Verizon overhauls 'unlimited' plan, reverts to video throttling

Verizon is overhauling the so-called unlimited data plan it introduced just a few months ago, dividing it into three tiers and capping video transmission speeds.

And the carrier isn’t exactly shouting about the new plans from the rooftops.

Ars Technica and The Verge were among the first to report that the nation’s largest mobile network operator will begin to offer three unlimited plans starting tomorrow: Go Unlimited, which starts at $75 a month for a single line; Beyond Unlimited, starting at $85 a month; and Business Unlimited, which is aimed directly at enterprises. Those prices are available for users who sign up for auto-pay.

Unlike the unlimited data plan Verizon trotted out in February for $80 a month, the two cheaper new plans come with some significant restrictions: Go Unlimited users could see reduced speeds at any time if the network is congested, and video streaming is capped at 480p on smartphones and 720p on tablets with no way to access higher resolution on either kind of device.

Beyond Unlimited customers could see reduced speeds at times of network congestion once they’ve surpassed 22 GB of data in a billing cycle, and video streaming is limited to 720p on smartphones and 1080p on tablets. Verizon’s previous plan placed no caps on mobile video.

Existing customers can reportedly keep their current plans, but all Verizon users will be subject to the new policies regarding video streaming.

Verizon apparently has yet to issue an announcement regarding the new plans, and a spokesperson didn’t return a request for comment from FierceWireless. But The Verge apparently accessed an advance copy of the press release.

“These plans give you the best unlimited choices, but you also get what only Verizon can give you: the best network, the best rewards program, the best way to manage your plan with the My Verizon app and the best selection of phones and devices,” Verizon’s announcement read, according to The Verge.

Verizon finally rejoined the unlimited bandwagon in February after bleeding customers to rivals that had previously launched unlimited plans.

The move helped stem those customer losses, but the rise in data traffic appears to have taken a toll on Verizon’s network. T-Mobile last month cited a report from Ookla indicating data speeds on the networks of both Verizon and AT&T had slowed since both those operators launched unlimited data plans.

While Verizon wasn’t anxious to tout its new plans, T-Mobile CEO John Legere wasted no time in noting the carrier’s new restrictions. “If this isn’t a sign that @Verizon’s network is crumbling from offering unlimited, I don’t know what is,” Legere tweeted this morning.