Update: Verizon has detailed a trade-in offer which would allow new customers to take out its recently revealed Unlimited plan and receive a free smartphone upgrade. T-Mobile has also responded to Verizon’s Unlimited plan with news of improvements to its own unlimited service. And a Verizon spokesperson has offered further details on what VZ means by “introductory” plan. More information at the relevant sections below.

Over the weekend, Verizon announced an all-new unlimited mobile plan in a message on its website. It’s exciting news in the mobile industry but picking through the details can be an arduous task (I’ve just done it and it took four cups of coffee and a twenty-minute phone call with my therapist).

Below, I’ve tried to outline the most pertinent information about the new service, including prices, restrictions and how it stacks up against the competition. Here’s everything you need to know about Verizon Unlimited.

See also:

Hell freezes over: Verizon offers unlimited data plan for $80 a month

February 12, 2017

What the heck is Verizon Unlimited, anyway?

Verizon Unlimited is an introductory network plan which provides unlimited talk, text, and mobile data in the US, Canada and Mexico — with some limitations.

Why is Verizon Unlimited a big deal?

Verizon axed its last unlimited subscription service in 2011 and in September 2016, the company reaffirmed its stance on the subject when CFO Fran Shammo said: “At the end of the day, people don’t need unlimited plans.”

Such plans, however, have become an increasingly attractive prospect in recent years, particularly with the rise of music and video streaming apps.

Verizon clearly now sees the appeal, and as one of the biggest carriers in the US — with what many experts believe to be the best LTE infrastructure — its service could be highly sought-after.

What is included in Verizon Unlimited?

  • Unlimited voice, text and data in the US
  • Unlimited text/calls to and from Canada and Mexico
  • Unlimited voice, text and data in Canada and Mexico
  • Mobile hotspot/tethering
  • Unlimited HD video

How much does Verizon Unlimited cost?

Single-line

The single-line Verizon Unlimited plan costs $80 (not including taxes or other fees), as long as you sign up for Auto Pay and paperless billing — otherwise, you’ll pay an extra five bucks. This includes line access but does not include phone repayments, should you take out the plan with a new device or still be in the process of paying off a previous one.

Single-line access also includes the option to add a second or third connected device which could be a tablet/internet device (+$20 per month), or a smartwatch (+$5 per month).

Multi-line

You can use up to 10 lines and 20 connected devices with Verizon Unlimited Multi-Line. This package starts at $100, before taxes and fees, and costs an additional $20 per line: so with two devices, the bill would be $140, with three, $160, with four, $180, and so on. Without Auto Pay and paperless billing, you’ll have to add another $10 to the $100 base fee.

As with the single line plan, this price excludes monthly repayments for smartphones connected on the line and includes the same rates for connected devices.

Can I get a Verizon Unlimited discount?

Reportedly, “ELEU and CLEU discounts will not apply” to the Verizon Unlimited plan, but customers will “be eligible for the equipment discount.” Military and veteran discounts still apply.

Note that the more lines you have connected on multi-line, the less you would pay individually if you split the bill between all parties (with four smartphones on multi-line, for example, the cost is $45 per device instead of $80 per device as with single line).

What about this Verizon Unlimited trade-in offer?

Verizon also allows new customers to trade in an existing smartphone to get a free (or discounted) handset when taking out an Unlimited plan. To qualify you must have a pre-existing number from another carrier and trade in one of 21 eligible devices, but if you make the switch, you could get yourself a free Galaxy S7, iPhone 7, Google Pixel or similar.

The 15 devices which would get you a free upgrade are: iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Samsung Galaxy S6, Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, Samsung Galaxy S7, Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, Samsung Note 5, LG G5, LG V20, and HTC 10.

The 6 devices which would get you a discounted upgrade, which would mean an extra $5 per month on your bill, are: Apple iPhone SE, Samsung Note 4, Samsung Galaxy S5, LG G4, LG V10, and HTC M9.

Be aware that the device traded in must be in good working order and cosmetic condition.

The smartphone you receive must remain active on the device payment agreement for 24 months in order for you to receive the full discount, otherwise you’ll end up paying a portion of the phone’s cost. The same applies if you cancel the service early.

Are there any limitations to the Verizon Unlimited service?

