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Verizon Droid Tethering Comes At a Hefty Price

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the unlimited-and-5GB-are-not-the-same dept.

Cellphones 555

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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Tethering (3, Informative)

biryokumaru (822262) | more than 4 years ago | (#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]

MOD PARENT DOWN (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031416)

biryokumaru is TROLLING for karma by making a pointless FP to a Wiki article. It isn't even pertinent info.
 
Won't even say nice try to this one!

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN (5, Insightful)

TrisexualPuppy (976893) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031442)

Verizon has confirmed that tethering will cost another $30 per month for an additional unlimited data plan that is also limited to 5Gb.

I LOL'ed at this one. An unlimited data plan limited to "5Gb." What a country!

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN (4, Insightful)

richlv (778496) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031502)

couldn't some group of americans sue the shit out of dumbass companies who use misleading marketing - calling something with a cap "unlimited" should result in their whole marketing department fired and any manager who approved it receiving hefty financial fine.

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN (2, Funny)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031680)

couldn't some group of americans sue the shit out of dumbass companies who use misleading marketing - calling something with a cap "unlimited" should result in their whole marketing department fired and any manager who approved it receiving hefty financial fine.

What if a customer agrees to pay the bill subject to a 5 dollar a month fair billing policy?

Turnabout is fair play.

Re:MOD PARENT DOWN (4, Informative)

asdf7890 (1518587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031690)

That was tried in the UK with ADSL providers advertising "unlimited" broadband. They got around it by reclassifying exactly what is unlimited - it is now "unlimited access" so at any time 24/7/365.25 you can have access, but it isn't unlimited bandwidth.

Sue all you like - they'll find a loop-hole somewhere and the only people to really gain will be the lawyers.

The only real way to fix the current advertising problems is to educate the general public to not fall for stupendously unrealistic claims in advertising - unfortunately the general public seem somewhat immune to the effects of such education probably because critical thinking doesn't appear to be fashionable.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031578)

Sexpuppy is right about this marketing ploy

Re:Tethering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031424)

Oh! And here I was, thikning it's a device for tied cows to find out where there's more grass!

Re:Tethering (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031482)

Oh! And here I was, thikning it's a device for tied cows to find out where there's more grass!

Well, with a suitable wifi+GPS enabled gadget, it could be...

Re:Tethering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031476)

Wow! How on earth did you dig up that information so quickly? I had to use Google.com and search for "tethering" then click on the first result, but here you are with the link already. Outstanding. Really, I'm genuinely impressed.

Re:Tethering (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031884)

I still don't get it. With the previous story on iPhone tethering issues I had to Google what tethering actually means. Now, is it just me or is this the same thing as what I used back in '03 with my old Nokia 6210 and an IR port on the laptop? Why is this suddenly a premium service? Yes, I do have an old SE K700i and I do live in EU, but if I want to access the net with my laptop I simply turn on BT on both devices and dial *99#. No special 'unlimited' data plans and no special tethering surcharges...

Silence is betrayal (1)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031390)

As a feminist who solidarizes with all my oppressed sistas, I am outraged that this "article" does not mention breastfeeding. It is obviousloy transparent that the male-chauvinist computer world deos not consider specially designed phones for breastfeeding users to be a priority. Also, why have the police not been making sure that these powerful new devices are not used in violence against women?

Beats UK prices (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031396)

5Gb limit on the "unlimited" package? Over here, unlimited packages are usually limited to 500Mb, with hefty costs for each Mb over the limit.

Re:Beats UK prices (2, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031420)

What are you talking about?

T-Mobile offer a £12 (or 12.50) add-on for their contracts (or included in some of them) that gets you 3GB including tethering. You're being ripped off if you're still paying late-90s data prices.

Re:Beats UK prices (4, Funny)

dmbasso (1052166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031628)

The unlimited that is limited, the free you have to pay. And Orwell and I laughing in the newspeak sense.

Quick Guys! (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031402)

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.

Re:Quick Guys! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031556)

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.

There is an easy loophole in this. If the robot fears that the owner will use the excess cash to buy junk food then the robot will have saved the owner's life by not allowing them to get diabetes or have a heart attack.

Re:Quick Guys! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031766)

You forgot the zeroth [wikipedia.org] law

Re:Quick Guys! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031792)

You need this to at least override the second and third laws, otherwise you just need a human to order the robot to grossly overcharge.

It'd be nice if they stopped lying. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#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?

Re:It'd be nice if they stopped lying. (5, Insightful)

ultraexactzz (546422) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031494)

It seems like there would be some agency to complain to when a company advertises something that isn't true...

Re:It'd be nice if they stopped lying. (3, Insightful)

kieran (20691) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031588)

Mod parent up - Funny or insightful, pick one.

