iPhone 4S Verizon LTE

Verizon joined AT&T and T-Mobile yesterday by introducing a new upgrade program called Verizon Edge. Similar to the other two carriers’ offerings, the plan involves customers paying a monthly fee in exchange for the ability to upgrade their device earlier.

After crunching some numbers, we found T-Mobile’s program to be the best deal, due to the fact that it separates equipment and service charges. And some folks were hoping Verizon would follow suit here, but CFO Fran Shammo says don’t count on it…

To better explain, carriers have long included ‘extra charges’ in their rate plans to help them recoup the money they paid subsidizing your handset from $600 to $199. It’s estimated that these charges fall somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 per month.

Verizon Edge teaser

As part of its ‘Uncarrier’ campaign, though, T-Mobile has stopped doing this by dropping the cost of its rate plans and charging for devices completely separately. But both AT&T and Verizon plan to continue doing this, in addition to their Next and Edge fees.

Reuters reports:

“We will not touch our service pricing,” Verizon Communications Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said in an interview after the company’s earnings conference call on Thursday. He said the new Verizon Edge offer, to be launched on August 25, would not have an impact on Verizon’s financial results.”

To be fair, Shammo also said that he does not expect a large percentage of Verizon customers to opt for Edge. And analysts agree. Moffett Research’s Craig Moffett says “you’d have to be out of your mind” to accept this offer. “It’s like paying for your phone twice.”

For what it’s worth, we also agree. Until Verizon and AT&T lower their rate plans, the best bet for folks who are determined to go with an upgrade plan is T-Mobile. Otherwise, we recommend buying your device at full retail, and then selling it at your own leisure.

  • pauleebe

    So basically Verizon’s “Edge” and AT&T’s “Next” are useless, and actually screw you over, in comparison to Tmobile’s “Jump”, which is actually a good deal.

    I can’t wait for Tmobile’s network to continue growing, so the big carriers start to feel more of the heat.

    • Rowan09

      I agree. I want to switch to T-mobile but there network sucks and they don’t offer LTE right now in NY.

      • pauleebe

        My company picks up my unlimited AT&T bill, but if I had to pay it, I’d likely start considering Tmobile in the upcoming years.

      • Rowan09

        Lucky you I get a 20% discount with my company and I’m hoping the new job is will hopefully get soon will pay for my bill.

    • burlow

      I assume you’re a t-mobile customer?

      • pauleebe

        Nope, AT&T, because they DO have the best network where I primarily reside and work.

        But if I were paying the bill (my employer does), I would consider Tmobile for sure.

      • burlow

        “i can’t wait for t-mobile’s network to start growing..”

        apparently you can, because you aren’t joining them. ; )

  • Jaye

    In a matter of hours, I am planning and I will be cancelling my verizon contract and signing up with tmobile.

    • blastingbigairs

      Make sure you have LTE in your area with T-Mobile. Going from a Ferrari to a Prius is not going to be fun regardless of the savings.

    • Chindavon

      Then prepare for some really shotty reception.

  • n0ahcruz3

    Both big blue & big red are just ripping off their customers with their next and edge fees. Only big magenta has a good deal although rececption wise big red and big blue has excellent coverage.. But at the end of the day its all about profit for the carriers.

  • Gorgonphone

    eh… nothing to see here

  • chris125

    Of course not. Why do something to benefit the customer? They need to continue nickeling and diming the customer to keep the sky high profits

  • Craig Keller

    You could always go with an MVNO and pay full price for a new phone every year and still save $900+ over a contract-based carrier. I had straight talk for a year, then one day i decided “i’d like LTE”, and switched that very day at no penalty to the prepaid AT&T GoPhone plan with LTE for $60/mo. Im still saving $300 or so over two years vs a contract, and I get a new phone every year. (cost estimates include me paying full price for 2 phones vs. $199/24-mo for 1 phone)

    • Kurt

      cost estimates don’t include you selling the phones? and you are still saving 300?

      • Craig Keller

        That is correct as well. Not factoring in selling the old phones on craigslist either. Good point.

  • Kurt

    If you already have a full paid for device and then afterwards go to a carrier in the states, will you still be paying for the 20 dollar fee for the subsidized device as if you are getting the device from them? I’ll be buying a new phone this summer off contract, and when I go back to the states Ill use that device. I think T-Mobile is the only one who doesn’t charge you this fee if you own the device right?

  • Kurt

    I see on AT&T, Sprint etc they have the name and logo on their phones. How much do they pay you to advertise for them?

  • Al

    So Big Red and Big Blue said “we’re gonna continue to overcharge our customers and don’t care bout doing it!!” Great!! Morons!!