Starting Monday, Verizon users can opt for a data plan that grants unlimited talking, texting, and data transfer for $80/month per line. Families have a large discount of $45 per line if they purchase at least four lines. There is a single condition to access the offer: customers must agree to paper-free billing services such as Autopay.
The carrier thinks unlimited data plans could help it lure back in more customers in the face of strong competition. Rivals AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile are already offering unlimited data plans and thus have managed to gain ground on Verizon.
And smartphone users are all the more tempted by these plans as they need more data to download photos and media content from their social media networks. Sprint and T-Mobile users no longer have to worry about their internet data caps and extra fees.
Verizon now hopes to prevent customers from leaving to rival networks. In a video uploaded Sunday, the company’s head of the wireless division Ronan Dunne noted the new offerings are what customers “want on a wireless network they deserve.”
Experts think the telecom giant’s move was “inevitable” even though they had expected the announcement to be made later in the year. One expert pointed out Verizon is fighting back hard with its latest move.
Another expert said that unlimited plans “make sense” in a world where networks have improved to handle more capacity. Verizon had said that the cost of a single gigabyte had plunged between 40% and 50% in recent years.
Analysts expect AT&T and other carriers to follow suit. At the moment, AT&T offers unlimited data plans only to its pay-TV services customers, namely DirectTV and U-verse subscribers.
The last time Verizon added unlimited plans to its menu was in 2012 but it ditched the offerings in favor of tiered data buckets where customers could share data with other family members. In 2016, Verizon made another step towards unlimited when it unveiled “Safety Mode” which automatically slowed the speeds of customers who exceeded their mobile data caps instead of billing them for the extra gigabytes.
Even though competitors’ prices are more alluring, Verizon offers HD video and the possibility of turning your handset into a wireless hotspot for a maximum of 10GB for free. Sprint and T-Mobile offer video content at a lower resolution but customers can pay extra for the HD option.
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