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Verizon is doing away with contracts

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Verizon is getting rid of contract plans, switching its offerings over to month-to-month plans like AT&T and T-Mobile did before it. Verizon's new plans are all based around shared data buckets — there's no single line or family plan. Instead, subscribers pay for a specific amount of data and then pay a per-device fee to hook it into the plan.

Everyone loves per-line access fees!

The options include 1GB for $30 per month, 3GB for $45 per month, 6GB for $60 per month, and 12GB for $80 per month. Adding a smartphone to the plan is $20 per month, adding a tablet or hotspot is $10 per month, and adding a smartwatch is $5 per month. Verizon says that larger plans will be available for those who want them; for those who just need a little bit of extra data one month, Recode reports that they'll be stuck paying $15 for an extra gigabyte, though they can always jump up to a new plan the next month. As usual, the pricing is not really friendly or tailored for anyone, but Verizon is under the odd impression that it's easier to understand.

The plans go live next Thursday, on August 13th. Current Verizon subscribers will be able to hang onto their existing plans or switch over to the new plans "with some restrictions."

Though doing away with contracts is a big shift, it's something we've seen coming. T-Mobile kicked off the trend about two years ago, and AT&T began following it recently by dropping contract offerings from third-party sellers. Alongside the shift away from contracts is the shift away from subsidized phones, meaning that people are going to need to start buying phones at full price or using carriers' payment plans. Verizon has been offering such a plan under the name Edge, though it's now decided to rename it "device payment option," which actually is easier to understand.