They absolutely, positively do not need a data plan. When you activate the phone you will be required to sign up for a plan. After you activate the phone, call Verizon and have them place a data block on your line. This will remove the data plan from your phone. I've heard that you cannot use "pay as you go" data with these phones, but I cannot verify that. We have and EnV touch and a Samsung Rogue, both without data plans.