Have you heard? Unlimited data plans are making a comeback!
The trend was first kicked off by Verizon announcing the return of its unlimited price plan in February as an answer to T-Mobile and Sprint's unlimited offerings.
Finally, AT&T late afternoon on Feb. 16 announced an unlimited offering of its own, which it then revamped less than two weeks later on Feb. 27.
Wading through any wireless carrier's website can cause headaches and lead to frustration. The sites, it seems, are designed to be confusing when it comes to digging through price plans and reading the fine print.
Instead of doing it yourself, I've spent the last few hours clarifying and trying to get to the bottom of just what is included in each of the major US carrier's wireless plan. The chart below is updated each time a carrier changes its plan or announces new features.
|HD video||Yes (1080p)||Yes (1080p)||Yes (1080p)||Yes, if Stream Saver is turned off.|
|Expiration||No||No||June 30, 2018||No|
|Roaming||Unlimited service in Canada/Mexico, 2G data globally||500MB per day of 4G LTE roaming in Mexico and Canada||Unlimited text and 2G data w/LTE GSM-capable device||Unlimited talk, text, and data in Canada and Mexico|
For the most part, pricing and capabilities included are nearly identical for T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon. The biggest differentiator between the other three is going to be coverage by each respective carrier in your area.
Sprint's plan has a fair share of caveats. It's only available to new customers, and the price goes up to $160 for four lines after the June 30, 2018, expiration date. (Pricing breaks down as $60 for the first line, $100 for two lines, $30 for lines three and four.)
AT&T's Unlimited Plus plan now includes access to HBO at no additional charge.
AT&T has another unlimited plan, called Unlimited Choice, that starts at $60 for the first line. The second line $55 (totaling $115). Additional lines are $20 each, for a total of $155 for four lines. In exchange for paying a lower monthly price, connection speed is limited to 3Mbps and 1.5Mbps for streaming video.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published on February 16, 2017. It has since been updated to reflect changes to wireless plans offered by the carriers.
Comparing Verizon's unlimited plan -- and the catch: