Wireless Carriers Duke It Out With Unlimited Data Plans

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While Verizon is phasing out its unlimited data plan, T-Mobile is quadrupling the data in its Simple Starter plan in response to Sprint’s new pricing plan for unlimited data.

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.

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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