In a move that has surprised everyone across the industry, Verizon just announced their new unlimited data plan. They have now joined T-Mobile and Sprint in offering an unlimited data plan – a plan with the clear advantage of users never needing to worry about overage fees again.
This is an unexpected break from their past plans, especially since their CEO recently commented that the average user needed about 5 GB per month and not much more than that. It seems as if Verizon finally snapped under the competitive pressure to offer the an unlimited plan, which is strange considering how long they spent trying to get customers off of this exact plan.
The unlimited data plan is priced at $80 per month (or $85 if you don’t use autobill), and just like all the other carriers, it comes with a few catches. The three major things to watch when comparing unlimited data plans is the data limit when you get “throttled”, the limits on mobile hotspotting, and the limits on HD streaming. This website does a good job of breaking down the different carriers and their statistics.
The throttle point is one of those sneaky tricks that carriers pull on you. When you reach a certain point – for Verizon it is 22 GB – the carrier starts to put your data requests at the back of the line during busy times. This may sound harmless, but if you’re used to the unlimited effect and suddenly experience low speeds, you are going to be very frustrated. The other trick they like to pull is limiting your use of HD streaming, or only providing 2G service for your hotspot.
Several other comparisons have already surfaced, and the end result has concluded that Verizon’s offering is a very middle-of-the-pack deal. You are getting unlimited, and there are less catches, but depending on what matters to you, other carriers might make more sense. If you want a comparable network for cheaper, then you could try T-mobile. And if price is all that matters, then why not try Sprint? The only clear loser here is AT&T, which doesn’t have a true unlimited data plan (there is only a bundled option), and is on a much lower level than Verizon, T-Mobile or Sprint.