So it’s 2017 and unlimited data is officially back at all of the major US carriers. (Don’t even try to tell me that you saw this coming.) It seemed like just days ago we were paying a hundred dollars for 2GB and 4GB of data and having our grandfathered unlimited data plans ripped from our cold, crusty, fingers with the shadiest of moves. But hey, we’re not about to complain that we can all get back on unlimited data for some decent prices.
As you know, T-Mobile kicked off this new unlimited wave a few months ago with T-Mobile ONE before Sprint jumped in with their own take. Both plans had some pretty major issues out of the gate, a couple of which T-Mobile has attempted to address. And then, this weekend, Verizon said, “We’re bringing unlimited back!” Their plan, as it turns out, was more or less a better implementation than what T-Mobile and Sprint had done, so those two have now copied Verizon’s idea in a matter of days. Finally, AT&T decided it couldn’t be left out, so it has announced that it will remove a single requirement from its lesser-known unlimited plan to make itself competitive in this new age.
There is a lot to consume concerning the four offerings from these carriers, so we decided that we would attempt to put together a simple chart that lays out the basics. Below, we attempt to breakdown the pricing in simple terms and even layout some of the asterisks of each feature. Keep in mind that we didn’t factor in network, as that is for you to decide.
UPDATE: On February 26, AT&T introduced two new unlimited plans to better compete. We’ve updated the table below to include details on those plans.
UPDATE AUGUST 29: We’ve updated the chart below to reflect changes to Verizon’s Unlimited plan offerings. See the updated chart at this post.
|Price||Single line: $80|
Multi line: $100 account fee + $20 per line
|Unlimited Plus: $90 for 1 line, $145 for 2 lines, plus $20 for lines 3-10|
Unlimited Choice: $60 for 1 line, $115 for 2 lines, plus $20 for lines 3-10
|Multi-line: $70 for 1 line, $100 for 2 lines, $160 for 4 lines|
-Taxes and fees included
|Multi-line Promo: $50 for 1 line, $40 for line 2, $0 for line 3-4|
Multi-line (in 12 months): $60 for line 1, $40 for line 2, $30 per line 3 and 4
|Data||Unlimited data with network management per line after 22GB||Unlimited Plus: Unlimited data with network management per line after 22GB|
Unlimited Choice: Unlimited data at 3Mbps max speed with network management per line after 22GB
|Unlimited data with network management per line after 30GB||Unlimited data with network management per line after 23GB|
-Music streaming throttled to 1.5Mbps
-Gaming throttled to 8Mbps
|Hotspot||10GB per line|
3G speeds after
|Unlimited Plus: 10GB per line|
128Kbps speeds after
Unlimited Choice: No tethering
|10GB per line|
3G speeds after
|10GB per line|
2G speeds after
|Video Quality||Streaming as the content provider sends; no throttling||Unlimited Plus: Streaming as the content provider sends; customer can throttle with Stream Saver|
Unlimited Choice: Up to 480p video
|Streaming as the content provider sends; customer needs to toggle off Binge On||Up to 1080p video|
|Canada and Mexico Roaming||Unlimited calling and texting to and from, plus 500MB 4G LTE data in either country (2G after)||Unlimited calling, texting, and data to and from; need to turn on free Roam North America feature.||Unlimited calling, texting, and data to and from||Not available|