Re:It'd be nice if they stopped lying. (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031702)

It seems like there would be some agency to complain to when a company advertises something that isn't true...

I know of the advertising standards agency in the UK. What's the US equivalent?

There is a US equivalent isn't there?

Re:It'd be nice if they stopped lying. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031704)

The NRA?

Re:It'd be nice if they stopped lying. (5, Funny)

buckhead_buddy (186384) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031654)

You misunderstand; it's the fees that are unlimited rather than the service provided.

A "limited" account would have a cap on how much Verizon could potentially charge you per month.

Re:It'd be nice if they stopped lying. (1)

thijsh (910751) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031914)

And ironically this new "limited" account would have a standard cost clause mentioning "Aleph-1".

Re:It'd be nice if they stopped lying. (2, Insightful)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031698)

They're not going to stop lying until they're legally instructed to - this practice of misleading customers has almost certainly a positive effect on their sales. Average Joe's don't see asterisks.

Re:It'd be nice if they stopped lying. (1, Insightful)

caffeinemessiah (918089) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031776)

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".

Actually, all "unlimited" plans are limited. Just multiply maximum bandwidth by days in the month to figure out your monthly cap. So the question here is if 5 GB is less than Verizon's "3G" speed multiplied by about 30 days. It would be nice if someone with Verizon could figure this out.

Re:It'd be nice if they stopped lying. (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031894)

I've got about 50KB/s through UMTS which, multiplied by one month, gives 125GB. 25GB is probably a reasonable maximum for a connection that speed. 5GB is relatively easy to go over; it means saturating the connection for one hour per day.

Why the sudden outrage? (3, Interesting)

Jace Harker (814866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031786)

This isn't new: these terms are exactly the same as Verizon's current plans for Blackberry service. $30/month for the smartphone "data plan", plus an extra $30/month for tethering. And yes, they've always called it "unlimited", but it's always been capped at 5GB. I've been paying these rates for some time. It's annoying, but it's been going on for ages.

It's amusing to me that people are only getting outraged about this now because Verizon is selling a popular new phone that everyone wants to buy.

Re:It'd be nice if they stopped lying. (5, Informative)

obi1one (524241) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031832)

Strange, this [consumeraffairs.com] indicates that verizon got in trouble for this exact practice back in 2007 and was supposed to stop.

unlimited (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031418)

hmm - there must be another meaning for this word I did not know about

Free market (4, Insightful)

Fotograf (1515543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031422)

they are free to kill their sales and nobody should be in urge to stop them

Re:Free market (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031452)

Except that they lie about unlimited plans.

Re:Free market (3, Interesting)

Skater (41976) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031518)

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.

Re:Free market (4, Funny)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031726)

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.

Re:Free market (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031870)

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 (5, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031872)

This is a highly deregulated industry...

Which allows collusion, continued high prices and lackluster service.

Re:Free market (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031794)

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 (3, Insightful)

Nerdfest (867930) | more than 4 years ago | (#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 (5, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

On the one hand... (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031436)

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 reasons/experiences, I would very seriously consider buying into this scheme.

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?

Re:On the one hand... (1)

drdanny_orig (585847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031616)

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.

Re:On the one hand... (1)

klashn (1323433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031742)

So, this is $60/mo in ADDITION to the voice plan which is probably another $40/mo at least. $100/mo for phone service. AT&T provides this for ~$75/mo on iPhones. I think T-mobile is about $65/mo with the Android G1.

What is Tethering? (-1, Redundant)

Mr_Blank (172031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031446)

http://mobileoffice.about.com/od/usingyourphone/f/tethering.htm [about.com]

Question: What Does Tethering Mean?
Answer: In relation to cell phone use, tethering has two definitions and both can apply to mobile professionals' use of their cell phone.

1. The first definition of tethering refers to using a cell phone as a modem for your laptop or PDA. Creating a connection either with cables or wirelessly "tethers" your cell phone to your other mobile device.

When reading User Agreements for cell phone service providers make sure to pay attention if the Agreement prohibits the use of "tethering your cell phone" or using your cell phone in a "tethered capacity".

If you do not have a cell phone service package that allows you to use your cell phone as a modem you could be in violation of your User Agreement and lose your service. You may also find that you have incredibly high bills for your connection time.

Tether the tether by tethering the tethered tether to another tether. sheesh

How the hell? (2, Insightful)

skirmish666 (1287122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031450)

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.

Re:How the hell? (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031526)

Hah - in the UK a cap as low as 250 MB is unlimited [itpro.co.uk] . Such is life.

Re:How the hell? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031554)

The ASA ought to sort that out.

But you can get decent tethering plans in the UK.

