Verizon Wireless store (interior 001)

The actions of major US wireless carriers are fairly easy to predict—particularly with AT&T and Verizon. If one does something, you can bet the other is going to follow suit, and vice versa. Just recently it happened with the device upgrade plans, and now this.

Hot on the heels of AT&T announcing its new 300MB share plan, Verizon has introduced a similar option for its customers. Starting this month, Big Red subscribers will be able to snag a new 500MB shared data plan for their smartphone, for $40 per month…

verizon share plans

While this comes in at $10 less than Verizon’s 1GB shared data plan, you’ll still end up paying $80 per month for a single smartphone. Now, that does include unlimited talk and text, but we’re only talking about 500MB of data here, which is subject to overage fees.

And here’s how a lot of consumers are responding to the new plan:

It’s worth noting that T-Mobile, for $70, will give you unlimited talk, text and high-speed data. Obviously there are some trade-offs, like LTE coverage and device subsidies, but it’s a viable alternative. So is Sprint’s unlimited talk, text and data (for life) plan for $80.

At one time, carriers made their money on tiered voice and texting packages. But now most of our communication is done over the Internet. So it seems like we can expect these data plans to get worse, as wireless providers try to figure out their next big money-maker.

Thoughts?