a specific amount of bandwidth and then not let you actually use it.
        • Re:Free market (Score:4, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:52AM (#30031922) Journal
          Depends on how locked down the device is. If they control the software, they can get a message whenever you use the bluetooth DUN profile, or just disable it if you don't pay the fee. The AUP for my phone plan (T-Mobile UK) prohibits IM and tethering, but they've never complained when I used a Jabber client on my laptop via my phone. They could also use IP stack fingerprinting, which isn't 100% reliable but may be good enough to spot a Symbian, Blackberry, or iPhone stack.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Tintivilus (88810)

            AT&T enforces tethering fees on WinMo by locking the "internet sharing" app to use a different GPRS APN than the phone itself uses. No extra $, no access to the magic APN, no tethering. Of course, if you buy an unlocked (ie unbranded retail, not SIM-unlocked AT&T) WinMo phone, you can just configure internet sharing to use the usual APN, and everything is hunky dory.

            With Droid I'd imagine it'll be easier. There are already several tethering solutions for G1 that should work just as well for Droi

        • Re:Free market (Score:4, Informative)

          by Builder (103701) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:55AM (#30031958)

          The simple solution for most stuff is Browser ID strings and in some cases, MAC address prefixes. I know that in the UK, I could convince the O2 cloud to let me surf the web using wifi from my laptop on my free iPhone bandwidth simply by changing my laptop MAC address and browser ID to be mobile safari.

          I'm not sure how they would detect other apps, but as soon as you fire up a standard browser, it would be pretty easy to spot if you haven't changed this.

        • Re:Free market (Score:4, Interesting)

          by ironwill96 (736883) on Monday November 09, 2009 @10:30AM (#30032362) Homepage Journal

          One of my friends unlocked his Blackberry and enabled tethering without paying Verizon the tethering fee. He was playing MMOs via the phone's internet connection and this lasted for about half a month before Verizon noticed and disconnected him. When he opened up a web browser they showed him a message telling him that he was tethering without paying for it and offered to re-enable it for a few dollars a month. All he had to do was click "ok" and it automatically added tethering to his bill and re-enabled the access instantly.

          They are doing something to track if you are tethering and not paying for, possibly just by watching the usage and what kinds of things you are doing (for example - WoW packets showing up on the phone automatically means tethering since the phone itself isn't capable of playing World of Warcraft).

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Sandbags (964742)

          Simple, in so many ways

          1) the PC will pass it;s MAC address through the device. This can easily be detected.
          2) Android does not his update.microsoft.com, nor an AV update site, nor half a dozed other IPs and services that are rediculously difficult to prevent your PC from communicating with.
          3) "browser type" is not the android default on your PC.
          4) simple software that's part of the bridged network adapter "tells" them it's being tethered, and tracks the data through each interface seperately.
          5) downloading

      • Re:Free market (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:41AM (#30031822)

        I should have expected that Verizon would come up with an 'unlimited' but capped at 5 GB plan. Guess it'll be the iPhone after all.

        So you don't want to get the Droid, because Verizon is evil and calls their plan unlimited when it's really 5 GB/month. Fair enough. Then, you decide to turn to the iPhone, where Apple pulls apps because they dare to compete with AT&T? I hate to be the one to tell you, but you're trading one evil master for another, not getting a better situation.

  • This doesn't sound like that big a deal to me, except for the delay in actually delivering the service. I would see $60/month for 10GB as a pretty competitive plan. After all, I wouldn't think too many people would be using this as their primary means of internet access, and for speed reasons I doubt people are going to want it much for torrents or things of that nature, so why worry about a cap of 10 GB/mo? If I had the money right now, which I don't, and if this weren't Verizon, which I hate for other rea
    • On the other hand, how can they call any capped thing "unlimited"? How would they not end up in court for some kind of false advertising or breach of contract?

      Because you're not prevented from using more than 5GB, you just have to pay more for the privilege.

  • How the hell? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by skirmish666 (1287122)
    How are Verizon getting away with calling a plan with a 5GB cap unlimited? Where I'm from there are laws against that. What, unlimited as long as your credit card is unlimited too? That dog won't hunt mont senior.
  • by YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:05AM (#30031462) Homepage

    So does that mean that you can only get a Droid telephone with a verizon account?

