These are terrible times to be an employee for Verizon Wireless. Just a week ago, everything was roses! They had the best Unlimited data plan in the business. This week, that all changed. While it's not unusual for a wireless carrier to remove, or water down a plan or promotion for new users, it's unheard of to do anything to adversely effect current users on older plans. That's exactly what Verizon did. They just shot Grandpa!
Their great simple to understand Unlimited plan is gone, replaced by watered down resolution and a fraction of the amount of mobile HotSpot. What is mind boggling is they are now throttling everyone on their network down to 720p resolution. This is as practical as taking a shower with a raincoat on.
Ironically, those old contracts that everyone hated also protected subscribers from their carrier pulling this kind of BS. Because contracts are now on the hardware instead of the plan, Verizon must view this as a loophole. To make matters worse, the new FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, is in the pockets of the 800lb gorillas. He's the dude who is trying to repeal Net Neutrality and all of the wonderful things his predecessor Tom Wheeler accomplished.
If you are a Verizon subscriber thinking about getting an iPhone 7s+, an iPhone 8, an Pixel XL or any Smartphone with a screen larger than 5", forget about it! That's because whether you are on their 6 year old original Unlimited Plan, or their recently discontinued Unlimited Plan, they just put a ceiling of 720p resolution on your device. If you have a screen size under 5", this is not a deal breaker. If your screen is larger than 5" and/or you plan to hook up an HDMI cable from your phone to Flatscreen, say hello to a grainy picture, compliments of Verizon Wireless.
Clarity and sharpness are all about the number of Pixels. You have low resolution which is 480p, medium resolution which is 720p and high resolution which is 1080p. Heck, almost all of the high end devices now even support 4k resolution. If I was Apple, Samsung or any major equipment manufacturer, I'd be pissed off. Consider 1080p has been around for at least 5 years. Remember those lame Jessica Simpson dumb blond commercials... "I don't know what 1080P is, but I know I want it". Well everyone broadcasts in 1080p or higher these days but you'll no longer be able to take advantage of this.
T-Mobile's CEO, @Johnlegere, has stated all along that while Verizon had a head start with LTE, their older antiquated network technology would not be able to support Unlimited Bandwidth for all of their subscribers. At first I figured that was just typical carrier hype. All of the recent OOKLA speed tests I've seen and my clients have done seem to indicate that T-Mobile is smoking everybody in many markets while the big boys networks are actually slowing down. I'm guessing T-Mobile's recent $8 billion purchase of 600mHZ, combined with last year's $435 million purchase of 700mHZ bandwidth will prevent T-Mobile from experiencing these same problems.
Here's the good news... T-Mobile still offers 1080P streaming and 10GB of hotspot on their plus plans. Verizon phones are unlocked from the factory too meaning all you need to do is pop a TM SIM in and all the content is still there. No wiping, resetting or any other hassles. To learn how to turn a lemon situation into lemonade, contact me.
This is the crap that the wireless public has had to deal with for years. For some reason, I don't think Verizon would have had the audacity to try and pull this while former FCC Chief Tom Wheeler was in office. President Trump's new FCC chief, Ajit Pai, is anti Net Neutrality and doing everything possible to reverse the progress Mr Wheeler made.
Verizon had never even been close to being competitive with T-Mobile. That's why it was stunning when they came out with one Unlimited plan that was simple, easy and with no real restrictions, other than the 22GB throttle cap. While AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile offered less expensive standard resolution plans with an option, usually $10 per line to bump up to HD, Verizon only offered 1080P HD resolution. Furthermore, they included 10GB of mobile hotspot per line. T-Mobile must be loving this. I was just complaining to my T-Mobile channel manager last week that Verizon's Unlimited plan for four or more users was actually cheaper than T-Mobile's. Not any more!
The below graph illustrates what T-Mobile's John Legere has been stating all along. Verizon's network would not be able to withstand the bandwidth demands of their subscribers. This is the only reason that I can imagine that Verizon would do something so extreme like this.
