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posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday August 23 2017, @08:26PM   Printer-friendly
from the you-got-the-hook dept.

Verizon is making some changes to its unlimited data plan:

Well, now we know why Verizon Wireless was "testing" reduced Netflix streaming speeds last month. Today the biggest US carrier announced that its existing unlimited data plan is being divided into three new options: Go Unlimited (starting at $75 for a single line), Beyond Unlimited ($85 for first line), and Business Unlimited. Unlike the relatively straightforward unlimited plan that Verizon surprised customers with in February, these new monthly plans are chock-full of fine print and caveats. And in a move sure to anger net neutrality advocates, the regular "Go Unlimited" plan throttles all smartphone video streaming to 480p / DVD-quality. The new plans go into effect beginning tomorrow, August 23rd, so this change is happening fast. Existing postpaid customers can keep their current plan, but some things will change even for them.

Also at Engadget, BGR, and Tom's Guide.

Previously: T-Mobile and Verizon Mobile Plans Change; Probably Not Better for Consumers


Original Submission

Related Stories

T-Mobile and Verizon Mobile Plans Change; Probably Not Better for Consumers 8 comments

Verizon Raises Upgrade Fee, Purges More Unlimited Data Users

Verizon has raised its phone upgrade fee to "cover increased cost" of providing a 4G LTE network, despite its latest earnings report showing decreases in wireless capital expenditures. Verizon later "clarified" that it was referring to "ongoing costs to maintain and enhance the network".

Additionally, Verizon Wireless customers with grandfathered-in unlimited data plans will be disconnected or forced to switch to a limited plan if they use more than 200 GB of data a month on average. The company stopped offering the unlimited data plans in 2011. During Verizon's previous purge, customers using more than 500 GB of data per month were targeted.

T-Mobile eliminates cheaper postpaid plans, sells "unlimited data" only

T-Mobile USA will stop selling its older and cheaper limited-data plans to postpaid customers, shifting entirely to its new "unlimited" data plans that impose bandwidth limits on video and tethering unless customers pay extra. To ease the transition, T-Mobile will offer bill credits of $10 a month to customers when they use less than 2GB per month.

T-Mobile began its shift to unlimited data plans in August with the introduction of T-Mobile One, which starts at $70 a month. While there are no data caps, customers have to pay a total of $95 a month to get high-definition video and mobile hotspot speeds of greater than 512kbps.

The carrier said in August that the unlimited plan would be "replacing all our rate plans," including its cheaper plans that cost $50 or $65 a month. Nonetheless, T-Mobile kept selling limited postpaid data plans to new customers for a few months, but yesterday CEO John Legere said that as of January 22, T-Mobile One will be the "only postpaid consumer plan we sell."

Updated: AT&T is raising the price of grandfathered unlimited plans again


Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

T-Mobile and Sprint Merger Called Off After Months of Talks 10 comments

T-Mobile and Sprint, the third and fourth largest U.S. wireless carriers respectively, have called off merger talks, although they have left the door open in a joint statement:

Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US Inc said on Saturday they have called off merger talks to create a stronger U.S. wireless company to rival market leaders, leaving No. 4 provider Sprint to engineer a turnaround on its own.

The announcement marks the latest failed attempt to combine the third- and fourth-largest U.S. wireless carriers, as Sprint parent SoftBank Group Corp and T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom AG, show unwillingness to part with too much of their prized U.S. telecom assets. A combined company would have had more than 130 million U.S. subscribers, behind Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc.

The failed merger could also help keep wireless prices low as all four providers have been heavily discounting their cellphone plans in a battle for consumers. "Consumers are better off without the merger because Sprint and T-Mobile will continue to compete fiercely for budget-conscious customers," said Erik Gordon, a Ross School of Business professor at the University of Michigan.

The companies' unusual step of making a joint announcement on the canceled negotiations could indicate they still recognize the merits of a merger, keeping the door open for potential future talks.

Also at Bloomberg, NYT, and Ars Technica.

