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Verizon's best kept secret: unlimited data for $30

Verizon Wireless Shopping Bag Retail  Store

 (Reuters)

Bet you thought that Verizon no longer offered unlimited data plans. It does. Verizon last year eliminated all-you-can use data on its two-year contract plans, but kept the option for its prepaid smartphone customers.

Opt for a prepaid phone at Verizon and you can add unlimited data for $30 a month. What's the catch? No iPhone. No 4G. However, Verizon currently has five prepaid smartphones, including the Droid 3 and two BlackBerry models.

Verizon offers three tiers of prepaid calling plans, each with unlimited texting within the U.S.: $65 buys 450 minutes, $85 buys 900 minutes and $95 gets unlimited calling. The $30 data plan is in addition to these fees. By comparison, a $30 data plan with a 2-year contract from Verizon buys you just 2 gigabytes of data. While Verizon may not be the cheapest prepaid plan around, it sure beats AT&T.

AT&T sells prepaid plans under its GoPhone brand. The company offers more Android phones than Verizon along with a pricey, retro Palm Pixi and an HTC Windows phone for variety. However, AT&T's data plan is far more stingy. For $25, GoPhone smartphone customers get 500MB of data a month — enough to handle email, Facebook and a little Web browsing. But if you plan to also stream music or watch a movie — forget about it. You'll hit your data limit and be instantly cut off.

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