Re:How the hell? (1)

stupid_is (716292) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031602)

They're dodging the issue, somewhat - as long as there's enough prominence of a Fair Usage Policy, ISPs and their ilk can bandy the term "unlimited" as much as they like. Some folks they've slapped down for using it without being clear about the (*) at the end of "unlimited(*)" (or even lacking it), but they have said that the term is valid for use in this way. Bastards.

Verizon = US, right? (4, Insightful)

YeeHaW_Jelte (451855) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031462)

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.

Re:Verizon = US, right? (3, Informative)

cfulmer (3166) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031568)

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.

Re:Verizon = US, right? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031592)

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 only place you might ever connect it is the other.

Just one more reason to go with the N900 instead... too bad AT&T is the only credible GSM provider in the USA.

So... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031464)

These aren't the Droids I'm looking for

What else did you expect? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031498)

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 ruled India, the Indian Posts and Telegraph department run phone service used to have this kind of customer service and billing procedures.

Lowering the bar for AT&T (2, Informative)

jht (5006) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031504)

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.

How is this different than their other phones (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031512)

This is the same pricing scheme used for other smartphones under Verizon. This isn't news. $30/mo for data, $60/mo for tethering. Unless there is a special App on the Droid that is required for Exchange and Verizon charges $15/mo for that or you're using some hosting service for Verizon, there is no cost for Exchange. I certainly don't pay $15/mo for exchange access on my HTC phone from Verizon.

Also outside of the iPhone, AT&T charges the same rates last I checked:
http://www.wireless.att.com/cell-phone-service/cell-phone-plans/pda-personal-plans.jsp
Actually they're $5/mo more.

everything 'costs' something (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031514)

'instant' communications can be a bit frightening. for example, when accessing this page;

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/quakes_all.php

an hour ago it showed a 7.2 quake in fiji @ 10:44, & @ 4.0 quake in hawaii @ 10:52, which then 'disappeared' (off the usgs chart utc times) a few minutes later, with only the fiji quake left. what more disinformation could we ask for?

TetherBot (2, Interesting)

jspenguin1 (883588) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031528)

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.

generally favorable reviews? (1)

Mr. Droopy Drawers (215436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031530)

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!

Re:generally favorable reviews? (1)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031850)

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:generally favorable reviews? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031856)

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.

Releasing phones before fully tested? No kidding.. (1)

rrossman2 (844318) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031536)

'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.'"

Yeah, just like they did with the Blackberry Storm. When my friend and I first got that phone about a year ago, it was the biggest pain in the behind phone I think I've ever used. A lot of the people I know who have the Storm also had the same feelings towards it. Slow, froze up all the time, things would "stick" on the screen, the touch screen keyboard absolutely blew, sometimes when you went into the camera you'd see what the camera sees on the screen but the touch screen function bar at the bottom of the screen to take the pic etc wouldn't be there, etc.

Most of this has *FINALLY* been fixed in the Blackberry OS 5.0, but with ALL the issues (phone automagically erasing my microSD card which really pissed me off) I will never get a phone until the kinks have been worked out. It's not worth paying the "first adopter" price just to find its full of bugs (think the iPhones).

Also, that extra money for the tethering is crazy. I never got why in the hell they charged in the first place! (besides the whole "because they can")

Say what? (3, Insightful)

ShooterNeo (555040) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Say what? (1)

macmaniac (734596) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031580)

I dunno, compared to the rate if you haven't a plan at all ($0.001 per kb, if memory serves, or about $20 or so per mb), $50/gb data is still pretty good.

Re:Say what? (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031658)

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.)

Suckers... (1)

bkr1_2k (237627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031552)

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.

Timing is everything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031576)

Interestingly I just bopped over to /. from pricing out a move from my current expired Sprint contract to Verizon+Droid. Holy CRAP! To mirror my current Sprint plan (1400 min + unlimited SMS, unlimited data, tethering, etc.) would be over 4 x the cost!!! The Droid is a cool phone, but Verizon is absolutely insane if they think they can charge this much and still gain market acceptance.

Only a fool would pay that (2, Insightful)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031586)

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.

Gigabits or Gigabytes? (1, Informative)

SolusSD (680489) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031596)

If the "unlimited" plan is indeed limited to 5Gb, that is only 640MB/mo! I could easily surpass that any given month with my iPhone.

Re:Gigabits or Gigabytes? (1, Troll)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031756)

It's gigabytes, the idiots who wrote the article probably don't know the difference.

Out the door pricing (1)

Kleppy (1671116) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031604)

Why can't companies just put a huge $$ tag on everything and just say "Here's how bad we're going to F^&$ you. Have a nice day." I think I'd be less pissed when I opened the box knowing I'm about to take it up the pooper.

Be glad you're not in Canada (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031608)

Be glad you're not in Canada -- typically we start with 500 mb of data, pay $50/gb for overages. Our providers often promise to release features after testing, then don't (i.e. 2 years is a long time to wait). Like Verizon, they also try to control all the features on their phones.

