Update: If you switch from another carrier and trade in select phones as described here you can receive an iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Google Pixel, Moto Z Droid, Moto Z Force Droid, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, or LG V20 for free!
I had a Sprint phone from 2001-2011.
I started off with a plan that was $39.99/month and included 350 anytime minutes and 2,150 daytime minutes. I signed up for a 3 month trial of free WAP internet that allowed for 3 lines of text only internet on my phone. As far as I know I was the only person in my yeshiva at the time that had a cell phone and I became the source of information for my fellow students and teachers some 2 weeks into the school year on 9/11, the day that will forever live in infamy.
I loved learning various systems in my free time and during my yeshiva years in YOEC in LA from 2001-2003 I racked up millions of airline miles and also delved into the cell phone system when I wasn’t studying. Soon enough I was getting a new Sprint smartphone every month and was running an 18 line business account while renting out cell phones to my fellow yeshiva students. It was all rather lucrative. My Rov used to call me the Sprinter Rebbe.
In 2011 Sprint figured out that selling me 18 lines of service for about $300/month wasn’t all that profitable and they gave me 30 days warning that I had to find another service provider.
I jumped ship and opened a business account with Verizon just before they discontinued unlimited data.
The difference between Sprint and Verizon was night and day. I no longer dropped calls. My phone worked in the basement and in places it had never worked before. Data was much faster. The monthly billing mistakes went away. I was thrilled to have switched.
It reminded me of earlier that year when Mimi and I were in Tasmania looking at baby penguins returning from the ocean in middle of the night. The guide asked that anyone with Telstra please silent their phones and anyone with any other carrier not to worry about it as there was no way they would have service anyway.
Verizon then became somewhat hostile to us grandfathered unlimited plan holders though.
They got rid of our ability to upgrade our devices without jumping through several hoops.
They constantly battled with FoxFi to stop them from allowing us to use our phones as WiFi hotspots. Though I still use my Note Edge as a hotspot.
They didn’t allow us to access benefits like TravelPass or NBA League Pass.
They raised the rates for unlimited data for consumer plans from $29.99 to $49.99. However because we’re on a business plan the charge remained $23.39/month after a 22% discount.
And that’s why I’m somewhat shocked to see that Verizon has done a complete 180 and is once again offering unlimited data plans. Clearly T-Mobile is eating Verizon’s lunch and Verizon feels compelled to respond.
The new unlimited plans offer:
-Unlimited talk, text, and data to and from anywhere in North America. There are no roaming fees anywhere within the US, Canada, or Mexico. However after you use 500MB of 4G data within Canada or Mexico you will be throttled down to 2G for the rest of the day.
-Video will be full HD as opposed to lower quality video that Sprint and T-Mobile currently offer on their unlimited plans.
-You can switch from any older Verizon plan to the new unlimited plan.
Plan costs are as follows:
(Prices include a $5 discount for paperless billing and autopay on single lines plans and a $10 discount on share plans. When you purchase the plan online it won’t reflect this discount, but you can opt into the discount afterward).
-1 line: $80
-2 lines: $140 ($70/line)
-3 lines: $160 ($53.33/line)
-4 lines: $180 ($45/line)
-5 lines: $200 ($40/line)
-6 lines: $220 ($36.67/line)
-7 lines: $240 ($34.29/line)
-8 lines: $260 ($32.50/line)
-9 lines: $280 ($31.11/line)
-10 lines: $300 ($30/line)
-Tablets and other connected devices: $20/device
Note that the Verizon website only allows you to purchase 5 devices at a time, but you’ll be able to add more devices and lines later on. There is a limit of 10 phone lines and 20 connected devices per plan.
These are introductory rates that will be available for a limited time only.
-Yes, Sprint is much cheaper. They offer 5 lines with unlimited data, talk, and text for $90 or just $18/line. You do get what you pay for though as far as network speed and breadth, plus video streaming isn’t in HD.
-T-Mobile is slightly cheaper than the new Verizon plan at $70 for 1 line to $40 for 4 lines, but they also doesn’t offer HD video streaming.
Then again, Sprint and T-Mobile have far more customer friendly international free roaming than Verizon does. Though I use Google Fi when abroad which has worked perfectly for my needs and costs practically nothing. When I’m home I just pause the service and pay nothing until it’s unpaused. I still use the Google Fi line when I’m home as an additional Whatsapp number for groups that I don’t want on my main line. It works perfectly over WiFi even when service is paused.
-While the old grandfathered unlimited data plans don’t have any limits, the new unlimited plan says that Verizon reserves the right to deprioritize your speed after you exceed 22GB of data per month on a single line, but only if there is network congestion. So it is unlimited, but they may lower the priority on your data if you use too much bandwidth in a month and the Verizon network is busy in your area.
-The new unlimited plan also includes 10GB of 4G data over WiFi hotspot so that your other devices can stay connected. It also includes unlimited 3G data for your hotspot after you exceed 10GB of monthly 4G data via hotspot per line.
The new unlimited plan also allows access to TravelPass which allows you to use your phone in other countries for $10/day. Calls and texts -will be free and you can use 500MB of 4G data per day in other countries. After 500MB of daily data you’ll receive 2G data afterwards. Google Fi is a better deal when abroad, but TravelPass is convenient.
-The new unlimited plan doesn’t offer any subsidized phones, so you need to pay full price or a monthly leasing fee.
-The new unlimited plan doesn’t offer any employee discounts other than military/veterans discounts.
-Verizon is still selling their old S, M, and L plans online and will still sell their old XL and XXL plans over the phone.
-If you are under a contract that receives subsidized phones you can switch and continue to receive subsidized phones, but you’ll pay an extra $20/line.
I’m a bit conflicted about whether it will be worth switching from my 2011 grandfathered unlimited data plan.
-Newer phones don’t work with FoxFi as a WiFi hotspot, so that will be nice when my beloved Note Edge kicks the bucket.
-Free Canada roaming would be great as I usually find myself north of the border a couple of times every year.
-The NBA league pass and access to TravelPass would also be nice.
-I don’t currently use 22GB of data in a month, but who knows if I might regret switching after 5G data is launched and video streaming moves to 4K. Then again, they can always force the grandfathered unlimited plans onto the new plans in the future when prices may be higher. Or they can start deprioritizing our data speeds as well at 22GB/month if they wanted to.
-I’ll have to do a full comparison on the plan prices, the additional price to keep getting subsidized phones, the loss of employee discounts, and other factors to see if I should switch.
In short though, this is a nice benefit of the US blocking AT&T from gobbling up T-Mobile. Competition makes for healthy markets. I’m sure AT&T will be forced to offer unlimited data as well to match this. If AirTran, Continental, Northwest, and USAirways still existed the airlines wouldn’t get away with their constant devaluations, hub closures, and consumer unfriendly policies…
Will you sign up for a Verizon Unlimited plan? Will you switch from your grandfathered unlimited plan to the new unlimited plan? What is your favorite plan? Hit the comments!