October 27, 2017
Verizon Will Remove Video Throttling From Plans for an Extra $10 Per Month
In past years, “unlimited” mobile data actually meant unlimited. Today, there are myriad limits placed on the so-called unlimited plans sold by Verizon, T-Mobile, and others. For example, Verizon’s unlimited plans throttle your video streams to a lower bitrate than other data. If you really want to get around that limit, Verizon will now be happy to take more of your money every month to do away with video throttling.
Video throttling on mobile plans gained traction recently when T-Mobile introduced its Binge On service. That granted customers unlimited video streaming that didn’t count against their capped plans, but the video would be limited to 480p (standard definition). T-Mobile kept this restriction when it moved to offering only “unlimited” plans. Other carriers were apparently watching keenly to see if Tmo could get away with video throttling, eventually implementing their own versions.
Video throttling allows the carrier to vastly reduce data usage by each subscriber, but the perceived quality on a phone is good enough that most people won’t complain. Verizon has made a number changes to its plans as it sought to compete with cheaper carriers, and now it’s pushing the unlimited plan hard. There are two different consumer postpaid versions: a $40 per line plan with video capped at 480p and a $50 per line plan with 720p video. There’s also a prepaid and a business unlimited plan.
Starting next week, there will be yet another unlimited data plan from Verizon (yes, that makes three version of unlimited data). This plan will be $10 more per line than the “premium unlimited” plan and it won’t impose any throttling on video. Verizon says video streamed on this plan will be delivered in original resolution. Verizon’s prepaid unlimited plan does not get this option, though.
There’s one other limit on Verizon’s unlimited plans that you can’t get around. If you use too much data in a billing cycle, you’ll probably see all your data slowed down. Lines that consumer more than 22GB are deprioritized on the network. So, if there are a lot of people using the network, you get bumped to the back of the line.
Somehow, we’ve reached a point where capped data plans have been replaced by different tiers of video throttling. This mirror’s Verizon’s small, medium, and large capped data plans, which are tough to spot on the carrier’s website now. Calling these plans “unlimited” is a bit of a joke, but it’s not alone. T-Mobile and AT&T also have multiple flavors of unlimited with different restrictions.