Verizon's Visible is an unexpectedly-exclusive month-to-month carrier [Update]

It isn't a stretch to say that mobile service here in the US costs a lot of money. When you account for plans, line fees, and now device payment agreements, your wireless service can usually be counted among your most expensive monthly charges. Signing up for a month-to-month account with a phone that you own is one way to get around that, and now Verizon has a new option on that front.

Dubbed Visible, this new company is the latest in a line of budget carriers owned by larger ones, like MetroPCS and Boost Mobile. Visible's site is relatively bare-bones at the moment, but that's because it seems that things are just getting started. In fact, you can't sign up for Visible without an invite, and the only way to get one of those is from someone who's already subscribed.

Visible's main attraction is a $40 per month plan that gets you unlimited talk, text, and data. That's a pretty good deal as far as month-to-month service is concerned, but of course, there are a few caveats to consider. The invite-only nature of the service is probably the biggest, but once you get in and sign up, you'll be limited to data speeds of 5Mbps and 480p video quality. One interesting perk, however, is that you can pay your monthly bill with cards, PayPal, or Venmo, so you have some options there.

As long as you're cool with those restrictions, then Visible might not be too bad a deal. At the moment, the service is only available to those with unlocked iPhones, with no word on when Android support might go live. Assuming you manage to secure yourself an invite, you can sign up over at Visible's website or through the mobile app, with next-day SIM delivery to get you up and running quickly.

This is an interesting movie from Verizon. It's likely meant to keep people from leaving the company entirely once their phones are paid off, and with the other big three carriers having a hand in some sort of low-cost subsidiary, it's about time Verizon jumped on that particular bandwagon. We'll see if Visible opens its doors to more people and devices soon enough, so stay tuned.

Update: Verizon has reached out to let us know that Visible is actually a month-to-month carrier, not a prepaid one. We've updated the article's text to reflect this correction.