Verizon Offers 3G Smartphone Prepaid Data Packages

As Hurricane Earl approaches the East Coast, Verizon rolls out new prepaid data plans for smartphones--and emergency equipment in case the storm affects customers.

Network operator Verizon Wireless announced it will be expanding its portfolio of prepaid offerings to include a new 3G Prepaid data package that lets customers access unlimited data on select 3G smartphones and multimedia phones for $30 monthly access. Multimedia phone customers also have the option of selecting a new $10 monthly data package for 25MB per month ($.20/MB overage). These new prepaid data packages are currently available through Verizon's Wireless Communications Store and online via the company's Website beginning Sept. 28.

The 3G smartphones and multimedia phones eligible for the new data packages include, on the smartphone side, the BlackBerry Curve 8330, Curve 8530, Storm 9530, Storm2 9550, Tour 9630 and Bold 9650, Palm Pre Plus and Pixi Plus, the Google Android-powered Droid from Motorola, as well as the company's Devour, Droid X and Droid 2. The packages also cover HTC's Droid Eris and Droid Incredible smartphones, as well as the LG Ally. The 3G multimedia phones covered by the prepaid data packages include the LG enV Touch, enV 3, Chocolate Touch, and VX8360, the Samsung Alias 2 and Samsung Renown, the Nokia Twist and the Casio Exilim.

"These new data offerings will help our prepaid customers experience the full breadth of Verizon Wireless' robust device portfolio and the many engaging, informative and helpful applications that depend on a data plan," said Jim Sullivan, director of marketing for Verizon Wireless. "Our prepaid customers will now have the freedom to enjoy all of the capabilities that these phones have to offer, while controlling costs and without being tied to a contract."

In August, the company announced the build-out of new cell sites in Maryland and Virginia as part of it annual multibillion-dollar investment to stay on top of user voice and data demands. In 2009, Verizon spent $274 million on regional network improvements, bringing its total network investment in the area to more than $2.3 billion since 2000. The company said that in addition to testing its LTE network it is installing LTE equipment at existing U.S. cell sites and switching centers as part of its ongoing investment.

While rolling out prepaid data plans and 3G networks, Verizon also announced it is preparing for Hurricane Earl, which is currently moving up the East Coast of the United States. Verizon Wireless network teams have been checking cell sites and switches to ensure backup batteries are prepared and topping off generators to ensure continued operation of network cell sites and switches in the event public power is interrupted.

In addition, Verizon said it has prepped and staged emergency equipment, including COWs (Cells on Wheels) and COLTs (Cells on Light Trucks) which can operate independently using a mobile satellite tower and generators on wheels, so they can be rolled into areas affected by the storm.

A company release said Verizon Wireless network operations teams have plans for dealing with disaster if and when it strikes, including providing additional network facilities when and where wireless calling capacity is required. The company also has its Wireless Emergency Communications Centers, which can provide free calling, battery-charging stations, and wireless communications support and service if needed in hard-hit communities, ready to go.