Well, it's official. We are smack-dab in the middle of an unlimited data war.
If you haven't been following the latest mobile carriers' marketing campaigns, you might want to pay attention. I can't remember a better time to be in the market for a new provider.
Which unlimited plans are being offered?
Verizon fired the first shot in the great data war of 2017. The company announced last weekend that it is bringing back the unlimited data option.
Starting February 13, the new Verizon Unlimited plan became available to everyone. The company said you will get great coverage in both small and large cities, in rural locations, and everywhere in between.
Here is a breakdown of Verizon's unlimited plan pricing:
- $80 for unlimited data, talk and text on your smartphone
- $45 per line for four lines with unlimited data, talk and text on your smartphones and tablets
These prices are being described as an introductory offer, so it's possible they will change in the near future. Also, to receive these prices you must be signed up for both paper-free billing and AutoPay.
Not to be outdone, the very next day T-Mobile entered the fray. In direct response to Verizon's move, T-Mobile announced that it will be upgrading its T-Mobile ONE unlimited data to include HD streaming and 10GB mobile hotspot tethering with no extra fees!
This fixes two of the biggest complaints against T-Mobile's unlimited ONE data plan. Previously, its ONE plan only allowed standard-def non-HD video streams over mobile unless customers paid an additional $15 fee for the "One Plus" option or $3 for a one-day "HD pass." It also didn't include mobile hotspot tethering.
The new upgrades will have HD video streaming and mobile hotspot tethering (which allows customers to use their smartphones as mobile Wi-Fi routers for internet access for other devices) turned on by default.
Additionally, T-Mobile announced a new promotional deal that discounts ONE plans with two lines down to $100, including taxes and fees.
Now, Sprint has decided to join the battle with what it's calling the best unlimited HD plan ever. Starting February 16, anyone who switches to Sprint will get the nation's lowest price for unlimited data, which includes HD-quality streaming video and 10GB of mobile hotspot per month.
It will only cost $90 per month for four lines, which is 50 percent less than Verizon's new unlimited plan. That's only $22.50 per line and the deal goes through March 31, 2018.
Sprint is also offering new customers an iPhone 7 that they can lease for 18 months for $0 monthly payments. (The iPhone 7 leasing deal requires a qualifying device trade-in.)
Also, beginning February 17, AT&T will be changing its unlimited data plan. Until now, if you were an AT&T customer, the only way to have an unlimited data plan was to also be a DirecTV subscriber.
That is what changed with the announcement. Now, all consumer and business postpaid AT&T wireless customers can sign up for an unlimited plan. They have also incorporated a $40 discount for customers with four lines.
On the new plan, you will be able to make unlimited calls from the U.S. to Canada and Mexico, and send unlimited texts to over 120 countries. Plus, customers can talk, text, and use data in Canada and Mexico with no roaming charges if they add the Roam North America feature at no additional charge.
Now that all of the top four U.S. mobile providers have gotten in on the unlimited data war, you have plenty of options to choose from. Click here to find out how each of the provider's networks compare.