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How Verizon's new $60 single line smartphone plan stacks up to the competition

In the scramble to win over more customers, carriers can't help but play around with the variety of different talk, text, and data plans they offer. Verizon is the latest tweaker, going to back basics with a $60 single line smartphone plan with 2GB of data.

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Yes, if paying extra for the option of sharing data between devices isn't for you, Verizon has the cure, as first spotted by Android Central. But whatever you do, don't go over your data limits or your wallet will be sorry.

As its name suggests, Verizon's new plan is only for people using a single line for their smartphone. If you also have a tablet or laptop that needs data then this plan is not for you.

For $60 a month, this single smartphone plan offers unlimited talk and text plus 2GB of wireless data. The catch is that if you go over your 2GB data allotment, Verizon will charge you $15 for each additional gigabyte. If you use an extra 2GB in a month that's an extra $30 tacked onto your monthly bill.

How Verizon's single line plan compares against AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile

Despite the overage charges, Verizon must believe a lot of customers will want to switch to this plan. The new single line offering is open to new customers as well as current ones, and Verizon Edge early upgrade customers can still receive their $10 discount on the monthly access charge under the single line plan, as with other Verizon plans. Speaking of other Verizon plans, a similar single device More Everything plan will set you back $90 per month by comparison. 

But if you're not a Verizon customer there isn't a ton of incentive to switch from your current carrier unless you're paying for shared data on AT&T. Verizon's biggest rival charges $80 per month on its similar shared data plan.

If you're on AT&T Next (the company's early upgrade plan), however, you're paying $65 for the same thing you're getting on Verizon. We couldn't find how much AT&T was charging for their overage fees. The company's website says Next customers who go over get an additional 300MB, 500MB, or 1GB depending on their plan, but it's not clear whether an overage charge is included. We've asked the company for more details.

UPDATE: AT&T got back to us and the carrier says it charges $15 per extra gigabyte of data for the Next plan with unlimited talk, text, and 2GB of data. The company also said it repeatedly notifies customers before they reach that limit to give them a chance to change their plan if necessary.

Single line Sprint customers on the carrier's Framily plans pay $55 for unlimited talk, text and 1GB of data. Add $10 and you can get 3GB of data. That's $5 extra per month than what you'd pay on Verizon, but you'll get an extra gigabyte as well. Beyond that, overage charges on Sprint are 1.5 cents per megabyte, which works out to $15 per gigabyte just like Verizon.

Finally, if you're a T-Mobile customer, just forget about switching based on price. Right now, the so-called uncarrier offers a single line plan for $60 per month and includes 3GB of data. T-Mobile also doesn't have overage charges for data. Instead, the company throttles usage after you exceed your monthly limit. Depending on your point of view, however, that could be worse than paying extra for full speed data.

Verizon has an ace up its sleeve that its competitors can't match, however: Its 4G LTE network is the largest in the U.S., and price comparisons mean nothing if you can't get a signal from other carriers in your home.

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