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Verizon gets in on the double-data action with own promotion

The big carrier plays catchup with offers by Sprint and AT&T to increase the amount of data available on an existing family plan.

Verizon Wireless isn't going to be left out of the double data game.

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Verizon is getting in on the extra data game too. CNET

After AT&T on Saturday said it would double the amount of data available on higher-end shared family plans and Sprint earlier Wednesday said it would double that amount, Verizon said it too is getting into the mix, adding, and in some cases doubling, the data on its own plans. The limited promotion lasts between tomorrow and Oct. 31 -- the same day that the AT&T and Sprint offers expire.

The move amplifies the recent trend by the carriers of offering greater data capacity rather than lower price, arguing that the increased capacity offers more bang for the buck. As with the AT&T and Sprint plans, Verizon's promotion only applies to its shared family plan, in which multiple users draw upon a common bucket of data. The offers are designed to get multiple users to sign up, with extra incentive to opt for the more expensive plan. With usage ever increasing as people spend more time on their smartphones and tablets, the amount of data available has become a critical consideration.

The promotions also come just as customers are looking to either reup or move to a new carrier, with new smartphones such as the Apple iPhone 6 and Samsung Galaxy Note 4 acting as a catalyst for potential change.

Verizon boosted the amount of data from 12 gigabytes to 15GB under its $110 plan, the cheapest plan affected by the promotion. Its $130 plan jumps from 16GB to 30GB, while the amount of data doubles from the next tier on, with the $150 plan bumping up from 20GB to 40GB, all the way up to the $375 plan, which swells from 50GB to 100GB.

The plans are available to new and existing customers, as well as business customers on shared plans.

As with AT&T, Verizon customers on the shared plans pay both a fee for the data as well as a separate access fee for each device on the plan, which can cost up to $40 per device.

In comparison, Sprint is offering 60GB for $130, then 80GB for $150, and 120GB for $225. Sprint is also waiving its device access fees through 2015 for customers who switch over and sign up for its monthly installment plan for smartphones.

Unlike Sprint, Verizon sits in an enviable position as the nation's largest carrier by wireless subscribers. It also boasts a reputation for network quality, which is how it justifies its premium pricing over the competition.

Still, the doubled data promotion suggests that Verizon isn't as immune as it first appears.