Previously: Sprint: Purchase of T-Mobile Promotes Competition
Inside the Plan to Pull Sprint Out of its Death Spiral

Related: Sprint the Only US Telecomm to Challenge NSA
T-Mobile and Verizon Mobile Plans Change; Probably Not Better for Consumers
Are True Burner Phones Now Impossible in the USA?
T-Mobile's New 600 MHz Network Rollout Begins This Summer
Verizon Wireless Divides Unlimited Plan Into Three Worse Options


Original Submission

Big Three Carriers Pay $10M to Settle Claims of False “Unlimited” Advertising 46 comments

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2024/05/big-three-carriers-pay-10m-to-settle-claims-of-false-unlimited-advertising/

T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T will pay a combined $10.2 million in a settlement with US states that alleged the carriers falsely advertised wireless plans as "unlimited" and phones as "free." The deal was announced yesterday by New York Attorney General Letitia James.

"A multistate investigation found that the companies made false claims in advertisements in New York and across the nation, including misrepresentations about 'unlimited' data plans that were in fact limited and had reduced quality and speed after a certain limit was reached by the user," the announcement said.

T-Mobile and Verizon agreed to pay $4.1 million each while AT&T agreed to pay a little over $2 million. The settlement includes AT&T subsidiary Cricket Wireless and Verizon subsidiary TracFone.
[...]
The carriers denied any illegal conduct despite agreeing to the settlement. In addition to payments to each state, the carriers agreed to changes in their advertising practices. It's unclear whether consumers will get any refunds out of the settlement, however.
[...]
The three carriers agreed that all advertisements to consumers must be "truthful, accurate and non-misleading." They also agreed to the following changes, the NY attorney general's office said:

  • "Unlimited" mobile data plans can only be marketed if there are no limits on the quantity of data allowed during a billing cycle.
  • Offers to pay for consumers to switch to a different wireless carrier must clearly disclose how much a consumer will be paid, how consumers will be paid, when consumers can expect payment, and any additional requirements consumers have to meet to get paid.
  • Offers of "free" wireless devices or services must clearly state everything a consumer must do to receive the "free" devices or services.
  • Offers to lease wireless devices must clearly state that the consumer will be entering into a lease agreement.
  • All "savings" claims must have a reasonable basis. If a wireless carrier claims that consumers will save using its services compared to another wireless carrier, the claim must be based on similar goods or services or differences must be clearly explained to the consumer.

The advertising restrictions are to be in place for five years.

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Wednesday August 23 2017, @08:42PM (4 children)

    by DeathMonkey (1380) on Wednesday August 23 2017, @08:42PM (#558162) Journal

    You mean these new unlimited plans are chock full of limits...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23 2017, @08:47PM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23 2017, @08:47PM (#558164)

      Having started on a regional cell provider who got bought out by SBC, then jumping to Verizon as a 'less worse' option, and finally jumping to t-mobile, which is only slightly less of a steaming pile than VZ, but at least they aren't pulling this shit on a quarterly basis.

      • (Score: 0, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23 2017, @08:50PM (2 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23 2017, @08:50PM (#558166)

        T-Mobile is owned by ATT (aka SBC), so what was the point of all that switching around??

        • (Score: 3, Touché) by EvilSS on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:03PM (1 child)

          by EvilSS (1456) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:03PM (#558168)

          T-Mobile is owned by ATT (aka SBC), so what was the point of all that switching around??

          LOL WTF are you smoking. You got some proof for that assertion? Wikipedia from an alternate reality doesn't count.