    If so, there's your problem: your markets for mobile telecom are vendor-locked, and thus not very free. Say what you might about the EU, they really whipped the mobile telco's into submission and as such, we don't have a system where your phone is branded by the telco. Incidentally, Apple is trying to push such a model to Europe, but people here are not buying into it.

    If not so, what's the big deal? Just buy the droid and don't choose Verizon as your provider.

    • by cfulmer (3166) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:16AM (#30031568) Homepage Journal
      Part of the problem is that the US carriers use different technologies. Two carriers (AT&T, T-mobile) use GSM. Verizon uses CDMA. So, even if the phone weren't locked to the Verizon network, you couldn't take it to either of the others.
      • by Andy Dodd (701) <atd7@nOspaM.cornell.edu> on Monday November 09, 2009 @11:18AM (#30033112) Homepage

        T-Mo and AT&T both use GSM and are pretty good about SIM-unlocking their phones. (In general both will provide a SIM unlock if you've been a customer in good standing, meaning bills paid, for 90 days.)

        That said, there are enough differences between the bands they use that I wish you luck in using a T-Mo phone on AT&T or an AT&T phone on T-Mo, unless you enjoy the pain and suffering of EDGE data. I do not know of a single phone on this planet that does UMTS in all three of the bands used for it in the USA.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      If not so, what's the big deal? Just buy the droid and don't choose Verizon as your provider.

      While in theory Sprint and Verizon phones will interoperate, in practice both vendors have a long history of refusing to warm up a competitor's phone. This is incredibly stupid of them, because they actually charge you for a phone upgrade in your phone bill every year, and if you don't get one they just pocket the money, but it's still how they do business. (Numerous people are counterexamples... they are not very numerous, however.) In any case, neither one is GSM, so if you buy a phone from either the onl

    • by nvrrobx (71970) on Monday November 09, 2009 @11:48AM (#30033580) Homepage

      Here in the US, the Droid is a CDMA/EVDO variant, which means it is only capable of operating on two carriers - Verizon Wireless and Sprint. Verizon can basically charge whatever fees they want, as they do have the largest 3G network in the US. Verizon works in remote areas better than any other carrier. Verizon also has the Droid device locked to their network.

      It is possible to buy an unlocked Motorola Milestone and use it in the US, but that would only gain you 3G access on AT&T Wireless and not T-Mobile. T-Mobile uses a different 3G band than the rest of the known GSM world.

      Remember, we don't have to protect consumers or competition in the US, only our large corporations bank accounts. I do wish we had Europe's model though. I noticed how great it was when I was in London for a few weeks.

  • So... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:05AM (#30031464)

    These aren't the Droids I'm looking for

  • Verizon is born of an unholy alliance of old baby bells. Bell-Atlantic and a few others. All the management and culture of that company dates back to the days when they were the monopoly, and they still are as far as wired access to homes are concerned. They are the kind of company that will bribe the lawmakers to outlaw municipal wi-fi networks even in small towns that they will never ever offer broadband other than some flaky version of DSL with 728Kbps service. Way back when that socialist Indira Gandhi
  • by jht (5006) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:09AM (#30031504) Homepage Journal

    This simplifies things a lot for AT&T (who still hasn't introduced tethering for the iPhone): All they have to do to get back on the high horse is come up with a better pricing plan than Verizon's and have the service available in the next couple of months. Even AT&T can potentially pull that off.

    As for the Exchange data plan - both Verizon and AT&T already do this on paper for smartphones, but that's the "corporate" data plan. On all the phones I've seen (for both networks) it doesn't actually matter - if your phone supports ActiveSync and you have a personal account it still works fine.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      All they have to do to get back on the high horse is come up with a better pricing plan than Verizon's and have the service available in the next couple of months.

      Of course AT&T should cost less than Verizon. It's inferior service.

  • TetherBot (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jspenguin1 (883588)
    So, does this mean they're going to have some draconian lockdown that prevents tetherbot [graha.ms] from working? T-Mobile doesn't like it either, but it works even on a non-developer G1.
  • Robert Scoble compares the Droid to to Windows 3.1.

