Yep, most of you have heard Verizon has unleashed an Unlimited Data Plan. Many of you are asking us about it, so here is BP’s take:
Because Verizon was losing subscribers to TMobile and Sprint who added 3.3 million and almost 1 million subscribers respectively last year. This is compared to Verizon’s then CFO predictions of “revenue fairly consistent with that of 2016” (aka = no growth) for 2017 without the unlimited plan. Verizon revenue dropped 3% in the first half of 2016 and, interestingly, Verizon stock has fallen almost 2% since the Unlimited Plan announcement.
Also, according to USA Today, Verizon has increased their network making it better able to handle more capacity; Verizon has stated that the cost of delivering a GB of data has dropped 40%-50% as it has made network improvements.
Is it a Good Fit for Your Organization?
This plan does have some merits for the right users. Here’s the skinny:
Why it probably isn’t the best fit for large groups of users:
- If the account has significantly more than 10 users, the plan bills an Account level charge for each group of 10. This can become cost prohibitive depending on the device types and the data usage of the group (usually more data usage, the better the fit on this plan)
- These plans are non-discount eligible so no corporate discount will be honored. You pay what Joe off the street pays.
- Smartphone plans will be billed $20 higher if the subscriber is in contract. So, for each Smartphone that states a $20 per Add-on Rate per subscriber, add another $20 — for a total of $40 — for each Smartphone under contract. Check out your number of devices in contract because clearly this doubles each extra subscriber monthly cost. When comparing pricing, most prices stated use the “out of contract” amount for monthly cost.
- Each account will only be credited $10 if the account is paid with a bank card or check. That means using the Corporate Credit Card will cost you extra. Again, when comparing prices, this credit is often automatically included in the rates.
- Tablets are double the cost of what Corporate business rates are being billed today. So, if there are a lot of tablets on the account, not a good fit.
- While Smartphones are “prioritized” after 22GB of use, Tablets are “throttled” after 10GB of usage and the speed will drop to 3G speeds after 10GB of usage. Conservatively assume that 22 GB per Smartphone and 10GB per tablet will be the best high speed data usage you will realize.
- Do you need all that data? Often users will tell us (while thumping their chests): “I have unlimited data” and to this we say: do you need to pay a premium for the unlimited plan if you are not using it? A typical data user uses around 2GB of data per month. Why spend 30% more for data you may never use? Verizon still offers other, less expensive plans on its website, which range from $35 a month for 2GB of LTE data to $70 a month for 8GB of LTE data.
Why it probably is a better fit for a smaller groups of users:
- This does provide a 22 GB plan before being prioritized or throttled and voice and texting are unlimited
- The plan is less expensive than the old unlimited plan for 5 users by almost $200 if you are out of contract on all devices
- Verizon is offering free devices to those who switch from another carriers
- Smaller organizations may not be as impacted by Corporate Discounts
- If there are 10 or fewer devices and depending on data usage, this may be a good fit (again, the more usage, the better the plan fit).
- Is a better deal than the highest plan used to be available through Verizon before depending on the subscriber usage
A note: Most stated rates do not include device subsidies. Remember that if you are on a device payment plan that will increase the price of the monthly plan. Also, if the device is still in contract, that fee will be added to any of the plans as a $20 increase per device.
Overall, Verizon is tagging this as “Not just Unlimited: VERIZON unlimited”. Verizon contends that because they have a better network, their unlimited is superior in quality to other carrier’s unlimited plans.
A recent study from OpenSignal says that in general, Verizon is the top for signal consistency, T-Mobile and AT&T are in second or third, and Sprint typically is last. So it appears Verizon has a point; however, Verizon will also demand higher pricing than the competition: For 5 devices, Verizon will charge $310 per month, TMobile charge $180, and Sprint will charge $90.
Hope this provided you some tips on whether or not the Verizon Unlimited Plan is a good fit, because we are ……
…….Still Protecting Your Wireless Rights……………………