Yes. Like any such plan, Verizon’s Unlimited service also includes a number of restrictions — the biggest among these are:

  • Full LTE speeds for the first 22 GB of data usage only, reduced data speeds and de-prioritization thereafter (carriers tend to say this throttling only occurs under unusually high network activity).
  • 4G LTE data in Canada and Mexico applies to the first 500 MB per day only, after which it drops to 2G.
  • The first 10 GB of tethered internet per month, per line runs at 4G LTE speeds and drops to 3G thereafter.
  • If more than half of your talk, text or data usage comes from Mexico or Canada over a sixty-day period, use of those services may be “removed or limited.”

What does Verizon mean when it calls Unlimited an “introductory” plan?

This could be Verizon’s way of saying that the price may change, or features may be added or removed after its launch. Though none of Verizon’s plans, or any carrier’s for that matter, are set in stone of the next 100 years, the specific use of “introductory” in its press material does indicate that the terms may change in the near future. There’s no real way to tell which way this will land at the moment: I’ve reached out to Verizon for more details.

Update, 15.02.2017: In an email, a Verizon spokeswoman confirmed that, while the service may change in the future, users who sign up for the plan as it stands wouldn’t be affected by this.

“If we decide at some point down the road to change the plan, folks who have signed up for the current plan will be able to stay on that plan,” the spokeswoman said.

In other words, if you like the sound of the current offer, I’d invest in it sooner rather than later.

Who is eligible for Verizon Unlimited?

Both new and existing customers are eligible for Verizon Unlimited.

What is the Verizon Unlimited competition like?

T-Mobile has an unlimited plan for $70 per month, with $50 to add a second line and an extra $20 for each line after that. Unlike Verizon’s offer, T-Mobile’s prices also include tax.

Following the Verizon Unlimited announcement, T-Mobile fought back yesterday with improvements to its own service, offering HD video streaming at no extra cost (previously it was restricted to 480p) and 10 GB of high-speed mobile tethering, bringing these on par with Verizon’s offer.

T-Mo’s 4G LTE threshold also stands at 28 GB (compared to Verizon’s 23 GB) with 3G connectivity thereafter and the plan includes unlimited international data, though it tops out at 128 kb, which is a little more than double dial-up speeds.

Further, T-Mobile has temporarily reduced the price of its two-line plan from $120 to $100. The company is definitely showing some fighting spirit.

Sprint‘s unlimited plan, meanwhile, starts at $50 per month, or a five line data plan for $90 per month, with a 23 GB 4G data threshold. Video streaming there is also capped at 480p resolution unless you pay an additional $20 per month.

AT&T also has an unlimited offer, but it’s available only to customers who use its satellite TV services too.

Does this mean Verizon’s “limited” plans are no longer available?

No, the Verizon S, M and L packages for those who don’t require unlimited data are still available.

When is Verizon Unlimited available?

Verizon Unlimited is available from February 13.

See also:

Verizon offers same-day screen repair on a few Android phones

February 10, 2017

Hopefully, this has addressed the main questions regarding this service, but if you need to know anything else, get in touch in the comments or hit me up on Twitter (@scottadamgordon).

Check out the plan for yourself at the Verizon Wireless website.

Scott Adam Gordon
Scott Adam Gordon is a European correspondent for Android Authority. Originally from the UK, Scott has been tinkering with Android phones since 2011 and writing about them full-time since 2014. He now lives in Berlin with three roommates he never sees. Befriend him on Twitter and Google+ at the links.
  • Yash Bhardwaj

    Tmobile’s 4G threshold os at 28GB, not 26 GB. Plus, you don’t always stream video at 480p. I have streamed video at 1080p off of data on Tmobile with no hassle and without paying extra for Tmobile One Plus Plan.

    • Yash Bhardwaj

      You also have to realize that Tmobile has unlimited international data, unlike Verizon.

      • Scott Adam Gordon

        Hey thanks both valid points. I’ve updated the article along with the most recent news. Cheers :)

    • Dusty

      Good for you! I know a guy who tried to stream video on T-mobile at 480p inside a building and he couldn’t because there was no data. The same guy tried to stream video while out camping, but there was no service. He also tried to steam video while taking a road trip across country, but T-mobile sent him a text saying that he was roaming and if he went over 50mb of data he’d get charged per mb

      • Yash Bhardwaj

        Well, it also depends on which plan he was on. Some people are still on Tmobile’s Simple Choice Plans which don’t offer as much service as Tmobile One does. If he is on Tmobile One, then Tmobile probably has bad service in that area. I live near Princeton, NJ, and take the train to Newark, NJ each day, which is probably why I have great service.

