T-Mobile fires back at Verizon, adds HD video to unlimited

T-Mobile wasted no time in firing back at Verizon as the war between wireless carriers continued to heat up on Monday.

The nation’s third-largest mobile network operator once again sweetened its unlimited plan, adding HD video and 10 GB of high-speed hotspot data to its $70-a-month offering. T-Mobile also introduced an offer of two lines of T-Mobile One for $100 a month, knocking $20 off the previous price

The announcement came on the heels of Verizon’s move Monday to launch an unlimited plan for $80 a month, marking a reversal in the carrier’s long-held policy of avoiding unlimited data plans. Verizon’s new plan includes HD video and 10 GB of LTE hotspot access; T-Mobile’s unlimited plan had previously limited video to 480p and didn’t include tethering.

A second line with Verizon’s new plan is $60 per month, and a third line is an additional $20 a month. Last month, T-Mobile began including taxes and fees in its unlimited plan as it doubled down on unlimited data, scrapping its tiered Simple Choice plans.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere used the occasion to take a swipe at his bigger rival.

“I don’t blame Verizon for caving,” Legere said in a press release. “They just lost their network advantage, and they know it, … and more importantly, more and more customers know it. Their back’s against the wall. … Next up, we’re going to force them to include monthly taxes and fees. Mark my words.”

The move underscores a heated wireless market that seems to grow more competitive by the day. Sprint threw more gasoline on the fire last month when it began offering five lines of unlimited data for $90 a month, significantly undercutting T-Mobile and other carriers in a limited-time promotion.

One major looming question is whether the networks of Verizon and T-Mobile—and perhaps other carriers—will be able to handle the increased traffic sure to result from the combination of unlimited data and HD video.

“It is also a capital spending war” in addition to being a promotional battle, MoffettNathanson analysts wrote of Verizon’s unlimited plan. “Over the long term, Verizon’s move to offer unlimited, uncompressed video will force all of its competitors to spend more to keep pace with Verizon.”