BREAKING: Verizon to bring back unlimited data
Not a game changer, but it's something that will surely spice things up in the super competitive wireless industry. Today, Verizon announced that it will be bringing back an unlimited data option called the Verizon Plan Unlimited. Customers can take advantage of this new plan starting on February 13th.
The new unlimited data plan includes the following:
unlimited talk, text, data
unlimited calling to Mexico and Canada with international messaging from the US
unlimited talk, text and data while in Mexico and Canada (first 500MB at 4G, 2G speed after)
5GB of Verizon Cloud storage (per line)
Additionally, unlike T-Mobile and Sprint, big red will not be charging extra for high quality video. Both T-Mobile and Sprint allow unlimited video streaming at an inferior 480p resolution or charge extra for higher quality, but Verizon will include HD video from the get go. Verizon gets points for doing it the right way here.
Now we get to the important part: pricing. For single line plans that consist of a smartphone or basic phone, the unlimited plan will be a flat $80 with auto pay and paperless billing or $85 without. Auto pay must be done with a debit card or e-check as credit cards will not be eligible for the $5 discount. Customers who are still under contract will have a $40 line until they're out of contract. With single line plans you can also add up to two additional non-smartphone devices. For family plans, the unlimited data plan will cost $100 when you enroll in auto pay and paperless billing ($110 without) and $20 per line. On this plan, tablets and mobile hotspots will also be $20 per line, up from $10 on existing Verizon plans. Connected devices like the Gizmopal or Samsung Gear S2 will remain $5 and the Hum will stay $10.
Unlike their competitors, Verizon will not necessarily throttle your speeds, but will be prioritizing during network congestion. This means if you use more than the 22GB threshold and the tower you're connected to is congested, Verizon will provide higher speeds to those connected who have not met the threshold. However, there may be times that you use more than 22GB, but will still have access to 4G speed because the tower you're connected to is not as congested. The other carriers will automatically throttle your speed once you reach a certain limit. Not every line will endure this, just the ones that surpass the 22GB threshold. In addition, mobile hotspots and tablets will be able to use 10GB of high speed data and will be reduced to 3G speeds after. Lastly, you may still purchase one of Verizon's existing data plans, but plans higher than 8GB (not including the unlimited data plan) will have to be done at a retail store. Big red is also retiring their 12GB plan.