NEW YORK - Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest cellphone company, is phasing out nearly all of its existing phone plans and replacing them with pricing schemes that encourage customers to connect their non-phone devices, like tablets and PCs, to the Verizon network.
The revamped plans let families and other subscribers share a monthly data allowance over as many as 10 devices - the biggest overhaul in the price of wireless service since the cellphone became a mainstream device. The idea is likely to be copied quickly, at least by AT&T Inc., which has already said it is considering introducing shared-data plans soon. Verizon's move "is the most profound change to pricing the telecom industry has seen in twenty years," said Sanford Bernstein analyst Craig Moffett. For Verizon, the approach reflects a desire to keep growing now that nearly every American already has a phone.