Nickel and Diming? (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031610)

More like hacking and slashing at limbs...

This is precisely why I just have a basic cell phone that makes phone calls. I'm not going to spend $50-100/mo for the privilege of using my computer away from home. I am not so addicted to the Internet that I'm going to incur that expense. At most, it'll cost me a couple of bucks to call information and find out where the nearest public library is if I really have to get online that badly.

Speaking as one of many AT&T users (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031612)

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...

Inaccurate Exchange Pricing (3, Informative)

rwrife (712064) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031626)

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.

Re:Inaccurate Exchange Pricing (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031764)

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.

How will they enforce it? (1)

Anon E. Muss (808473) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031636)

Android phones have an open development model. What stops somebody from writing their own tethering or Exchange app?

Re:How will they enforce it? (2, Informative)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031772)

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.

Microsoft Exchange email account you ...$15 (5, Informative)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031640)

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.

GSM Droid? (1)

slifox (605302) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031642)

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:GSM Droid? (2, Funny)

SpockLogic (1256972) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031780)

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.

Summary is dead wrong (5, Informative)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031666)

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.

PCW Article getting debunked in the comments (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031686)

*I* have not yet looked at all the contract and associate fun stuff, but on the PCW article itself there's a lot of debunking already going on in the comments section about the fees. I realize Verizon is more expensive overall, but it looks like they should have fact-checked a little strictly based on the comments so far.

or... (2, Insightful)

jipn4 (1367823) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Nickel and Diming.... (1)

rwv (1636355) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031736)

...usually doesn't add a reoccurring charge of $60/month. I believe a more appropriate term would be Jackson and Granting (after President Andrew Jackson whose face appears on the $20 bill and President Ulysses S. Grant who is on the $50 bill).

Re:Nickel and Diming.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031796)

Are you really shocked that you have so sign a data plan for a smart phone? And also that this data plan costs money?!?!?! How dare they charge the consumer!!!! Wait, on top of that I have to pay a regular access fee like a normal cell phone, to use THEIR NETWORK!! Oh the outrage!

Yes, the same is true for the iPhone in case you don't understand. In order to use a data plan and the phone, you have to sign up for the contracts. I was reasonably sure that people complained about the iPhone deal because you had to spend around 100/month on the plan for 2 years in order to get the iPhone. Perhaps deals have changed, but that was the original complaint I was reading.

Overhyped (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031784)

The Droid has been grossly overhyped probably because everyone wants to see something close to the iPhone but on Verizon. It has many major weaknesses.
Cannot use more than 256MB for applications. This is a stunning weakness making many iPhone type apps impossible on the Droid.
The physical keyboard is near unusable and the onscreen keyboard not much better.
No multi-touch. Android multi-touch does not have the pinch gesture anyway and is very slow.
The entire device is slow. Scroll the home screen and watch it lag. Browser is much slower than the iPhone 3GS and is not 100% ACID compliant like the iPhone.
5 megapixel camera but it sucks,
Multimedia support is awful.
Cannot do data and voice at the same time.

US cellphone business sucks (1)

Noghlin (1223690) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031806)

Tethering has always been free in Sweden, I've been using it since like 2001 or something. We have the same cellphone network standard in not only Sweden but the whole EU as far as I know. I even know two competitive operators here in Sweden (Tele2 and Telia) that share the same network for 3G (called Sweden3G). We also don't have branded phones, most of our phones are sold unlocked and can be used with any operator you like. etc I feel sorry for you.

FUD on exchange (1)

fadethepolice (689344) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031812)

The additional $15 is only for corporate accounts which apple also charges. You can use your personal account to access your work e-mail without the additional charge.

Wrong Information (5, Informative)

noc007 (633443) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Doesn't really matter (1)

Pedrito (94783) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031834)

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.

Treating it like an iphone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031836)

This is Verizon trying to use the publicity and 'celebrity' status of the Droid (ironically as an 'iPhone Killer') in the same way as AT&T abuses the iPhone by dropping value and hoping people will still buy it for what it is!

AT&T does it by selling crap service at standard price - Verizon has decent service, so is going for extortionate prices instead!

PC World Has it out for the Droid (5, Informative)

limaxray (1292094) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031838)

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.

Verizon customers on Droid: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031888)

"Can you gouge me now?"

This is why I have an iPod Touch and a cheap phone (1)

jocknerd (29758) | more than 4 years ago | (#30031898)

I'd love a really good smartphone, like the iPhone or Droid, but until I can get one for around $50 a month for unlimited service with tethering, I'll stick to finding WiFi for my Touch and using my cheap cellphone when I need to talk to someone.

slashvertisement garbage (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30031916)

Fuck you timothy... Why are you posting this drivel?
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