      • Hiran

        How is Verizon in your area

    • intruda

      I’ve never gotten above 480p on T-Mobile data in GA.

  • Danksta TheOG

    Such a joke. 22gb a month? So tired of these needless caps.

    • Droid22

      Only if you are at 22 and the tower is very busy you will be throttled until tower is not so busy or you leave that particular tower.

  • Tabs2IsBoss #SamsungKnights

    Verizon is useless I dumped there ass when I had two lines back in 2012 for T-mobile. 6 added lines later T-mobile is the best here in 2017.

    • Dusty

      Maybe if you live in the city and never travel across country or have no need to use data outside of the city. For convenience sake, Verizon is the best, I can go anywhere and use as much data as I need for a set price. For price, Cricket is the best, my wife can go anywhere and use her 3 gb of data cap and still get by on the throttled data until the next month.

    • You mean T-Mobile ‘was’ the best. Ever since T-Mobile One, they’ve plummeted and I actually see what Verizon is doing here. They’re bringing a plan similar to T-Mobile’s Simple Choice by not capping your video streaming and you still get a good amount of tethering before you have to pay extra. But with T-Mobile One + being the most expensive route, if you are that much of a heavy user for tethering than by all means stay on T-Mobile, but I wouldn’t flat out call T-Mobile the best of 2017 after their recent stunt they just pulled.

    • squiddy20

      Unless you have a family of 8, you’re an absolute moron for having 8 lines.
      Also, I find it hilarious that you claim you “dumped there ass” (it’s “their”, you idiot”). You went from crying about how Verizon was “the Devil” back when you were worshiping HTC and Sprint, to getting the Galaxy Nexus “day one” when it came out on Verizon, and six months later claimed you “kicked them to the curb” for T-Mobile, the cheapest of the 4 big carriers.

      • kennsg

        So your an english teacher and a stalker??

        • Bonedatt

          Watch squiddy20 tell you too it’s “you’re” and not “your” 😉

          • definitely-not-spam

            squiddy20 pls deliver

        • squiddy20

          So what if I am?

          Also, obligatory ‘it’s spelled “you’re”, not “your”‘ at definitely-not-spam’s request.

          • kennsg

            Haha..couldn’t help yourself.

          • squiddy20

            I really wouldn’t have said anything, until that one damn request. Hahaha.

  • billcollier

    Not worth the change

  • Name goes here

    No mention of access fees? This is at least $20 per phone. That’s $80 for 4 phones. T-Mobile does not charge such a fee. Additionally, T-Mobile no longer charges separate taxes/fees, those are contained within their normal pricing structure. Please compare Apples to Apples – so to speak.

    • Jonathan Johnson

      “The single – line Verizon Unlimited plan costs $ 80 , as long as you sign up for Auto Pay and paperless billing ( otherwise you ‘ll pay an extra five bucks ) . This includes line access but does not include phone repayments – should you take out the plan with a new device , or still be in the process of paying off a previous one”

    • Scott Adam Gordon

      Thanks for the comment! I’m trying, yo! As Jonathan Johnson pointed out, I did include details of the access fees: Verizon’s and T-Mobile’s. As it happens, T-Mobile does charge such a fee. 50 bucks for the second phone and 20 bucks thereafter.

      Taxes, you got me there, should have included. Will update. Thanks :)

    • Bonedatt

      Verizon just chose to outline the $20 access fee in the multi-line family plan but not in the single line plan. All carriers have them.

      • Blue Knight

        Sprint doesn’t have access fees…!!! And Sprint seems to be the cheapest option out of all of the carriers. $50 for the first line and $40 for the second, while the rest are free, with no access charges.. After taxes with autopay it’s about $110 to $115, before handset payments.

        Truth be told, I’m on the older $60 1st line and $40 2nd line for $100 a month plan. But, I still get 5GBs of tethering on each line included. And I never have any problems streaming in 720p HD.

  • daftrok

    You failed to mention that T-Mobile’s One plan only has 3G hotspotting and you need to pay $25 extra a month for that feature (it also comes with 1080p video). If you just want 1080p video though, that is only $15 a month extra.

