Verizon Wireless introducing new unlimited plans at the same time as video throttling meas...

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Verizon Wireless is changing its unlimited plan by splitting it into multiple tiers from Wednesday onwards, while at the same time the carrier is also preparing to throttle the quality of streaming video for all customers, including those staying on the existing unlimited plan.




The current Verizon Unlimited plan, introduced in February, will be split down into three slightly different plans: Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited, and Business Unlimited. According to The Verge, as of August 23, new customers will have to choose one of these three new plans, with Verizon Unlimited becoming unavailable on that date.

The Go Unlimited plan will start at $75 per month for one line, reducing down to $65 per line for two lines, $50 per line for three lines, and $40 per line for four or more lines. Under the plan, subscribers get unlimited minutes and texts, and while they get unlimited 4G LTE data and unlimited usage of their mobile device as a hotspot, the tethering speeds are limited to 600kbps, and the overall LTE speed can be reduced if the network is congested.

Beyond Unlimited increases the monthly cost to $85 for one line, $80 per line for two, $60 per line for three, and $50 per line for four or more lines. This plan also benefits from free calling, texting, and data when roaming in Canada and Mexico, the congestion-related slowdown only occurs once the plan's usage exceeds 22 gigabytes in a billing cycle, and the hotspot data is accessible at LTE speeds for up to 15GB before being restricted.

The third plan, Business Unlimited, starts from $45 per month per line, and is similar to Beyond Unlimited in terms of its standard features. Notably, this plan caps the LTE speeds for the hotspot at 10GB, 15GB for those on two-year contracts, and has a higher threshold of 25GB in a billing cycle before congestion-induced bandwidth restrictions commence.

Notably, Verizon is also introducing bandwidth throttling to all of its unlimited plans that affects just streaming video.

According to Verizon's press release, the video on Go Unlimited will be of "DVD quality," described at 480p for videos viewed on smartphones and 720p on tablets. For Beyond Unlimited and legacy plans like Verizon Unlimited, the video feeds will be limited to 720p on phones, and 1080p on tablets, with notebooks tethered to the mobile device also limited to 1080p streams.

"We're doing this to ensure all customers have a great experience on our network since there is no significant difference in quality on a smartphone or tablet when video is shown at higher resolutions," claims the carrier.

The restriction of video bandwidth is not a new concept, as both T-Mobile and AT&T throttle videos down to as low as 480p on some plans, in an effort to manage the available bandwidth across their networks. Verizon's own prepaid unlimited plan, launched in April of this year, already transcodes all video streams to a 720p resolution, while also compressing audio streams from online music services.

In July, it was discovered Verizon Wireless was trialing its video throttling systems on users watching streams from Netflix and YouTube, limiting video feeds to around 10Mbps. While this is enough bandwidth to handle a 1080p video stream, users at the time endured buffering of 1440p-resolution videos.

Notably during the testing period, one user discovered that they could circumvent the throttling restriction by using a VPN. It remains to be seen if the same technique can be used once the new plans go live.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 10
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,062member
    “I need 4K on my tiny 5” screen. Without 4K my phone is useless!” Bad Verizon Come on, you such a comment is coming sooner or later.
    edited August 2017 mwhitechiapakitt
  • Reply 2 of 10
    hodarhodar Posts: 268member
    I believe the reason this is happening, is that people with "unlimited" plans, are simply plugging their phones in, and using their phones as a home hotspot, and streaming Netflix, Hulu and everything else at home - thus burning up the data at rates that the normal person would never touch. So, throttling to 480p just seems reasonable.
    mwhitecbrooker
  • Reply 3 of 10
    focherfocher Posts: 640member
    AT&T and Verizon continue to screw consumers. Doesn’t impact me at all. I recommend MintSim to anyone in a good T-Mobile coverage area.
    stanhope
  • Reply 4 of 10
    mazda 3smazda 3s Posts: 1,571member
    hodar said:
    I believe the reason this is happening, is that people with "unlimited" plans, are simply plugging their phones in, and using their phones as a home hotspot, and streaming Netflix, Hulu and everything else at home - thus burning up the data at rates that the normal person would never touch. So, throttling to 480p just seems reasonable.
    No, this is straight up bull****. This isn't a case of you passing the 22GB limit, and them THEN throttling you. This is them throttling you from beginning... PERIOD. So if you have an iPhone, you can't stream more than 720p regardless of which unlimited plan you choose. Want to stream 1080p to your MacBook Pro? Nope, can't do it. Want to stream 4K to a TV with using mobile hotspot on your iPhone on vacation while well within your 22GB limit? Nope, can't do it.

