Verizon's new unlimited plans throttle video all the time

As Verizon claimed in a statement announcing the update, most users won't notice a difference in visual quality on video that's streamed at more than 720p on a smartphone or 1080p on a tablet. Video streaming is limited to 480p on smartphones when using an LTE connection without any option to obtain higher quality video. At the moment, Verizon's unlimited plan costs $80 for a single line, climbing to $140 for two lines and up to $200 for five lines. The carrier says things won't change much, so you'll be able to keep paying the same price without being forced to pick from the new options. If not, you'll pay $5 more a month.

There are conflicting views on the Street as to what the new plans mean.

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The Business Unlimited plan also limits you to DVD quality video streaming and offers 10GB of LTE mobile hotspot or 15GB on a 2-year contract. Unfortunately, it is more hard for wireless operators to consistently deliver specific data speeds in its service areas. The deal wasn't the cheapest on the market, but had some of the best features and the fewest caveats. Mobile hotspot speeds are capped at 600 kbps. The price for the cheaper plan is $160.

For most users, Verizon's move to split up its video streaming abilities into tiers comes with some qualifiers.

According to data put out by two testing companies - OpenSignal and Ookla (the company behind Speedtest.net) - Verizon's average network speed has slowed since the introduction of unlimited data plans. VZ, has restructured and modernized its unlimited wireless data plans, so as to reach out to customers' more diversified needs. No slowdowns will occur until a customer uses 22 GB in a month and tethering is at full speed.

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. Video streaming is throttled down to 720p on a smartphone and 1080p on a tablet.

Beginning from today, Verizon Unlimited is evolving into Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited and Business Unlimited. Sprint said in June it was offering free unlimited data, talk and text for a year to consumers who bring their own devices in a promotion aimed at Verizon subscribers. Those customers will also get an additional 5GB of mobile hotspot data. T-Mobile also adds no fees or taxes to the price, which can add another 10% or so to other carrier's bills. Zacks has just released a Special Report revealing one thing tech companies literally can not function without.

  • Joey Payne