          • (Score: 0, Troll) by realDonaldTrump on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:30PM

            by realDonaldTrump (6614) on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:30PM (#558182) Homepage Journal

            They tried to make a deal. They wanted to merge. But President Obama wouldn't allow it. He told them "no." Said "no" to one of the biggest donors to his inauguration. BIZARRE! Just like he said "no" to Keystone XL and Dakota Access. To the pipelines. Which I reversed. I told them I'd approve if they reapplied. They reapplied and I approved. AT&T, if you're listening, you can reapply. And I'll approve. Because you've got the most business-friendly President you could ever hope for. The likes of which this world has never seen. And I thank you for being one of the top donors to my inauguration. Which was amazing. And I'm here for you. I've got your back. Unlike Obama, I understand how politics works. I'm here with pen in hand. Get your application in and I'll sign it right away. Whether I'm sitting in my office. Or teeing off. Get that application in. If you still want to be AT&T&T-Mobile. #MAGA 🇺🇸

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by meustrus on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:06PM (14 children)

    by meustrus (4961) on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:06PM (#558170)

    And in a move sure to anger net neutrality advocates, the regular "Go Unlimited" plan throttles all smartphone video streaming to 480p / DVD-quality.

    Net Neutrality is not about charging customers more for better internet. It never was. Net Neutrality is about whether Verizon can charge Netflix extra to reach its customers.

    That said, this move is sure to anger...everyone. We didn't buy 1080p+ smartphones to watch 480p videos on them.

    (Actually, we bought them because the marketers said that's what we wanted and there isn't really another option anymore)

    --
    If there isn't at least one reference or primary source, it's not +1 Informative. Maybe the underused +1 Interesting?
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:14PM (7 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:14PM (#558172)

      Everyone? No, I'm sure the shareholders will be happy.

      • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:19PM (4 children)

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:19PM (#558176)

        And we are supposed to care about their happiness why? This kinda greed is why we can't have nice things in this country.

        • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:22PM

          by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:22PM (#558178)

          Because the shareholders' happiness is more important than yours.

          If you disagree, you're free to not buy from that company.

        • (Score: 2) by SanityCheck on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:22PM

          by SanityCheck (5190) on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:22PM (#558179)

          You can, you just have to pay A LOT and OFTEN.

        • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday August 23 2017, @10:28PM (1 child)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 23 2017, @10:28PM (#558201) Journal

          And we are supposed to care about their happiness why?

          If you have a pension fund, you may be one of the shareholders that need to be kept happy.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
          • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Thursday August 24 2017, @03:52PM

            by Immerman (3985) on Thursday August 24 2017, @03:52PM (#558477)

            Unlikely. The collective stock ownership of the lower 99% of the population amounts to less than 1% of the total stocks. Nobody cares in the slightest how those hangers-on feel. And even the combined 1% are minority stockholders. The only stockholders that anyone really cares about are the comparative handful of ultra-rich investors who have their money scattered and redirected through so many convoluted investment schemes and shell companies that it verges on impossible for anyone on the outside to even figure out what they actually own.

            And you'd better believe they like it that way - empires collapse on a regular basis, and the proles with pitchforks take out the kings, CEOs, and other visible agents of their suffering. But few recognize the real villains, the financiers who sculpted the situation to their liking, leaving them free to finance the "revolutionaries" and ensure that the next empire ends up just as friendly to their interests as the one that was overthrown.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:42PM (1 child)

        by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:42PM (#558191) Journal

        Everyone? No, I'm sure the shareholders will be happy.

        Depends. If enough customers react by changing their provider, the shareholders might not be that happy.

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
        • (Score: 2) by mhajicek on Thursday August 24 2017, @12:51AM

          by mhajicek (51) on Thursday August 24 2017, @12:51AM (#558253)

          If all the providers are owned by the same umbrella corporation it doesn't matter.

          --
          The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
    • (Score: 2) by driven on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:23PM

      by driven (6295) on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:23PM (#558180)

      Net Neutrality is about whether Verizon can charge Netflix extra to reach its customers

      Does Netflix really have that kind of cash? They seem to spend most of their money on content. I suspect this is more about making their own video streaming service more attractive (which would be unthrottled, no doubt) than Netflix.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by maxwell demon on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:37PM (4 children)

      by maxwell demon (1608) on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:37PM (#558187) Journal

      Net Neutrality is not about charging customers more for better internet. It never was. Net Neutrality is about whether Verizon can charge Netflix extra to reach its customers.

      Wrong. Net neutrality isn't about money at all (although it certainly does affect whether such things can be done). Simply said, net neutrality means that you don't discriminate based on who sends/receives a packet.

