Verizon Tweaks Unlimited Data Plans Amid 'Heavy Burden' On Network

Verizon is breaking out its unlimited plans.                  Verizon

Right now, Verizon offers a single unlimited data package that starts at $80 per line.

Verizon first introduced an unlimited offer in February, in order to stem the customer losses to rival T-Mobile's unlimited data plan. In short, Go Unlimited is "kind of unlimited", and Beyond Unlimited is "slightly less limited than that other plan".

While those with old unlimited plans will not be forced to move to one of the new plans, Verizon says it will apply the 720/1080p limit for those customers as well. Also, Verizon will slow a phone's regular Internet connection by an undisclosed amount at times of network congestion, in the cheaper plans. The usual unlimited minutes and texts are includes, and you get 480p video streaming on smartphones and 720p HD video streaming on tablets (no way to get higher resolutions).

The Beyond Unlimited plan limits phone streaming to 720p and tablets to 1080p.

The company is now going to start throttling video on its "unlimited" plans, as lows as 420p on smartphones and 720p on tablets. Here we see the 22GB threshold for throttling return, and in a pleasant turn, you'll get 15GB of 4G LTE hotspot data before you're slowed down.

Is a new mobile price war about to get underway?

For someone that hasn't ever had the chance to work for Verizon, it is pretty hard to prove that the provider's network has been slowed down by Unlimited. The plan includes 15GB of LTE speeds via mobile hotspot. Announced as part of some tweaks to their plan pricing, Verizon will now limit videos to 480p, 720p or in some cases 1080p resolutions depending on the device being used, with no option for consumers to upgrade or pay for access to higher quality video. Well, these claims are entirely baseless when you have a high-end smartphone with a screen that does justice to the 1080p full HD video quality. Because most video is not yet offered in 4K, and most devices can not yet support 4K - conditions that are both changing rapidly, with new phones and new shows hitting the market every year.

Verizon has been competing for customers with smaller rivals T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp in a saturated USA market for wireless service as most consumers already have cell phones.

Earlier, Verizon customers were using VPN to circumvent throttling practice for streaming services like Netflix and YouTube. This limit will affect mobile hotspot usage as well. This is exactly the sort of things that the FCC's net-neutrality protections (which, by the way, are now still in place) were meant to protect against.

It's upsetting that Verizon has decided to make this move.

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