In a world of scarcity there is no free lunch. Similarly, mobile network carriers may say they give unlimited data, but there is always that fine print which tells the truth and the customers happily ignore.
The latest U.S. network carrier to join the unlimited data plan bandwagon is Verizon, which on Feb. 12 announced that it would start offering limitless data to its users.
Although Verizon used the word "unlimited data", there are quite a few caveats in its offer that subscribers should be aware of, so that they can make an informed choice.
What Does The Unlimited Plan Offer?
The Verizon Unlimited plan offers access to limitless 4G LTE data, texting and calling. For one line, the carrier charges $80 per month for one smartphone line, $70 for two lines, $54 for three lines and lastly $45 for four lines. All the prices stated are exclusive of taxes and fees. In addition to these facilities, Verizon also provides its users with HD video streaming and mobile hotspot.
"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 department.
The Hidden Caveats
There are some catches if one reads the carrier's plan details carefully. If one looks closely at the plan and breaks down each statement made by Verizon, then they can see that Unlimited is actually limited.
True, one can use 1 GB to 1,000 GB in one month without any hindrances, but what's the use of the data, if the speed of the network falls down considerably. Verizon, in its own press release states that, users will only be able to use 22 GB of data at 4G speeds. Moreover, the network "may prioritize usage behind other customers in the event of network congestion."
In layman's terms, Verizon states that once you have used up 22 GB of data, the speed on your network may go down as others in the area are also connected to the same carrier.
In addition to this, users won't be able to tap into their credit cards points or any collected bonuses while paying Verizon Unlimited data plan bills. Why? Because in order to sign up for the service one has to register into Auto Pay, where users can only make payments using a debit card or checking account.
Last but not the least, the amount of data for unlimited tethering is also limited in a way. Sure the user can connect other devices on Verizon's hotspot service, but they will be limited to 10 GB of full speed data every billing cycle. After the usage of 10 GB of data, the speed will go down from 4G to 3G data speed.