Friday, 22 September, 2017

Verizon's New Unlimited Plans Are All Worse Than Before

An employee assisting a customer with an Apple Inc iPhone at an AT&T store in Newport Beach California. Intense promotions have become a staple in the highly competitive industry and carriers may have no choice but to give customers what they want said Verizon to start throttling all smartphone videos to 480p or 720p
Garry Little | 23 August, 2017, 00:37

After Wednesday Aug. 23, whatever plan you're now paying for will drop 1080p access and also match the "Beyond Unlimited" HD quality - 720p on a phone. The new Beyond Unlimited is $85/month with paper-free billing and AutoPay for a single line.

When Verizon introduced its one plan earlier this year, it allowed customers to stream unlimited HD video in an effort to differentiate itself from competitors.

Verizon will now sell three kinds of unlimited data plans- Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited and Business Unlimited.

While Verizon's "unlimited" plans don't have overage fees for using too much data, customers who use more than 22GB a month may have their speeds reduced below other customers in areas with network congestion. Streaming is limited to 480p on smartphones and 720p on tablets. The plan will continue to offer hotspot capabilities, but Verizon is capping speeds there at 600 Kbps.

Customers who buy a new unlimited data plan can get higher-quality video for an extra $10 per month. This gives you priority on the network for the first 22GB of data used, although this is bumped up to 25GB if you are willing to sign a two year contract on a new smartphone or tablet.

The biggest disappointment of all is that regardless of your current plan, all video streaming on Verizon will be limited to 720p for smartphones or 1080p for tablets. Until Verizon buckles down and starts being transparent, the Uncarrier is going to keep whooping its ass.

And of course, Verizon is trying to spin this as being a good thing for customers.

The third of the three new plans is the Business Unlimited plan. You won't have the option of watching 1080p videos on your smartphone anymore, no matter what plan you are on.

"We're really managing our network in a way to be able to expand unlimited data to more people", Verizon marketing executive Angie Klein told Ars yesterday. But for now, mobile customers with high-res displays will have to deal with lesser quality video than ever before.

Testing firm OpenSignal recently found that Verizon's "average LTE download test fell 2Mbps to 14.9 Mbps" in the months after its launch of unlimited data.

For the last six months, Verizon was doing well. Whether this complies with net neutrality rules or not is extremely questionable, but Verizon thinks that it can justify this change in service. If everyone is streaming video over the network while waiting at the airport, for example, that's going to put the crunch on the network. "Our network has never been stronger", Klein said.

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