Even Engadget, whose parent is owned by Verizon, is calling them out on this. All of the carriers make changes for the worse on occasion. What makes this different and particularly heinous is it will even effect all current Verizon users on Grandfathered plans. These dirtbags are dumbing down resolution to top out at 720p on all SmartPhones for all Verizon plans past, current, or future.
What this means is if you plan on buying a new Verizon iPhone plus model or an Android plus model, you are wasting your money and going to get a grainy experience. Today's Smartphones support up to 4k resolution. I could understand not supporting 4k but to not support 1080p which every good smartphone has supported for years?
According to our friends at Engadget, "AT&T now has an entry-level "unlimited" plan that's cheap, at $60 per month, but video is capped at 480p and speeds are always limited to 3Mbps. That's unacceptable, and slower than what you could get back in 2011 on AT&T's pre-LTE, HSPA+ network. To actually get LTE-level speed, you'll need to shell out $90 per month for a single line. At least that gets you HD video streaming. Sprint's unlimited plan still offers HD video, but it caps music streaming at 1.5Mbps and gaming at 8Mbps.
What all of this means is T-Mobile's One Rate with the $10 Plus add-on is clearly the best Unlimited Plan in the business. If there is a silver lining to this - its the fact that only Verizon sells SmartPhones that are not physically locked to their network like the other carriers do. That means the best solution is having Dr Wireless seamlessly move your current phone with Verizon number over to T-Mobile. The only thing that changes is the lower monthly cost. In the wireless business, it's all about knowing when to hold and when to fold. Robin Hood to the rescue!
For more information, contact Dr Wireless.
In case you haven't heard, Verizon just made some major bonehead changes to their "Unlimited Plans". For six months, Verizon stemmed the subscriber exodus to other carriers by introducing the best Unlimited Plan in the industry. Unlike the other carriers that offered 480p or 720p, Verizon exclusively offered 1080p streaming. They also threw in 10GB of Hotspot. Well, yesterday they threw all that out the window.
While all of the other carriers periodically go from better to worse and from worse to better on their plans, there is one enormous difference. They abide by the tradition of "Grandfathering." That means these other carriers would not dare to make any changes on their current subscribers plans. This would only impact new subscribers signing up after the announcement. That's what makes this especially disgusting. The FCC would never allow this if this was a contract plan. Verizon is playing with fire here. Because the contract is not on the plan, but on the device, they probably think they found a loophole and just drove an 18 wheeler through it. In my view, this was really dumb!
My colleague, Chris Mills of BGR, explained it perfectly, "It’s exactly this kind of strong-arm, technically-legal-but-really-a-sleazy-move kinda thing that makes people hate telecoms companies in the first place — and it’s the reason why people actually like T-Mobile, despite its prices being nearly the same and the CEO having a penchant for awful onesies. Until Verizon buckles down and starts being transparent, the Uncarrier is going to keep whooping its ass."
The irony is they want you to pay almost four figures for a SmartPhone that supports 4k resolution so they can get their hooks into you for another 24 months on a device finance deal. Even these are not all the same between carriers, by design. It's funny how T-Mobile will allow their subscribers to double up on payments to accelerate payoff. In fact, T-Mobile will even allow subscribers to port out and use their devices with other carriers, as long as they continue to pay their monthly device cost - even without having a rate plan! Compare that to Verizon who will not allow you to accelerate your payment schedule, whatsoever, unless you are willing to pay for the device in full. Yeah... As Forrest Gump once said, "Stupid is as Stupid Does!"
They say a picture tells 1000 words!
Let's say you have an iPhone on a zero interest finance plan with T-Mobile and decide to move to Verizon, or any other carrier for that matter. For those thinking about leaving T-Mobile for another carrier, TM just made things much easier. Now it's possible to move your service to another carrier and continue paying your T-Mobile monthly equipment charge off without having an accompanying wireless plan with charges.
Beginning August 26, TM customers who start a new EIP with a device promotion will have the option to cancel their service without having to pay off their EIP balance.