    The Droid fails AS A PRODUCT when compared to Palm Pre and iPhone [scobleizer.com]

    Between this review, the increased cost of dumping a crappy phone, and the general high cost of actually using it for data, I'm going sit on the sidelines a little longer

    A battery cover that falls off? A physical keyboard that "peels" off?

    Come on Motorola! I think you're better than that!

    • A battery cover that falls off? A physical keyboard that "peels" off?

      Huh? I own a Droid, and I can tell you that neither of those is true. The author of your article is either very unlucky or a raging liar.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      The leadoff negative point about the droid is that he doesn't like the way the back of the phone looks because you can see the battery cover. Come on, that's ridiculous. Most of use the front of the phone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by $1uck (710826)
      The reviewer seems a little clueless. Seriously he thinks learning programming in java is harder than using javascript css and html? And he tells developers to run (from android) based on his opinion of a single phone? Seriously? I think he lacks a basic understanding of the phone market.
  • Say what? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ShooterNeo (555040) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:13AM (#30031546)

    Am I reading this right? They call the 5GB a month plan "unlimited", and charge $50 PER additional gigabyte (when they were perfectly willing to accept $6/gigabyte before you went over the limit)

    Why don't they control usage another way? Say, if you go over 5GB a month, your data rates get slashed to 1/5 or 1/10 the normal speed, and the phone gives you an OPTION to pay an additional fee if you want your full speed restored. I actually think a cap is a good thing FOR PHONES because radio spectrum is a finite resource. Verizon only owns so much spectrum, and using current modulation technology, can only send so much data through the air in a particular cell at one time. There are high tech ways around this problem, but they cost a lot of money, and heavy users should pay more.

    But they way they are doing this is just a trap basically. I bet the phone doesn't even tell you if you go over the limit, unless you look in some deeply buried menu. They are just setting you up for a huge bill during that one month when you actually use the phone's internet capabilities to their full potential.

    And the phone had so much promise. They say the screen kicks the ass of the iphone, and that the CALL QUALITY is vastly clearer and better. I believe it - I had a CDMA phone years ago, and I recall it being nearly as clear and stable a connection as a land-line. Darn nokia phone would work everywhere as well. I've never, ever gotten service this good through ATT.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      I actually think a cap is a good thing FOR PHONES because radio spectrum is a finite resource.

      it's fine if you don't advertise as unlimited. That's fraud. Why it is protected when cellphone companies do it, I don't know.

      I believe it - I had a CDMA phone years ago, and I recall it being nearly as clear and stable a connection as a land-line.

      It has nothing to do with ATT vs. Verizon or GSM vs. CDMA, it's all about your phone. My RAZR V3i gave better call quality than my V500 upg. to V600 (or wtfever it was exactly, I lent my backup phone to someone who destroyed it.)

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Am I reading this right? They call the 5GB a month plan "unlimited", and charge $50 PER additional gigabyte (when they were perfectly willing to accept $6/gigabyte before you went over the limit)

      Why don't they control usage another way? Say, if you go over 5GB a month, your data rates get slashed to 1/5 or 1/10 the normal speed, and the phone gives you an OPTION to pay an additional fee if you want your full speed restored. I actually think a cap is a good thing FOR PHONES because radio spectrum is a finite resource. Verizon only owns so much spectrum, and using current modulation technology, can only send so much data through the air in a particular cell at one time. There are high tech ways around this problem, but they cost a lot of money, and heavy users should pay more.

      But they way they are doing this is just a trap basically. I bet the phone doesn't even tell you if you go over the limit, unless you look in some deeply buried menu. They are just setting you up for a huge bill during that one month when you actually use the phone's internet capabilities to their full potential.

      And the phone had so much promise. They say the screen kicks the ass of the iphone, and that the CALL QUALITY is vastly clearer and better. I believe it - I had a CDMA phone years ago, and I recall it being nearly as clear and stable a connection as a land-line. Darn nokia phone would work everywhere as well. I've never, ever gotten service this good through ATT.

      Actually the article says 5Gb's not 5GB's like every one is saying. If it was 5GB's it wouldn't be too bad but as it stands now the 5Gb's comes out to a little over 1/2 GB's, which is terrible.

  • And people will still pay this extortionist price because they absolutely must have the latest electronic crack pipe available. Suckers. People will never learn, at least here in the USA that the only way to force companies not to do this shit is to stop paying them to do it.