      --
      The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
      • (Score: 3, Informative) by mhajicek on Thursday August 24 2017, @12:53AM (3 children)

        by mhajicek (51) on Thursday August 24 2017, @12:53AM (#558254)

        Or what it contains.

        --
        The spacelike surfaces of time foliations can have a cusp at the surface of discontinuity. - P. Hajicek
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24 2017, @04:07AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24 2017, @04:07AM (#558306)

          Modded Disagree in error.

        • (Score: 2) by dry on Thursday August 24 2017, @05:00AM (1 child)

          by dry (223) on Thursday August 24 2017, @05:00AM (#558317) Journal

          So they can't block certain ports?

          • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Thursday August 24 2017, @05:49AM

            by maxwell demon (1608) on Thursday August 24 2017, @05:49AM (#558334) Journal

            Not if they do it depending on the IP.

            --
            The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 2) by jasassin on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:15PM (7 children)

    by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:15PM (#558173) Homepage Journal

    $85.00 a month and you can't watch HD video? This is gonna fly like a fart in church.

    There are many reasons I don't have a cell phone, this is just one more.

    --
    jasassin@gmail.com GPG Key ID: 0xE6462C68A9A3DB5A
    • (Score: 4, Informative) by bob_super on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:29PM (5 children)

      by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:29PM (#558181)

      My sister just changed her carrier to get the 12 Euro plan, because 18 Euros was wasting.
      Free call/text, free roaming to most civilized countries, and well over 20 GB of data.

      Since the hardware is the same, that gives you an idea of Verizon's margins.

      • (Score: 1, Troll) by Grishnakh on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:33PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:33PM (#558183)

        That's socialism!!! We don't stand for that kind of thing here in America.

      • (Score: 2) by jasassin on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:34PM (3 children)

        by jasassin (3566) <jasassin@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:34PM (#558184) Homepage Journal

        My sister just changed her carrier to get the 12 Euro plan, because 18 Euros was wasting.
        Free call/text, free roaming to most civilized countries, and well over 20 GB of data.
        Since the hardware is the same, that gives you an idea of Verizon's margins.

        So if it's free roaming can someone in the USA get this plan and use it?

        --
        jasassin@gmail.com GPG Key ID: 0xE6462C68A9A3DB5A
        • (Score: 3, Informative) by bob_super on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:49PM

          by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:49PM (#558192)

          It's limited to 45 or 100 days of roaming a year (haven't looked at the details), and anyone calling you would have to dial Europe.
          The first part can be helped by getting multiple lines and still saving cash, but the second is more problematic.

        • (Score: 2) by Entropy on Wednesday August 23 2017, @10:06PM (1 child)

          by Entropy (4228) on Wednesday August 23 2017, @10:06PM (#558197)

          You'd have a euro phone number too... That would be a challenge in the US.

          • (Score: 3, Informative) by Nerdfest on Wednesday August 23 2017, @10:42PM

            by Nerdfest (80) on Wednesday August 23 2017, @10:42PM (#558208)

            I use a tablet plan with my phone. VOIP works quite nicely. I pay $15/month, and I'm in Canada, which I think still has the highest rate for mobile anywhere in the world.

            I'm sure they'll catch on eventually.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24 2017, @02:41AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24 2017, @02:41AM (#558280)

      On the other hand, I can't really notice much between 480 and 1080 on my phone (G5).

      Sorry, but this outrage is along the lines of screaming about the black bars regarding letterboxing, or "thick" bezels these days on tablets, PC monitors, laptops, etc.

      beyond First World Problem whines.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:53PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 23 2017, @09:53PM (#558195)

    For those that use little mobile data, you should switch to a MVNO.

    Verizon towers are the only things that can provide signal in my area, so I use Page Plus (I've also heard good things about Selectell). H2O wireless is a good AT&T MVNO if their towers are better in your region.

