For the first time in five years, Verizon, the most subscribed carrier in the nation, announced that it would launch an unlimited LTE data plan called Verizon Unlimited. The data plan was released on Monday in response to many complaints from current T-Mobile users about T-Mobile data plans.
The data plans, available for both current and new Verizon clients, will start at $80 a month for single lines and about $45 a line for a group of four on any device types.
Heavy users have been asked by Verizon to pay for unlimited data in half hour and hour increments before this plan was unveiled. As a result, many ex-Verizon users opted to switch into timely cellphone plan deals such as Sprint’s “Cut Your Bill in Half” promotion, which was shot down when T-Mobile accused Sprint of lying about their new discount.
Verizon Unlimited was created to prevent the loss of more customers who want to use data without worrying about how much they have left for the month. Verizon Unlimited is thought to be a loose response to T-Mobile One, which is an unlimited data plan that replaced all other data plans available at T-Mobile.
To rival T-Mobile One, Verizon is catering directly to the complaints about the former. T-Mobile One, although it is an unlimited plan, downgrades video streams to lower resolutions if users do not pay for a $15 add-on for their current data plan. Users are also unable to use internet at LTE speeds when using cellular devices as hotspots.
In contrast, Verizon Unlimited will allow high resolution HD streaming for videos and up to 10 GB of LTW mobile hotspot data before speeds are cut down to that of 3G service. Verizon has also stated that it will offer unlimited talk and text to Canada and Mexico with 500 MB of LTE data per day in the aforementioned countries. A special $10 a day pass will allow the same luxuries for any country outside of North America.
Although Verizon Unlimited targets T-Mobile One’s weaknesses, the former is more expensive than the later by $10. The Verizon plan is $80 per line while T-Mobile is $70 per line, Sprint is $60 per line, and AT&T is $100 per line.
Regardless of the differences between plans for these carriers, most students agree that the prices are too hefty for college students who travel fairly often and sometimes need backup when Wifi services are acting up.
Harini Rajashekar, a second-year mechanical engineering major, thinks carriers should have cheaper plans geared towards students or even a reward program, “College students always need their phones and/or tablets with them so it would be really good if companies like Verizon tried to offer incentives like lower prices or rewards for students who have to have their own phone plan even though most share theirs with their family.
Maliha Mathew, a second-year biology major, agrees with Harini Rajashekar but thinks that high prices for data are a good was to prevent procrastination, “If you’re going to pay like $80 for a phone plan each month just so you can stream Netflix off-campus, I’m not sure that’s the greatest investment. Go to a Starbucks, stay on campus, or do something else while you’re away from school. If you’re low on money, free Wifi cafes are your best friend.”
Many college students are completely unaware of other carriers that offer much cheaper plans for unlimited talk, text, and data for similar coverage ranges and speeds. A few of these carriers include Boost Mobile, Metro PCS, and Cricket Wireless, all offering unlimited plans for $30 a month with auto-payments.
Modern college students are always seeking out discounts and freebies on the basic necessities, oftentimes missing out on great deals due to false advertising and product profiling. The current college generation is also extremely obsessed with “more”.
Seek out more information about the type of phone plan that would be best for each individual and whether unlimited really is the best for said individual. If it is, research further to find the carrier with the best fit. Deals are certainly out there if one chooses to look past the highly advertised industry leaders.