Verizon Wireless smartphone and tablet customers now have a variety of ways to monitor and manage wireless data usage.
While network operator Verizon Wireless is causing a stir this week
by announcing the end of unlimited data plans, to be replaced with a
three-tiered pricing structure, the company also unveiled a slew of
applications, tools and online tutorials aimed at educating its
customers and giving them the ability to check their data consumption
Verizon Wireless smartphone and tablet customers now have a variety
of ways to monitor and manage their wireless data usage, including text
message alerts that will be sent to smartphone customers to help them
keep track of monthly domestic data usage. Starting this week,
smartphone users will begin to receive free text message alerts when
their data usage crosses thresholds of 50 percent, 75 percent, 90
percent, 100 percent and 110 percent of their data plans' monthly
Customers who are registered with My Verizon, the online account
management tool, may also request email alerts and can add up to three
additional email addresses to receive the notifications. My Verizon
users also have the option of suppressing the 50 percent and 75 percent
alerts. Email alerts for the same threshold levels are already
available to tablet, netbook, PC card and Mobile Broadband device
customers on usage-based plans.
Verizon Wireless offers a variety of free tools that customers can
use to monitor and manage their accounts. Customers can check data
usage by dialing #DATA and pressing send from Verizon Wireless phones
to receive a free text message with the information, and can monitor
data usage directly from their handsets via My Verizon Mobile or online
through My Verizon.
At the company's official Web site, customers can learn about common
features and activities that utilize data and determine estimated total
monthly data usage using the Data Usage Calculator. It can be found by
searching for "data usage calculator" on the Verizon Wireless website.
Customers with data plans also can also download a Data Usage Widget to
most Google Android smartphones and Research in Motion (RIM) BlackBerry
devices and tablets. The widget tracks usage with a glance at the phone
screen and with one click connects to the customer's My Verizon Mobile
Verizon has also developed a series of video guides that offer tips
for customers on how to manage their wireless lives, including "It's
Easy To Track Your Wireless Usage", which highlights ways for customers
to check and monitor usage, "Tips For Traveling Overseas", which offers
tips for customers on how to prepare their phones for overseas travel,
and "Controlling Wireless Usage", which demonstrates how customers can
use Usage Controls to monitor wireless usage for each line on their
In addition, the company posted one other video, "Managing Wireless
Access: Content Filters", which showcases features of Content Filters
that allow customers to make sure wireless content is age-appropriate.
Customers can also visit Verizon Wireless Support to view "How To"
videos with step-by-step directions on different aspects of account
management, the company noted in a press release.
Verizon's new pricing structure offers customers monthly plans of
$30 for 2GB of data, $50 for 5GB of data and $80 for 10GB of data. A
$10 plan for 75MB of data is available to customers with feature phones
with limited Internet capabilities. The decision sees Verizon following
rival carriers T-Mobile and AT&T in switching from an
all-you-can-eat service to a tiered approach.
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.