After seeing major competitors and smaller service providers eat up market share, Verizon is finally giving subscribers what they want. Beginning Monday, February 13, the nation’s largest carrier will offer a new unlimited data plan. Verizon released this video over the weekend:
In the video, Ronan Dunne, Verizon Wireless Leader (odd title, no?) admitted that their customers have been forced to make a difficult decision. They could either live with data anxiety and be slammed with overages by Big Red, or leave for one of their competitors. With Verizon Unlimited, users won’t be limited to 480p video quality like T-Mobile One. Nevertheless, power users who chew up more than 22 GB of data will be subject to prioritization. This, of course, is not unusual.
T-Mobile has led the charge in bringing unlimited data to the masses. Sprint has followed suit. AT&T now offers unlimited data as well, as long as you pay for DirecTV or U-verse. Now, each of the big 4 US carriers offers an unlimited plan in one form or another.
The trouble is that there may not be a perfect option for everyone. Instead, consumers will have to do what they’ve always done. They will have to pick their carrier based on which one fits them best. Verizon will continue to be the more expensive option. T-Mobile limits customers to 480p video streaming. AT&T makes you pay for their TV services. Sprint’s quality vs value is still debatable. Of course, if you don’t care about the difference between SD and HD video quality when you’re off WiFi, or if you already subscribe to DirecTV, that could overcome those issues pretty quickly.
It is interesting to me that Verizon is finally doing the right thing after being adamant they would not give in to the ridicule of their competitors and disgruntled subscribers. We will see what the fine print entails once the new plan rolls out. Nevertheless, we do have some good details from the official press release:
$80 for unlimited data, talk and text on your smartphone with paper-free billing and AutoPay.
$45 per line for four lines with unlimited data, talk and text on your smartphones and tablets with paper-free billing and AutoPay.
On all Verizon Unlimited plans you get our fast LTE speeds. To ensure a quality experience for all customers, after 22 GB of data usage on a line during any billing cycle we may prioritize usage behind other customers in the event of network congestion. While we don’t expect to do that very often, network management is a crucial tool that benefits all Verizon customers. If you’re on Verizon Unlimited, you’ll have the same coverage and reliability as everybody else. You can add a connected smart watch, GizmoPal, or other connected device for just $5 each month. Get TravelPass for $10 per day (500 MB/day limit; 2G speeds after that) while overseas. Mobile Hotspot with 10 GB of 4G LTE data is included at no charge (after 10 GB you’ll get 3G data speeds).
Keep in mind, taxes and fees will be additional to all those figures. Of course, it took T-Mobile’s zany CEO John Legere no time at all to respond with a special poem:
I wrote a V-day poem to @Verizon:
Roses are magenta. Unlimited is too.
You don’t know what you’re doing. Customers realize it, too.
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) February 12, 2017
Time will tell if this will stem the flow of customers signing up for competitors. Those of you who have left Verizon for another carrier, will this bring you back? Sound off in the comments!