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.
Joel Saltzman has over twenty years of wireless industry experience. He is currently CEO and Chief Wireless Analyst for Dr Wireless.