The wireless carriers are not your friend. Their goal is to hook you so they don't have to worry about losing you to their competition. One of my colleagues wrote an interesting article explaining the best and worst ways of doing business with your wireless carrier. Here are my thoughts on the four common ways to purchase SmartPhones...
The Lease Model
I could not agree more that the leasing option is like a wolf in sheep's clothing. The only good thing about leasing is there is absolutely no up front costs. That is attractive for large companies that can justify monthly charges, but not large equipment expenditures. These "lease" deals also make it easy to move into newer models. The carriers love these deals because they are binding and deliver a high average revenue per user (ARPU). I'm an advocate of Unified Communications as a Service but not when it comes to SmartPhones. The two biggest problems with leasing are the following. You have absolutely nothing to show after 24 months of service. What the carriers don't disclose is that the resale value of a 2 year old iPhone can be as much as $400. If you had to replace a lost or stolen iPhone 7, and happen to have an unused iPhone 6s laying around, forget it! The carriers will make you replace the device with the same exact model or better. That means the small savings you get from leasing versus buying is given back because you really need insurance to avoid having to pay full retail for a replacement device. Anyone who has ever dealt with insurance companies, $175 deductibles, and getting refurbished replacement models knows all of this. That means the worse deals out there are AT&T's "Next" and Verizon's " EDGE" Early Upgrade/Lease programs.
The Two Year Contract
Today, only Sprint and Verizon still offer 2 year contracts. While they still do offer a $450 up front subsidy, unless you do an upgrade as soon as eligible (month 25), you're paying an equipment subsidy on your two year old+ phone. These carriers generally bump up the monthly rate an extra $20 to offset the $450 subsidy. They also sneakily charge activation fees which most people don't factor in.
While easy to manage, these plans often don't offer the "meat and potatoes" of the postpaid plans. I just had a buddy who had a prepaid T-Mobile plan get hammered for Mexico roaming. Apparently only post paid plans get that FREE Mexico, along with Mobile Hotspots and other goodies.
Zero interest Financing
You may still be on the hook for 24 months but with all carriers, as soon as you pay off the device, the carrier will unlock it and let you take it to another carrier. While all four major carriers offer this model, they are not the same. Only T-Mobile allows their users to accelerate the payment scheduling by increasing payments to shorten the term. The other carriers require you to make the monthly minimum payment or pay it off in full. If you choose the right carrier, this is not a bad way to go.
Buying Your Phone Outright and or Independent of your Wireless Carrier
If you can afford to, this is the smartest way to buy a new device. That's because you can move from carrier to carrier and they know it. This gives subscribers the ability to price shop plans and change any time another carrier comes out with a better deal. No wonder the best option for consumers happens to be the worst for the carriers. Why, you ask? Because they now have to put up, or shut up. If their service is less than great, or their rates become higher than their competitors, switching has never been so easy. The carriers don't want you to know that switching does not even require wiping or resetting the device. Simply replace the SIM card and all of the content remains on the device except for the carrier settings. You can thank APPLE for getting tired of building different models for different markets. Now, one size fits all. Apple smartly builds in all of the world frequencies so their devices support all wireless carriers.
To learn how to get the absolute best deal, Visit our Robin Hood page.
Funny, for a carrier that professed to be the "Un-Carrier", they've certainly turned 180 degrees. Maybe it was last year's $435 million purchase of 700mHS band spectrum. Maybe it was winning $8 billion worth of 600mHZ band spectrum. Whatever the cause, T-Mobile has all of a sudden become very "Carrier-Like" and here's why...
Earlier this year, CEO John Legere called out the other carriers for "Bullshit charges" like activation fees. Today, T-Mobile now charges $25 per SIM card.
-In the past, it used to be T-Mobile that included great features while the other carriers charged extra to add them. Today, Verizon exclusively offers 1080p Hi Definition and 10GB of mobile hotspot per line on all of their Unlimited Plans. If you want this with T-Mobile, you must add $10 per line to their standard Unlimited (low resolution) One plan. That makes T-Mobile more expensive than even Verizon for anyone getting 4 or more Unlimited lines.
