Verizon revives its unlimited data plan after purging legacy unlimited data plan users

Verizon is offering an unlimited data plan once again, but don't go over 22GB per month.

Verizon is just full of surprises. Over the past year, Verizon went negative on its legacy unlimited data customers by purging anyone using too much data. Now, the company wants more unlimited data customers—at least up to a point. Starting Monday, you can sign up for the company’s new unlimited data plan, called Verizon Unlimited.

For $80 a month, Verizon customers receive unlimited 4G data on a single smartphone. Anyone with multiple devices can add two lines on Verizon Unlimited for $70 per line per month ($140 total), three for $54 ($162 total) per line, or four for $45 ($180 total) per line.

The catch? After using 22GB of data in a single billing cycle, Verizon says it “may” throttle your connection during times of network congestion. AT&T has a similar policy for its legacy unlimited data customers. Verizon’s new plans also require that you enroll in its automatic payment system—and don’t forget the cost of taxes, fees, and your phone itself if you’re making payments on it.

The new plan covers everything, and a little bit more, actually. Verizon’s unlimited data plans include mobile hotspot data up to 10GB per month, which is then reduced to 3G speeds. Also included are HD video streaming, calls and text within the US, as well as calls and texts to Mexico and Canada. The plan also includes 500MB of free data roaming when in either of those two countries; however, if more than 50 percent of your data usage is in Mexico or Canada for longer than 60 days, Verizon says it may cut you off in those countries.

The story behind the story: Verizon’s new unlimited data plans are great for existing customers who want to stick with the carrier; however, budget conscious consumers can find better deals elsewhere as Sprint and T-Mobile also offer unlimited data plans.

The competition

On Sprint, you can get unlimited data for $50 per month on a single line (that price goes up to $60 per month in April 2018), but it's only for new customers—and you don’t get all the extras that Verizon offers. Streaming video is capped at 480p resolution. Music tops out at 500 kilobytes per second, but considering Spotify’s “extreme quality” is 320kbps, that limit should be more than enough for most. Gaming's throttled to a mere 2Mbps, as well.

T-Mobile’s unlimited data plan is $70 per month for a single line with taxes and fees included. Like Sprint, video streams top out at 480p, and T-Mobile’s unlimited plan includes unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico when traveling.

Verizon’s new plan is available now, but the carrier’s other plans remain, including its 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB tiers.

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Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
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