Verizon's New Unlimited Plans Are All Worse Than Before

23 August, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Lorena Waters
  • State of Mobile Networks: USA - OpenSignal

"We're doing this to ensure all customers have a great experience on our network since there is no visible difference in quality on a smartphone or tablet when video is shown at higher resolutions (than 720p on phones and 1080p on tablets)", Verizon told The Verge. Consumers can upgrade for an extra $10 per month for a single line or a total of $200 per month for four lines to get "HD-quality" video streaming, a higher limit before throttling occurs, faster tethering, and service in Mexico and Canada.

Before this change, Verizon's unlimited plan had cost $80 for one line and the data plan placed no limits on mobile video streaming.

Effective tomorrow, August 23, the No. 1 carrier in the United States is offering three unlimited data plans instead of one. So the only reasonable explanation I can see for throttling video to 1080p - even on the most expensive plan - is that it was causing problems for the network.

The business plan will depend highly on your needs, but will throttle both after 22GB and in times of congestion, and you only get 480p of streaming video. The new limits will also apply to users who have Verizon mobile hotspot devices or who use their smartphone or tablet devices as hotspots. Verizon is also scrapping the feature that offered free calls, text, and data in Mexico and Canada on this tier. The changes were detailed today in an announcement of new unlimited data plans. Mobile hotspot receives up to 15GB of high speed data before being slowed down to snail speeds.

This is what's likely going to enrage Verizon customers most.

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There is good news for businesses that want to equip employees with unlimited data. For the tablet owners on the unlimited plan, the maximum video quality will be of 1080p on your device.

"Moving forward, HD video on all legacy plans will also match Beyond Unlimited's HD quality", Verizon reportedly said. So, anytime there is network congestion, the company will throttle your data speed. If everyone is streaming video over the network while waiting at the airport, for example, that's going to put the crunch on the network. At the time, Verizon stated, "We've been doing network testing over the past few days to optimize the performance of video applications on our network.The test was across the board, and did not target any individual applications".

Full pricing and availability of services can be found on Verizon's website. Yes, that means that 1080p phone streaming (and any streaming higher than 1080p) is off the table regardless of how much you're willing to pay. However, the agency's current chair has announced plans to roll back net neutrality protections.

The FCC allowed similar video throttling systems to continue even under former Chairman Tom Wheeler, who instituted the net neutrality rules in 2015.

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