Verizon Wireless Dives Deeper Into Prepaid

Look for Verizon Wireless to announced a new, unlimited prepaid plan later this week to address the increasing number of customers wanting to ditch postpaid for no-contract service.

Starting Thursday, VzW will offer customers a plan that includes unlimited talk, Internet and texting for $50 per month, a spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal Tuesday. Youll be able to order it at Verizon retail outlets as well as big-box stores like Wal-Mart, Target and Best Buy.

The biggest catch with prepaid plans in the past has been a lack of smartphone choices but those are starting to get a little better. And as they improve, companies that specialize in prepaid like Sprints Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, MetroPCS and others are seeing subscriber increases. Yet even still, new Verizon customers can only choose from four handsets, the report says.

Lowering costs, of course, also have been driving people toward the prepaid option, and in this economy, its certainly more attractive than it might have been a few years ago.

To this point, prepaid has made up a very small percentage of Verizons business, while competitor Sprint now sports nearly 14 million prepaid customers, nearly one-quarter of its total, according to the WSJ. Verizons price is comparable to AT&Ts GoPhone prepaid service, and a little more expensive than what youll pay for something similar at Boost Mobile or MetroPCS.

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