Published: Wed, August 23, 2017
Science | By Nancy Frank

Verizon Changes Unlimited Plans Yet Again

Verizon Changes Unlimited Plans Yet Again

Streaming is limited to 480p on smartphones and 720p on tablets. Subscribers could be throttled after exceeding 22GB in a billing cycle. And tethering is subject to the same video quality caps as regular data use, so if you're using your phone as a hotspot to connect your laptop to the internet, your laptop's video is capped at 1080p. Anything identified as a video will not be given more than 10Mbps worth of bandwidth. Mike Haberman, Verizon's VP of network support, told me that the data from Ookla and OpenSignal "doesn't line up at all with what I see", said that congestion "is not an issue" for Verizon, and that the network is "stronger than ever".

We'll come back to the plans and Verizon's need for a new dictionary in a moment, but first, let's talk about why Verizon had to make these changes in the first place. Verizon is also scrapping the feature that offered free calls, text, and data in Mexico and Canada on this tier.

Go Unlimited: $75/month. Video capped to 480p on smartphones, 720p on tablets.

Verizon claims that there is no such difference between 720p on phone and 1080p on a tablet. And don't think that using your smartphone or tablet as a mobile hotspot will allow you to get around the video caps - you will still be limited to a max of 720p with a smartphone or 1080p with a tablet (if you're on a Beyond Unlimited plan).

Verizon announced today that its unlimited plans are changing this week. Verizon was previously testing reduced video quality on Netflix recently, and this appears to be the reasoning for the trials.

But customers who opt for the cheapest option may be disappointed with the video quality.

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Verizon apparently won't be converting videos to lower resolutions itself.

Following this morning's news, we have to ask, are you sticking with Verizon?

Verizon did not immediately respond to PCMag's request for comment, but these changes are slated to go into effect starting tomorrow, according to the reports.

This means that you won't be able to watch 4K videos on any device that's connected to Verizon's network anymore. "More than 96% of customers have not used 4K video", a representative for the company told the site.

The $75 plan's mobile hotspot service will top out at only 600kbps. You have to spend a couple extra bucks on an add-on to get HD video and a usable mobile hotspot allowance.

Business Unlimited: Price varies.

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As reported by The Verge, Ars Technica, and CNET, the shift comes as Verizon splits the single consumer postpaid unlimited option it began offering in February into two new buckets - neither of which offer 1080p on smartphones.

"These plans give you the best unlimited choices, but you also get what only Verizon can give you: the best network, the best rewards program, the best way to manage your plan with the My Verizon app and the best selection of phones and devices", the company proclaimed in an announcement.

If the network is congested at any time, Verizon is reserving the right to throttle your speeds as well, not just when you butt up against the limits of your monthly allotment.

While this sucks for Verizon customers, competitors also throttle video.

Full pricing and availability of services can be found on Verizon's website. "Our network has never been stronger", Klein said.

For the last six months, Verizon was doing well. While Sprint still offers 1080p video, it polices music streaming and gaming like no other carrier, in a way that practically feels draconian. The FCC's current chairman, Ajit Pai, has proposed eliminating the rules.

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