    • Jonathan Johnson

      Did you actually read the entire article? You’re the second person to say they didn’t say something when they did.

    • balcobomber25

      Not anymore, T-Mobile just one upped them, again.

      • tim242

        No, they tried to play catchup. Tmo got caught with their pants down. With that shitty network, they will always be inferior.

        • balcobomber25

          I get better coverage in Boston and New York on Tmobile than I did with Verizon and my bill is significantly less. Tmobile Tuesday’s is just icing on the cake. Enjoy your overpriced shitty network.

          • definitely-not-spam

            Sad little boy doesn’t realize that Verizon is only offering this “unlimited” plan because T-Mobile backed them into a corner and they can’t afford to keep hemorrhaging customers.

          • kennsg

            Any comment hit it right on the head it’s your comment.. cheers !!

          • Leigh Conner

            Since when is Verizon hemorrhaging customers? Verizon is the leading cell provider while T-Mo is only where they are due to the corporate welfare AT&T gave them in that $5 billion breakup fee.

            Deutsche Telekom isn’t investing money in T-Mo and with DT acknowledging that no one wants to buy T-Mo now that puts T-Mo in a tough spot as the little profit they make isn’t going to be enough to roll out a competitive 5G network to what the others can.

            People seem to think T-Mo is some industry leader that is amazing. And while Legere has done wonders with a company that any other company would likely be out of business had they faced the same conditions, they are still in a very precarious situation. I don’t think Verizon is worried in the least about them.

        • kennsg

          Maybe inferior Where You are but it works fantastic here..SF

  • intruda

    As great as T-Mobile has been, there service in not consistently great everywhere. Only had the service for 6 months and no issues at home in atl, but traveling to Tennessee and Kissimmee was spotty.

    Hope att follows. Verizon still doesn’t support enough unlocked devices.

    • definitely-not-spam

      I know exactly how you feel. I love my T-Mobile plan, but when I went to West Virginia recently, I had negative cell reception lol

  • balcobomber25

    Tmobile is still better the option, especially since they just included HD video streaming in the ONE plan. They also don’t have all the various “fees” and “taxes” that Verizon loves so much.

    • tim242

      All companies have those fees.

      • balcobomber25

        Tmobile’s fees are included in the $70 unlimited plan, the one that is $10 cheaper than Verizon’s. That is of course until you add in the $50 of fees from Verizon.

  • Hii Scott, Thanks for Sharing Updated Unlimited Mobile Plans. What are the average taxes or other costs on single line unlimited plans? Thanks for discussing unlimited Plan offers for existing Smartphone users. Thanks,

  • Mail carrier

    Well, I got the new unlimited plan from Verizon day one! I’m on the family plan and even though I spend slightly more, I allegedly get so much more in return. We have a riverside campsite rental where I’m far enough from the office Wi-Fi is unaccessible unlike our previous site, plus I stream music at work. Our son is an internet demon, eating up GB like Pac Man eats up everything in his path. This has led us to some not so nice conversation about data overages. Hopefully Verizon Unlimited fixes that!

    • definitely-not-spam

      My parents required me to pay for data overages when I was younger, and it taught me a good lesson that “nice conversation” never did.

  • Wjdzm

    is it 23 GB threshold per line? or per account?

  • Leigh Conner

    I smell a lawsuit coming. One reason Verizon dropped unlimited was because of the rules that got attached to the C block spectrum of the 700MHz band during the auction. These rules specify that no throttling can occur on the LTE side of things.

    There was also a lawsuit about limitations of tethering and throttling and charging for that back in 2012. While they can charge for their own tethering service, they can not block apps such as Fox Fi which allow free tethering and since they can’t throttle due to the open access rules on their main LTE spectrum, they can’t throttle after the first 10GB used.

    So I expect a lawsuit coming because of these proposed restrictions on the unlimited plan and the plan to go away pretty quickly.

    • Blue Knight

      I agree with you on almost every thing except, the Fox Fi issue. They don’t have to block Fox Fi in the PlayStore, all they have to do is have elevated system level permissions or take out the standard tethering code and put in their own, the way all the other carriers do. (As you’ve said, lock it down to their own tethering app.)

      • Leigh Conner

        Except they can’t do that. They were sued for doing just that back in 2012 and lost. The only phones that are allowed to do that are 3G phones which really no one has now.