    There's a long list available in the MVNO Wikipedia article.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_mobile_virtual_network_operators [wikipedia.org]

  • (Score: 2) by snufu on Wednesday August 23 2017, @11:58PM

    by snufu (5855) on Wednesday August 23 2017, @11:58PM (#558222)

    The invisible hand of the free market proves this is the best we can hope for.

  • (Score: 4, Informative) by Runaway1956 on Thursday August 24 2017, @12:01AM (3 children)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 24 2017, @12:01AM (#558224) Journal

    Dump Verizon. Dump all the big telcos. Don't sign another worthless contract. You can get an unlocked phone anywhere. Buy your phone, and then do the monthly plan things. Deprive Verizon of all that lovely money you're giving them. Go to Wal-Mart or wherever, and buy a $40 card to activate your phone with. You don't need the idiot plans they are selling. The pay-by-month-no-contract plans offer everything a person really needs.

    Be smart about it. Call Verizon (or whatever telco you are using) and TELL THEM why you are leaving. They are overpriced, and their service sucks. Tell them that you expect twice the service, for half the price - because you can get it on a monthly plan.

    Then leave.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24 2017, @02:46AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24 2017, @02:46AM (#558282)

      Actually, VZWL's cell coverage does not suck, at least between Portland OR and Lusk, WY. And that includes coverage on such widely traveled routes as US-18 (I-25 to Lusk) that's a recent addition, more connections between Mountain Home and Idaho Falls ID along US-20 than I expected, etc. But, hey. If you stick to just driving on the interstates, I suppose the others will probably work for you, too.

      That's why I continue to pay for VZWL.

      YMMV.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24 2017, @06:38PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24 2017, @06:38PM (#558544)

      You do realize who owns most of the towers and cel backbone, right? No, you aren't 'leaving them', you just are not paying them directly.

      • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Thursday August 24 2017, @11:16PM

        by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Thursday August 24 2017, @11:16PM (#558638) Journal

        You pay less, the discount reseller takes a cut of less money, Verizon makes a lot less money. The same is true of all of the telcos. Get the twenty five to fifty dollar discounted monthly service. If we all did that, the big telcos would take notice.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24 2017, @12:09AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24 2017, @12:09AM (#558229)

    People, you do not have to stand for this. There are so many options out there that you may have never heard of. I'm on Tracfone which is a fairly shitty company if you want any customer service, but I don't care because I pay 6 dollars a fucking month. It's not unlimited, but that more than covers the amount of minutes and data I use. They piggyback on Verizon or AT&T's cell networks so the call quality is the same. Bring your own phone too. It's so bizarre to me seeing coworkers pay 100+ for the same service.

    • (Score: 2) by urza9814 on Thursday August 24 2017, @03:10PM

      by urza9814 (3954) on Thursday August 24 2017, @03:10PM (#558459) Journal

      People, you do not have to stand for this. There are so many options out there that you may have never heard of. I'm on Tracfone which is a fairly shitty company if you want any customer service, but I don't care because I pay 6 dollars a fucking month. It's not unlimited, but that more than covers the amount of minutes and data I use. They piggyback on Verizon or AT&T's cell networks so the call quality is the same. Bring your own phone too. It's so bizarre to me seeing coworkers pay 100+ for the same service.

      That might work for you, but I'd be paying $600+/month if I switched to tracphone. I currently pay $85 for an average usage of 50-60GB of 4G data per month, plus a handful of minutes and texts. Been looking for a no-contract alternative, but I can't find anything that's anywhere close to the price I've got with my contract. I'm currently with CREDO Mobile -- a Sprint MVNO. And as an added bonus, they donate part of my payments to organizations like the ACLU that are fighting against the asshats at AT&T/Verizon/etc and other "progressive causes". And they paid 2/3 of the cost of my phone when I joined. And also paid off my previous carriers' termination fee.

      If anyone knows of any carrier that can beat that, I'd love to hear about it...

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24 2017, @06:12PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24 2017, @06:12PM (#558535)

      And when they all do this, your next proposal?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24 2017, @06:00PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 24 2017, @06:00PM (#558529)

    Does not mean the same to them as it does to the rest of us.

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