Verizon has announced new unlimited data plans which are termed worry-free, but it is bundled with the lot of concern, especially the restricting of streaming video to 480p.
The company is coming up with three major plans: Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited and Business Unlimited.
The new basic unlimited plan will not let the user stream any HD video from Netflix or YouTube, and data is capped at 480p on phones and 720p on tablets. While the Unlimited sounds good, the video cap comes as a major concern. Effective August 23, the standard Go Unlimited plan was launched with a cost of $75 for a single line with AutoPay; no AutoPay means $5 extra per month.
The Beyond Unlimited will cost $85 for the first line. Both this prepaid plan and the Business plan cap you at 480p, too. No change has been announced to existing postpaid customers, but some terms have changed. The company has already run tests in July, reducing Netflix and online video streaming quality in general.
The company states – “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 wrote in its press release.
The company reports that the new plan is to effectively manage the company’s network in a way that brings unlimited data access to more people. The plans emerged after it was found that a few people use more data, and that they are bogging down the network. The explanation may not sound very convincing, but the company believes its well within its rights to implement this throttling.
The basic plan Go Unlimited can be upgraded to the Beyond Unlimited plan by paying $10 more, with a 22GB limit. In the latter plan, you can tether up to 15GB per month but, again, videos are capped at 720p on your phone and 1080p on your other devices. Coming to the mobile hotspot, the plan says unlimited mobile hotspot, but the speed is capped at a maximum of 600kbps.
YouTube is something you might want to give up on, considering the loading times with this type of connection; a Wi-Fi connection might be better if you absolutely must watch high-resolution videos.
Just to note on the other carriers – AT&T also has two plans with the restriction on videos and T-Mobile basic’s unlimited plan also has limited video, while Sprint doesn’t limit video resolution but throttles the speed.
It’s interesting to note that there is now a glaring gap between technology and service providers. On the one side, tech is trying to bring 4K and other high-resolution formats into smaller devices; on the other, carriers are severely limiting options for the masses. We’re not sure where this is going to end up, but there’s definitely a problem here that needs to be addressed. Mobile data costs are supposed to keep coming down, not go up, as people use more mobile devices. After all, we’ll have 4G LTE nationwide in a matter of months, so what’s the use in having high-speed connectivity if you have to watch mobile videos in shitty resolution?