Monday, May 1, 2017

How the unlimited data plans from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint all stack up

How the unlimited data plans from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint all stack up
By Brandt Ranj

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young women smartphones textingEarlier this year, all four of the major US cellphone carriers brought back unlimited data plans. 

If you've been curious about these plans, we've broken each one down, highlighting their pros and cons. 

Of course, the ultimate decision will come down to which carrier has the best service in your area, but this breakdown should give you a good idea about which plan will work best for you. 

AT&T

AT&T

AT&T has two different unlimited plans: Unlimited Choice and Unlimited Plus.

Unlimited Choice

Optimized for affordability, AT&T's Unlimited Choice plan limits your maximum data speed, throttles video down to standard definition, and doesn't include a mobile hotspot feature. This plan is built for people who want to stream music, podcasts, and surf the web without fear of data overages. 

Data: 22GB of LTE data, 3G speeds thereafter; 3mbps (Megabytes Per Second) speed cap

Minutes: Unlimited

Texts: Unlimited

Video: Unlimited (SD)

Price for one line: $60

Price for two lines: $115

Hotspot: N/A

Extras: Unlimited talk + text in Mexico and Canada


Unlimited Plus

AT&T's "true" unlimited plan. For an extra $30 a month, users of this plan have no restrictions on their data use. If you want to use AT&T's service and watch hours of Netflix without the possibility of getting charged extra, this is your plan.

Data: 22GB of LTE data, 3G speeds thereafter

Minutes: Unlimited

Texts: Unlimited

Video: Unlimited (HD) 

Price for one line: $90

Price for two lines: $145

Hotspot: 10GB of LTE data, 3G speed thereafter

Extras: $25 discount on AT&T DirectTV; unlimited talk + text in Mexico and Canada

Check out AT&T's unlimited data plans here



Verizon

Verizon

Verizon Unlimited

Verizon's plan is pretty similar to AT&Ts. It's a little less expensive, and has a predefined data cap when traveling around North America. If Verizon has the best coverage where you live, this is a solid unlimited plan.

Data: 22GB of LTE data, your speeds can be deprioritized during congested-network periods thereafter

Minutes: Unlimited

Texts: Unlimited

Video: Unlimited (HD)

Price for one line: $80

Price for two lines: $140

Hotspot: 10GB LTE, 3G speed thereafter

Extras: Unlimited talk, text, and data in Mexico and Canada; 500MB of full-speed data, 2G data thereafter

Check out Verizon's unlimited plan here



Sprint

Sprint

Sprint Unlimited

The least expensive plan on this list, Sprint's unlimited plan also comes with a few caveats. Sprint doesn't say how much your data speed will be throttled after you hit the 23GB LTE cap, and it limits your maximum data speed based on what you're doing. This plan will also increase by $10 a month after 3/30/2018, which is something to consider since you'll be locked into a contract. 

Still, if you're looking for the cheapest unlimited plan out there, and don't mind these caveats, this is still a solid plan.

Data: 23GB of LTE data, unspecified speeds thereafter

Minutes: Unlimited

Texts: Unlimited

Video: Unlimited (1080P)

Gaming: 8mbps

Music: 1.5mbps

Price for one line: $50

Price for two lines: $90

Hotspot: 10GB LTE, 2G speed thereafter

Extras: N/A

Check out Sprint's unlimited plan here



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May 1, 2017 at 08:45AM
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