Unlimited data plans, compared

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Verizon is bringing back unlimited data… and it’s not the only company to do so.

After dumping their unlimited plans several years ago, major wireless carriers have slowly been reintroducing them.

Here’s what the new “unlimited” landscape looks like for the big wireless providers in 2017:

Verizon Wireless

Verizon customers can now get unlimited data, talk and text for $80 a month. The company said the new introductory plan also includes up to 10GB of mobile hotspot usage, as well as calling and texting to Mexico and Canada. It also lets customers stream unlimited HD video.

Although the new Verizon plan promises “fast LTE speeds” those using a lot of data may suffer. The company said after a customer uses 22GB of data on a line during any billing cycle, it “may prioritize usage behind other customers in the event of network congestion.” That has become standard practice on all networks that offer unlimited data plans.

AT&T

AT&T eliminated overage fees for customers in September. Like Verizon, the company throttles customer speeds once they reach the data limit on their plans. The company also officially brought back unlimited plans earlier last year, but they are only available for homes with both AT&T’s wireless phone service and either DirecTV or U-Verse TV.

Pricing starts at $150 per month, which includes a minimum $50 per month for the required TV service.

Sprint

Sprint’s “Unlimited Freedom” plan gives customers unlimited talk, text and high-speed data for $60 for the first line, $40 for the next, and $30 for each additional line up to 10. The plan does carry caveats; it restricts video quality and limits music streaming quality to 500kpbs and gaming to 2mbps.

A chart from Sprint breaking down some of the key differences between unlimited plans. (Image Credit: Sprint.com)

A chart from Sprint breaking down some of the key differences between unlimited plans. (Image Credit: Sprint.com)

The company is running a special discount through the end of March 2018 to encouraging sign-up.

T-Mobile

The T-Mobile ONE plan costs $70 a month for the first line, $50 for the second and additional lines are only $20, up to eight lines. Regardless of whether you choose Sprint or T-Mobile, a family of four will pay the same price of $40 per line.

For both Sprint and T-Mobile, the newer unlimited plans do away with throttling. One thing to be aware of? T-Mobile’s ONE plan has all videos streamed in standard definition. T-Mobile charges $25 per line for high-defintion streaming.

T-Mobile is also now including taxes and fees as part of the overall plan pricing.