Unless you travel globally frequently, paying more to get T-Mobile over Verizon does not make a lot of sense. I'm already hearing ads that they have at least one market up and running with their newest 600mHZ bandwidth. I have not heard anyone mention that Apple has any plans to introduce this bandwidth in their soon-to-be released new iPhones. That means it could be May of 2018 before Apple even supports this. Don't hold your breath!
This is the calm before the storm. It appears that T-Mobile and Verizon are trying to move Android devices while AT&T and Sprint are using their leftover iPhone 7 stock to attract new users. T-Mobile's Samsung S8 BOGO ends in a week. They just announced a similar BOGO for the latest LG models. These are great times for Android users.
For iPhone enthusiasts. There is never a better time to buy a new iPhone between now and the end of the year. That's because the iPhone 7 models should all drop a minimum of $100. We're hoping the remaining iPhone 6s stock will drop even further as well. With all new models starting at 32GB, most people will do fine. We anticipate their 7s/32GB model to replace the current $650 ($27.09 x 24 months) price point of the iPhone 7/32GB model. If this is true, the 7s+/32GB should be $100 more. There are rumors that the iPhone 8 will be the first four figure smartphone.
We have several waiting lists. We have one for the new 7s and 7s+ models. We have one for the iPhone 8 and we have one for smoking price reductions on current models. If you are in need of an upgrade, now is the time to do it! Contact us for more information.
Today, people are buying security systems, appliances and other products that require a machine-to-machine connection. This is nothing new and our friends at Caltech Seismology have relied on this M2M type of technology for many, many years. What's new is the cool consumer applications that are sprouting up. Being able to remotely turn on and off your home lights, security system, or remotely water your plants is now possible Today's appliances are also capable of notifying you when your running out of eggs, or laundry detergent. T-Mobile just launched a new $5 per month unlimited plan to address M2M users and here it is...
On August 16, T-Mobile is adding a new transparent M2M plan to their @Work business and government lineup.
This is the calm before the storm. Everyone has been waiting for a new iPhone and there is at least three new ones coming. The iPhone 7s and 7s+ should be somewhat similar to the current iPhone 7 models. There have been rumors of a glass back for wireless charging and some other improvements. According to our friends at BGR and 9-5 Google, crack securities analyst and iPhone prognosticator Ming-Chi Kuo, says that Apple is abandoning it's attempt to integrate an under the display finger print sensor.
It's the iPhone 8, the 10th anniversary edition, that looks like a game changer. With rumors of pricing starting at $1,100, it better be a game changer. If you recall, ten years ago, $650 was pretty pricey for a SmartPhone. The big difference this time around is without contracts, their are no $450 device subsidies. Financing an $1,100 device, even interest free, is over $45 per month, without a down payment.
Remember, Apple traditionally introduces the "s" models (improved versions) and the radically new models around May. This September, we expect both. I'm predicting some major delays on the iPhone 8 though. Now is a good time to be prepared to upgrade your device. There may be a brief flurry of great deals on the current 6S and 7 series models as the carriers clear out old inventory. Old to them maybe, but knew to you with a big discount!
If you haven't changed your wireless plan since last year to one of the new unlimited plans, contact me.
T-Mobile just enhanced their Name Display feature. I was able to eliminate all robocalls on my business line by switching to RingCentral. Even though my Smartphone is on a Do Not Call Government Registry, I still get multiple calls a day from these idiots. Hoping this new T-Mobile offering nips this in the bud.
Customers who pay for Name ID service will see one of seven new call categories when receiving a call from someone not stored in their contacts. Building on the enormous popularity of Scam ID, the incoming call screen will now alert customers to specific types of calls that many customers prefer not to answer. We are making this new enhancement available at no additional cost to customers with a paid Name ID feature.
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.