Wireless Carriers Duke It Out With Unlimited Data Plans

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It’s a war of unlimited data and pricing strategies between two of America’s wireless carriers. A week after Sprint announced an aggressively priced unlimited data plan, T-Mobile fired back, quadrupling the data in its Simple Starter plan to 2GB for just $5 more per month.

According to CNET, Sprint revamped its plan pricing last week, introducing a $60 unlimited data plan, a $20-per-month savings over T-Mobile’s $80 unlimited data. But T-Mobile didn’t take Sprint’s blow lying down.

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CNET said:

T-Mobile immediately responded with a promotion that gives customers fleeing Sprint (as well as AT&T and Verizon) unlimited data at no additional charge for one year. It will also provide this promotion to any existing T-Mobile customers referring new customers to the service. The promotion starts Aug. 29 and will be available for a limited time.

CNET said many are wrongly referring to the back and forth between the carriers as a “price war,” noting that the actual prices have changed very little. The amount of data customers receive for a set price is really what’s changing.

CNET said:

But what T-Mobile and Sprint are doing with their recent pricing changes is trying to add value to these plans. This means subscribers get more data capacity per month for the same price that they were already paying. The idea is that consumers, even if they pay a little more than they had previously, will feel like they are getting more bang for their buck from these deals.

Meanwhile, Verizon is working on phasing out its unlimited data plans. While it stopped offering unlimited data to new customers in 2012, many existing customers kept their unlimited plans by taking advantage of a loophole. Now, according to mobile technology site PhoneDog.com, Verizon is making it increasingly difficult for unlimited-data customers to upgrade their phone and keep their unlimited data.

Customers who used that loophole would upgrade to a smartphone on one of their basic lines and buy a cheap data package, which they canceled soon after. They would then transfer that phone to their line with unlimited data. Now Verizon is requiring that customers who upgrade to a new smartphone keep a data package on that line for the contract’s entirety, PhoneDog.com said.

“This change closes that loophole by requiring an active data plan of at least $30 per month for the length of the minimum contract term,” PhoneDog said.

Of course, if you want to keep your existing unlimited data plan with Verizon but also update your phone, you can still opt to pay full retail value for a new smartphone, PhoneDog said.

What kind of data plan do you have? Are you happy with it? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

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Comments & discussion

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  • OldHighlandGuy

    Even though we are Verizon customers, we canceled our data plans as they are too expensive. Now all we have are simple phones. No texting, no photos, nothing. If more people would follow our lead, Verizon might just lower prices to something reasonable.

  • Te Rose

    Republic Wireless is truly unlimited everything! My total bill, including taxes is $26 a month. They use hybrid technology and the phones pick up WiFi whenever available. I won’t say it’s for everyone, but it is definitely worth looking into. I am thrilled with my service, and my phone, the MotoX. Check it out, you’ll be glad you did!

    • Al Seaver

      I checked out Republic Wireless, but since I live in a predominantly rural area, it, unfortunately, was not a good fit for me. I suspect that it would be great for those who live and work in a metro area.

  • Patrick Seitz

    I signed up for unlimited data with AT&T in 2007 and still have it (and they’ve never done anything to try to get me to not have it anymore). It seems to be fashionable these days to hate on AT&T but I’ve been very pleased with them.

  • Al Seaver

    I primarily use my phone as a phone, thus I’ve never bothered with data or text plans. Even so, I was being hammered by AT&T for $46 a month for their nationwide 450 minute rollover plan, of which I used less than 100 minutes of on a heavy use month after retiring and no longer needing to use it for work. I dumped AT&T and went with TracFone. By purchasing a phone from them that still uses the AT&T network, the minutes I purchase are automatically tripled, and with a quick online search I am able to find coupon codes than add more free minutes on top of that. Can’t beat it with a stick.

  • BigDog40

    I got rid of Verizon $50 per mo. plan. Bought out the balance of the contract for $175 saved myself $575. Bought a basic tracPhone for $10 at walmart. Bought a 120 min card for $10 good for 90 days. I’m now contract free and love it. Gitcha one! Save a ton!

  • grandmaguest

    It seems to me that pretty much all of the carriers are over priced. Especially when I see pictures of all the overseas countries where there are a lot of poor people who have cell phones. Surely in areas like that where the yearly income is so very much less than ours, these people can not be paying what we are paying. Why are we paying such outrageous monthly fees??? We all need to start complaining…and loudly, to all these companies. Even the prepaid phone charges are too much.