| ||Sprint Unlimited|
Savings until 9/30/18
|Verizon Go/Beyond Unlimited||AT&T Choice/Plus Unlimited||T-Mobile ONE/Plus|
Includes taxes & fees
|Speed limits||After 23 GB||Any time/After 22 GB||After 22 GB||After 50 GB|
It was bound to happen. T-Mobile increasing its prices
a bit, and Verizon limiting its "unlimited" option
a bit, that is, as one simple look at the quarterly profits of the four major US carriers, and some recent network speed tests
would tell you. After an initial period of amassing customers, switchers and goodwill, T-Mobile bumped its unlimited One Plus data plan for a party of four with five bucks apiece, at first making it basically equal to Verizon's offering, as taxes and fees are included in the price with T-Mobile.
Now, however, after the H1 network tests are out, and it turned out that Verizon's LTE infrastructure might be overloaded from all the unlimited goodness, lowering the average speeds a bit
, Big Red took the matter in its own hands, and introduced three new unlimited plans - Go, Beyond and Business. While the Go Unlimited plan is nominally cheaper than what T-Mobile has to offer, it lets you stream at 480p DVD quality, plus you can also get the network "de-prioritization" thingy at any time, so we can just call it speed throttling. The Beyond Unlimited plan lets you stream at HD definition, and keeps the previous 22 GB de-prioritization cap in congested areas, but it is also ten bucks a month more for one line, and gets more expensive until you hit four lines, where it is basically equal to T-Mobile's offers, so for the typical family plan user nothing changes.
Verizon's superior coverage would cost data guzzlers a bit extra now
At the same time, Sprint
posted the above table to showcase its running promo that makes it much cheaper than the rest of the gang. Regardless, since all these plans offer similar extra services now, like hotspot allowances, high-def streaming (save for Verizon's new plans) or unlimited talk and texts, the choice usually boils down to coverage and speeds. Where does that leave AT&T? Well, despite that its single line unlimited is the most expensive still, that's the exact reason it laughs all the way to the bank
compared to the other major carriers, as we have shown you before
, so it's unlikely to see neither an exodus nor an influx of customers after T-Mobile or Verizon's latest moves. It also offers the Choice Unlimited plan that is cheaper, but streams in 480p DVD quality, and with 3Mbps maximum, plus it doesn't offer a hotspot quota.
So, which unlimited data plan is for you? Well, you have to pay a bit extra for Verizon's offer, but you get the best countrywide network coverage
, while if you mostly chill in a large city, you may save money with Sprint, or take advantage of the higher 32 GB "speed de-prioritization" threshold that T-Mobile offers. All carriers have a certain cutoff, above which your blazing 4G LTE speeds may be throttled in times of peak network usage for repeat offenders - the so-called "de-prioritization," which in reality only affects the top percentile of data guzzlers, though. All in all, the moral of the story stays the same - whatever plan you chose, make sure its carrier has decent coverage in the areas you frequent the most!