    I have no problem with Verizon implementing restrictions after a certain reasonable threshold is met, but dropping the axe for folks who haven't even used a lot of data during a billing cycle is downright moronic.
    edited August 2017 ronnboltsfan17
  • Reply 5 of 10
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,160member
    sog35 said:
    hodar said:
    I believe the reason this is happening, is that people with "unlimited" plans, are simply plugging their phones in, and using their phones as a home hotspot, and streaming Netflix, Hulu and everything else at home - thus burning up the data at rates that the normal person would never touch. So, throttling to 480p just seems reasonable.
    Nah.

    I have no problem with Verizon throttling after 20+ GB's.  But these greedy A-holes are throttling from the very begining.

    This is about greed and profits.

    So glad I have Tmobile.
    T-Mobile has been doing the same thing for a while. 

    EDIT: Guess T-Mobile caps video streaming at 480 unless you pay an extra $10 a month for HD. Your data speeds aren't throttled until after 32GB. 
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 6 of 10
    We used to have T-Mobile; was pretty loyal to them for 10 years, but then they took down the tower in the neighborhood when re-zoning occured. T-Mobile didn't want to lease space at the new grocery store.

    When T-Mobile took down the tower, they offered us a cell booster. Eventually the third one worked. But because I was sharing my internet connection with "up to 16" neighbors, my "mini cell tower" inside my house would cause Netflix to buffer on the main TV. T-Mobile had no way to specify who leached off our home internet on their 4G LTE microcell so we switched to Sprint.

    Not too many people are "in love" with sprint, but they have this "Free Unlimited" rateplan (only available online) through the end of this month. Once you sign up, you can also upgrade to new phone in 120 days- which is around Christmas time ;-)

    Sprint isn't paying a salesperson a commission or advertising the plan, so many people don't know about it, and salespeople at the store will flat-out deny it exists. Use Google to search for "Sprint Free Unlimited" for the website to see if your phone would work. It's worth your time, and the price is right.

    It's a no contract, post-paid (international roaming works) and all we pay is taxes- about $6 for us, includes unlimited service, hotspot, Sprint also roams on Verizon. It's worth considering because they extended the plan to the end of this month. You have to bring your own unlocked phone, but again it's no-contract.
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 7 of 10
    sog35 said:
    focher said:
    AT&T and Verizon continue to screw consumers. Doesn’t impact me at all. I recommend MintSim to anyone in a good T-Mobile coverage area.
    wow. those are some cheap prices for MintSim.

    So they are using Tmobile's network?  

    Whats the catch?
    Well, On MintSIM's website, on the "Terms & Conditions" page there's some insight. In Section 2, you give up the right to enter into a class action lawsuit and also submit to mandatory arbitration. They'll pay for the arbitrator who will listen to your complaint and then tell you what the complaint is worth. Essentially this is a fancy way of saying 'After you complain us, MintSIM will have an office party, catered with lobster dinner, and leave you with the bill'. But, at least you'll get a refund...

    Actually, as I continued reading, there are no refunds. Section 3 says 'MintSIM will order cheese cake for all the guests to take home after the lobster dinner.'

    But it gets better. I just made it to Section 15 in the contract. 'On the way back to the office, you will provide MintSIM with upgrades- stretch Limousines back to the office.' Oh, and you also unconditionally submit to throttling, suspension, termination of service; MintSIM doesn't have to provide you with any notice.

    MintSIM seems like a great rateplan for an ex.
  • Reply 8 of 10
    pakittpakitt Posts: 156member
    Reading what is offered and what prices, I am wondering what are people doing with their mobile phones in the USA. 
    It's like as if they are downloading like there is no tomorrow - and videos for that matter. Tons of it. 
    But when? while at the office? 
    Music doesn't take that much. 
    Images don't use that much traffic either.
    Facebook? Maybe if you have 500+ "friends" and have the time going through meters and meters of scrolling.
    Do these people ever work? 

    Either they use it home because they don't have a cable/DSL connection at home, or I really cannot get it.

    BTW: 22GB fake "unlimited" plan for 75$ is quite the steal - in Germany you can get 10+GB for 25€. Post-paid, 1 month contract, major network.
    Prices in the USA are insane. So much for competition...
    Why is everybody not using pre-paid or similar solutions in the USA? why is everybody on a contract? Don't you have mobile virtual phone operators (like I see MintSim mentioned in a post)?
  • Reply 9 of 10
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 907member
    Verizon's own prepaid unlimited plan, launched in April of this year, already transcodes all video streams to a 720p resolution, while also compressing audio streams from online music services.
    Can someone please explain how they can do that on an https connection?
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