  • by sleeponthemic (1253494) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:18AM (#30031586) Homepage
    Early adopters always get the shaft. You keep your wallet in your pocket and within months, the wave of competition with ensure that you made a very wise (and obvious) decision.
  • by MikeRT (947531) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:20AM (#30031612) Homepage

    My wife and I pay about $119/month for "unlimited" data and 200 text messages each per iPhone. We get no reliable signal in most of Virginia past Prince William County unless we are on a major state highway. There are places where Verizon would be 5 bars that AT&T doesn't even get signal at all, and by that I mean not even Edge.

    The moral of the story? You get what you pay for. Verizon may be more expensive, but AT&T is a perfect example of what happens when a telecom doesn't plan ahead for getting the kind of revenue it needs to really build out its network. I wasn't very happy with Verizon's customer service, or their phone selection a year ago, but they obviously put that money SOMEWHERE good since I can't remember any place other than inside the Luray and Skyline caverns where my phone didn't get a signal with Verizon...

  • by rwrife (712064) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:22AM (#30031626) Homepage
    Verizon charges "corporate" customers an extra $15/mo to access "corporate" (aka Exchange) email. This is true with all of their smartphones and is similar in pricing to what ATT & Sprint charge. Personal accounts can access Exchange w/o any additional charges.
    • by 1s44c (552956)

      Verizon charges "corporate" customers an extra $15/mo to access "corporate" (aka Exchange) email. This is true with all of their smartphones and is similar in pricing to what ATT & Sprint charge. Personal accounts can access Exchange w/o any additional charges.

      Maybe because they know that anyone who uses exchange for email is 1) a big company and 2) doesn't care about money.

  • Android phones have an open development model. What stops somebody from writing their own tethering or Exchange app?
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by AndrewNeo (979708)

      They can't enforce it, people tether with Verizon phones now without tethering plans, and there are already tethering apps for Android. Also, Exchange is only extra if you're a corporate customer.

  • by wiredog (43288) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:23AM (#30031640) Journal

    No. Not any Exchange account, only the one that is provided by Verizon. Connecting to your corporate account doesn't cost anything extra. Other than getting the data plan.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by aztektum (170569)

      That's not quite right. Verizon doesn't provide Exchange accounts AFAIK. The extra $15 dollars is if you are on a business account. This comes from friends who are Verizon sales monkeys, but I Googled it too for you Citation Provided.

      $30 for personal data plan. You can Exchange all you like.
      $45 for corp data plan. You can Exchange all you like.

      +$30 more for tethering. For me, not worth it, since there is secured-wifi literally everywhere I go on a regular basis. YMMV

      Egregious, I say, but not exactly how the

  • Does anyone have reliable info about when the GSM version of the Motorola Droid will be release?

    And what will it be called? Sholes? Milestone? etc?

    The Motorola Milestone is supposedly launching in Germany... can we import that and use it with T-Mobile or AT&T in the US?
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by SpockLogic (1256972)

      Does anyone have reliable info about when the GSM version of the Motorola Droid will be release? And what will it be called? Sholes? Milestone? etc?

      It's going to be heavy and called Millstone.

  • by ericrost (1049312) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:27AM (#30031666) Homepage Journal

    The data plan is, in fact, unlimited. I go over 5 GB a month on my current Verizon phone regularly. This is no different. Tethering specifically has a 5 GB limit which is stated in the contract for it. There are also readily available hacks to make tethering work on an Android phone.

  • or... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jipn4 (1367823) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:30AM (#30031708)

    Or you can just use any unlocked Symbian phone on a GSM carrier and tether it to your heart's content. And in most places other than the US, that's exactly what you're supposed to do. You know, $30/month 5Gbyte data plans and all that.

    Mind you, Symbian sucks as a phone OS compared to Android, but Android really needs to get Symbian-like tethering. And Verizon's data plans are laughably expensive.

  • Wrong Information (Score:5, Informative)

    by noc007 (633443) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:41AM (#30031818)
    This crap has been circling the web and it's not completely accurate. With the $30 [verizonwireless.com] and $45 [verizonwireless.com] data plans for smartphones, you get unlimited data for the phone itself [vzw.com]. If you want to tether, it's an additional $30 for the $30 plan or $15 for the $45 plan and will allow you 5GB of tethered data and unlimited on the phone. In any case, if you want to tether and be within their TOS, you need to pay $60. It's still possible to tether without the extra cost and their software, it's just not within their TOS

    The difference between the $30 and $45 data plan isn't documented well and leads to a lot of confusion. I fault VZW for not getting this strait. All the $45 gets you is access their WirelessSync service and supposedly allow you to do Exchange ActiveSync within the TOS. The $30 plan CAN DO Exchange ActiveSync, but it's supposedly not ok within their poorly documented TOS and every VZW employee will tell you that you need the $45 plan if you're going to do Exchange ActiveSync.

    If you do use a lot of data on your phone, VZW can cancel your data account according to their TOS. I've used >5GB/month without a peep from VZW and any additional charge on my bill. It has been said in HoFo, if the data usage is extreme by VZW opionion, they could consider that your must be doing something that's violating the TOS. If VZW was smart, they wouldn't do much canceling since they're launching a bunch of Android phones and saying streaming YouTube and music is ok, which obviously will soak up a lot of bandwidth.

    I suggest that Pickens and the article author do some fact checking before publishing assumptions and hearsay.
  • I played with one at Sam's Club over the weekend. The keyboard sucks. It'll probably be a flop until they make a new keyboard. Maybe I'm wrong, but I spent like 3 seconds playing with it and HATED it. That was all I needed.
  • by limaxray (1292094) on Monday November 09, 2009 @09:43AM (#30031838) Homepage
    I'm convinced PC World has it out for the Droid and has only been carrying negative articles about it. This article is particularly misleading. First of all, the unlimited phone data plan IS unlimited - it's the tethering, WAN card, Mifi, etc plans that are limited to 5GB a month. Just head over to the Verizon website and check out the fine print. Now the catch is if they think you're tethering without a tether plan (which is really easy to do) they'll charge you for tethering. So if you use 10GB a month of phone data (which, lets be honest here, is not realistic using just your phone) they'll hit you for tethering.

    Next, the $15 a month for Exchange is if you're an enterprise customer. I'm not really sure what that means - if they host the account for you, or handle some extra securtity stuff, or what - but if you're just average Joe user with your own personal account, you won't need to pay it. There is no problem using Exchange with the regular personal data plan.

    These facts can easily be confirmed by checking out Verizon's website, but the boys over at PCWorld are too busy making out with their iPhones to do any fact checking.
  • by B33RM17 (1243330) on Monday November 09, 2009 @10:03AM (#30032028)
    there are a couple apps out for Android that allow tethering, all free. PDAnet is the most accessible, as it allows ANYONE with an Android based phone to use it as a wireless modem over USB.

    Or if you're a bit more tech savvy, like me, you can root your phone (which is just plain beneficial anyway) and install the free Wifi tether for root users app. It works like a charm, kinda sucks battery tho :-P
  • by Maury Markowitz (452832) on Monday November 09, 2009 @10:33AM (#30032402) Homepage

    The good news: there are now two usable touch-screen smart phones on the market

    The bad news: they still run on the same networks.

  • by DragonTHC (208439) <Dragon&gamerslastwill,com> on Monday November 09, 2009 @12:18PM (#30033986) Homepage Journal

    I received this response:

    I regret hearing that you have decided not to activate service with us based on the pricing of our plans and services. I can certainly understand as well that you need to keep your wireless service as cost effective as possible.

    Please note, Verizon Wireless is always looking for ways to enhance our products and services to better meet the needs of our customers. Your comments have been forwarded to our Management department for review and consideration. Your feedback provides us with the perfect opportunity to hear exactly what you think, and often leads to improvements you will see in the future.

    I also called a couple of weeks ago and a phone rep told me (paraphrased) that I could keep my own service and deal with dropped calls all the time or pay more for better service.

    So basically, Verizon thinks its service is worth more money despite providing the same level for more than any other carrier.

    My t-mobile with 2 G1 phones comes with 1000 minutes, unlimited data, unlimited m2m and nights and weekends, 400 sms. My bill is an average of $130 a month.

    Verizon's comparable plans would be $180 for less minutes.

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