Posts tagged data plans
One of the biggest problems with cell phones today is the data plans. We all want them but they’re expensive and figuring out how much data you will need each month is still no easy task. It used to be that all the carriers offered “unlimited” plans, but over the last few years both Verizon and AT&T have switch to capped, tiered plans (such as $30 a month for 3 GB of data), with an extra $10 for every GB over that 3 GB. Sprint was the only carrier to really keep truly unlimited internet. Of course, up until recently Sprint didn’t have a 4G LTE network like AT&T and Verizon, so while you got the unlimited internet it was nowhere near as fast and useful as it could be.
T-Mobile meanwhile offered a mix of capped and unlimited plans, giving you 2 GB of fast “4G” data, but slowing down to much slower 2G once you went over that 2 GB (something called “throttling”). You didn’t have to pay more, but it still sucked.
Fortunately this is all about to change. Starting on September 5th T-Mobile will be bringing back full, unlimited 4G data for $30 a month. This means no more worries about going over your limit or seeing your data slowed down to something that’s practically unusable. And while T-Mobile has yet to launch their 4G LTE network (it’s said to be coming next year), T-Mobile’s current 4G HSPA+ network offers speeds very close to Verizon and AT&T’s LTE networks and already covers most of the country.
T-Mobile will continue to offer their current data plans, which slow down speed once you hit 5 or 10 GB but allow you to use your phone as a hotspot. All in all, if you’re on T-Mobile this is some great news.
More info: T-Mobile
With more and more people buying smartphones that require data plans, and more and more of us teens in particular upgrading to iPhones and Androids it seemed like this would be only a matter of time: family data plans. I mean, we have it for calling and texting so why not this too?
Well, Verizon understands this and they have announced that this summer they will finally launch family data plans. In addition to hopefully lowering your monthly bill, this should be great for anyone out there looking to upgrade to an iPhone but can’t convince their parents to allow them to get data. We’re not sure exactly how this will work but we imagine it going something like this: instead of paying $30 a month for 2 GB of data for each person’s phone (which is what you have to do today), your family pays $100 a month and gets 10 GB of data for all 5 lines of your family plan to share (with things like the leaked Verizon screenshot above to help you figure out how much data you’re family needs). If you have multiple members of your family with smartphones and data plans this could be a really great way to help lower your monthly phone bill (even if it’s only by a little).
Again, all Verizon has said at this point is that this will be coming sometime this summer– so we don’t yet know how much data you’ll be getting or how much it will cost, but we’ll of course keep you updated on that as we learn more. In the meantime, let’s hope AT&T and T-Mobile add this soon too.
UPDATE: As Unclesameisen pointed out in the comments, Sprint already offers family data as part of their Everything Data Family plan (see here for more info on that).
Pic from PhoneArena
It’s no Droid Bionic, iPhone 4S or Bold 9930, but if you’re on Verizon and want a smartphone mainly for things like Facebook and BBM this is the perfect phone and deal for you. Verizon is now offering an online only deal for the BlackBerry Curve 9330 where you can get the Curve 9330 for just $50 with new 2 year contract and data plan– but the data plan is only $10 a month.
Now this $10 a month only gets you 75 MB of data a month so you pretty much shouldn’t watch any YouTube over 3G (though you can watch over WiFi), but it is more than enough for things like BBM (even if you send several thousand a month), checking Facebook and email(but not download a ton of pictures), and browsing the web for scores. If you want to watch YouTube or do a lot of Facebook from your phone then you could always get Verizon’s larger 2 GB data plan, though that will cost you $30 a month (and if you’re already paying for that we’d recommend getting one of those above phones instead of this).
This deal looks to only be available for the Curve 9330, but if you’re looking for a new Verizon BlackBerry and really only need Facebook and BBM you should definitely check this out.
More info: Verizon
Well, we knew this was coming at some point but unfortunately it’s finally here– the true beginning of the end of unlimited data. Starting this Thursday, July 7th, Verizon will stop offering its current smartphone data plans of $30 a month for unlimited data and instead switch to what’s known as tiered data plans. Tiered data plans are certain amounts of data a month with different amounts being offered for different prices (this is what AT&T started last year with its $15 a month for 250 MB or $25 a month for 2 GB data plans).
The new Verizon plans will be: $30 a month for 2 GB (good for a lot of email, BBM and web browsing/Facebook checking and some video watching and video chatting), $50 a month for 5 GB (good for a lot of video watching and video chatting), and $80 a month for 10 GB. Yeah, it’s nowhere near as good of a deal as the current $30 for unlimited (if you go over your limit for example, you’re looking at $10 for each additional GB), and we do wish Verizon added a cheaper plan for those who don’t use the internet as much from their phones (like what AT&T does with it’s $15 a month for 250 MB)– but what can ya do.
So what does this mean to you, dear reader with a Verizon smartphone? Well, don’t freak out about this just yet– Verizon has also confirmed that those new data plans are for new accounts only and anyone who currently has an unlimited $30 data plan can keep that plan even after you upgrade and regardless of if you have a 3G or 4G phone. In terms of upgrading from a feature phone that doesn’t already have a data plan, Verizon hasn’t officially said if you could get an older unlimited plan (as like a sort of loyalty thing), but if we had to guess you’re gonna have to get one of those new tiered ones.
In short, if you were thinking of switching to Verizon (or upgrading to a smartphone), we recommend you do it really soon.
More info at Fierce Wireless
On Sprint with an upgrade now or before January 30th and want a BlackBerry or other 3G smartphone as your next phone? Well, then consider yourselves one of the lucky ones as if your upgrade is on or after January 30th (not February 1 or even January 31st, but January 30th), if you get any new 3G smartphone– i.e. a BlackBerry– you’re gonna need to pay an extra $10 “premium data” fee every month on top of the normal data plan for that phone. Yes, this is the same premium data add-on requirement we’ve seen on Sprint’s 4G phones like the EVO, Epic and EVO Shift, just now you’re not paying for any extra speed.
Why is Sprint doing this you ask? Well, they say it’s because of keeping up a strong, always working network with unlimited data still being offered:
The charge will assist Sprint in offering simple and affordable unlimited plans for its customers while maintaining a wireless network able to meet the growing appetite for a richer mobile experience.
And seeing as more and more people are using internet on their phones (just think of how many people you know have recently gotten a BlackBerry, Android, iPhone or other smartphone recently– on any network, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile– and are always on it viewing data-heavy sites like YouTube or live TV or listening to internet radio like Pandora), if this means that Sprint won’t have to deal with any of the issues AT&T had to deal with when the iPhone first came on (like not being able to even use the network to check an email, send a text or make a call because so many people were on it) then I guess it kinda makes sense (and you still have unlimited data which is also a big plus).
And if you already have a BlackBerry or other Sprint 3G smartphone (or if you upgrade to any non-smartphone, even those with full keyboards) you won’t need to pay the extra $10 a month for data, this is only for new smartphones bought on or after the 3oth.
Anyways, if you’re on Sprint and looking to upgrade to a BlackBerry or other non-4G smartphone, now is probably be the best time.
You can check if you have an upgrade using your login (or that of who ever is in charge of your family plan) at Sprint’s My Sprint site here, or by calling into Sprint directly by doing the following: Call *2 on your phone. Press 1. Enter your phone number. Then Press 1 again to check upgrade eligibility.