Competition is a wonderful thing. Verizon and the other major US wireless carriers basically abandoned the idea of unlimited mobile data around the time that Android and smartphones in general started surging in the market, finding it was much easier to get money out of customers by shoveling them into tiered service. But since T-Mobile, Sprint, and even AT&T have reintroduced unlimited data in various flavors, customers have danced in their little cotton socks, happily paying a premium for the luxury of not having to think about their data allotments. It seems like someone at Verizon finally got the message: the company will start offering unlimited data plans once again starting tomorrow.

The announcement comes via Verizon's official YouTube account, along with more conventional PR on the website. Company vice president Ronan Dunne directly explains Verizon's reasoning, claiming that they've been working "quietly but tirelessly behind the scenes to deliver exactly what you've asked for." Much of the rest of the video is a collection of promotional messages explaining why now is the right time to offer unlimited data, as opposed to the last five and a half when Verizon has been almost hostile towards competing unlimited plans and its own grandfathered unlimited customers.

But let's have the facts: the new unlimited data plan will cost $80 a month, naturally complete with unlimited talk and text. The plan includes the usual stipulations: data may be throttled for congested areas after users hit 22GB, and video and audio streams will be compressed, though Verizon's system allows for "HD" video. Multi-line plans get a discount: $45 for four phones or tablets ($180 total), but prices for two, three, or more than four lines aren't known at the moment. Tethering is included in the plan, but after 10GB of tethered data customers will be cut down to 3G speeds. That should be enough for semi-regular travelers who don't want to pay for expensive Wi-Fi at hotels. Unlimited calls to Mexico and Canada are included.

Verizon's unlimited plan significantly undercuts AT&T, at $100 for a single line plus mandatory DirecTV service. It's slightly more expensive than T-Mobile's One plan, $70, and Sprint unlimited, $60 (though Sprint currently has a promotion for $50 until March). Even so, Verizon's much wider network coverage will probably be worth the extra expense for many, especially rural customers with few choices for budget carriers.

Press Release

NEW YORK, Feb. 12, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Unlimited data on the Verizon network has arrived. Beginning Monday, Verizon is offering an introductory plan that gives you unlimited data on your smartphone and tablet on the best 4G LTE network in the country. With Verizon Unlimited, you also get HD video streaming, Mobile Hotspot, calling and texting to Mexico and Canada and up to 500 MB/day of 4G LTE roaming in Mexico and Canada - included.

"We've built our network so we can manage all the activity customers undertake. Everything we've done is to provide the best experience on the best network – and we've built it for the future, not just for today," said Ronan Dunne, president of Verizon's wireless division. "We also fundamentally want you to have more choice. We're not limiting you to a single plan. If you don't need unlimited data, we still have 5 GB, S, M, and L Verizon plans that are perfect for you."

Our 4G LTE network already covers more than 2.4 million square miles and consistently delivers fast speeds in more places than any other network. Ever since we were first to launch 4G LTE broadly across the country, we've been making it even better, faster, stronger, every single day:

  • We've layered in our spectrum assets to provide the breadth and depth of coverage that serves you best.
  • We launched LTE Advanced that provides you with 50% faster peak speeds in more than 471 cities nationwide
  • We can adjust to your demand in real-time with the latest antenna technology coupled with state of the art software platforms, which also let us deploy new services faster than ever before
  • Our innovative small cell deployment is the largest in the nation and it is foundational to the best experience.
  • We have deep fiber connected through advanced architectures.

With Verizon Unlimited, you'll get great coverage in cities large and small, in rural locations, and everywhere in between. All of these enhancements help us provide you with the best experience in wireless.

Verizon Unlimited is a great value and comes in two options:

  • $80 for unlimited data, talk and text on your smartphone with paper-free billing and AutoPay.
  • $45 per line for four lines with unlimited data, talk and text on your smartphones and tablets with paper-free billing and AutoPay.

On all Verizon Unlimited plans you get our fast LTE speeds. To ensure a quality experience for all customers, after 22 GB of data usage on a line during any billing cycle we may prioritize usage behind other customers in the event of network congestion. While we don't expect to do that very often, network management is a crucial tool that benefits all Verizon customers. If you're on Verizon Unlimited, you'll have the same coverage and reliability as everybody else.

You can add a connected smart watch, GizmoPal, or other connected device for just $5 each month. Get TravelPass for $10 per day (500 MB/day limit; 2G speeds after that) while overseas. Mobile Hotspot with 10 GB of 4G LTE data is included at no charge (after 10 GB you'll get 3G data speeds).  

To switch to Verizon Unlimited beginning Monday, February 13, visit http://www.verizon.com.