Sunday, August 17, 2008

Verizon Wireless Adds Usage Controls

Verizon Wireless introduced a set of Usage Controls that provide customers the ability to better manage and control how they use their wireless phones, as well as how their children or others on a "family share" or multiple-line account use their phones. The new service expands and enhances features first introduced last year with Parental Controls, including content filters. Capabilities of the new tools include:

  • Set thresholds for voice minutes;

  • Set specific limits for text, picture, instant and video messaging as part of pay-as-you-go or message bundle plans;

  • Set time of day restrictions for data use and messaging;

  • Create lists of "trusted" and "blocked" numbers (calls to 911 will always be allowed to connect); and

  • Employ content filters.

Usage Controls are available for a $4.99 monthly subscription for each line. Customers must have a Nationwide Calling Plan -- either Family Share or single line -- to take advantage of Usage Controls.

Verizon Wireless is also introducing Chaperone 2.0 for $9.99 per line per month. Chaperone 2.0 capabilities include:

  • The ability to locate multiple Chaperone Child devices at the same time;

  • Family SMS Messaging that allows a text message to be sent to one or more Chaperone Child phones from the Chaperone Parent application or Chaperone Web site;

  • Changes to the Child Zone settings, allowing parents to add time and date settings or multiple children per Child Zone;

  • Integration with VZ Navigator, allowing parents with VZ Navigator subscriptions to receive turn-by-turn directions to their child's location.