Verizon has joined the other major carriers in bringing back an “unlimited” mobile data plan. But as so often, there’s some big caveats.
The new plan is $80 a month and covers unlimited voice calls, texts and data use on one line in the US, as well as 500MB of data while visiting Canada. Customers can also add additional lines to the unlimited deal for $45. Verizon says it’s upgraded and tweaked its networks to cope with any increase in usage.
The big caveat is that there’s a soft limit of 22GB a month. Customers who use more than this won’t automatically have their connection throttled, but rather will get a lower priority for usage “in the event of network congestion.” Verizon says this shouldn’t happen very often.
Another restriction is that customers can only tether their connections to other devices at the full 4G LTE speed for 10GB a month, after which the tethering will still work but will reduce to 3G speeds. There’s also a $5 a month additional fee if you don’t agree to paperless billing and automated payment from your bank account or card.
Depending on how much data you use each month, these might be the least bad of the restrictions that carriers place on what they bill as unlimited deals. The AT&T offering requires that you also subscribe to a cable or satellite TV package, while the Sprint and T-Mobile plans automatically reduce the bitrate on streaming video to the equivalent of standard definition TV.