The holy grail of any carrier plan is unlimited data. Especially in today’s day and age where one can reasonably spend hours upon hours streaming HD video, it’s remarkably easy for even the most prudent smartphone user to go over his or her allotted data. Of course, the carriers themselves welcome this because there’s a lot of money to be made with overage charges. As we reported just a few days ago, AT&T and Verizon, in 2016 alone, have already generated upwards of $600 million in revenue on overage charges alone.
Without question, the trend today is moving towards unlimited data, a selling point that Sprint, T-Mobile and AT&T all now get behind, albeit with some qualifications. Nonetheless, the lone outlier with respect to unlimited data remains Verizon.
Not wanting to be left out of the party, Verizon late last week announced a peculiar new data plan called PopData. The gist of it is that subscribers can pay for unlimited data by the hour if they’re in a pinch. As part of the plan, subscribers can pay for unlimited 4G LTE data in either 30 or 60-minute installments.
As far as pricing is concerned, $2 will get you 30 minutes of unlimited data while $3 will get you 60 minutes of unlimited data. While we can certainly envision situations where having the option to pay for unlimited data during a compressed time window is advantageous, there is some debate as to whether or not Verizon’s plan is actually beneficial for subscribers.
Touching on the new plan in detail, Android Police takes a strong stance against Verizon’s PopData initiative.
Verizon’s marketing is centered on the fact that it’s a “premium” network, faster and more reliable than it’s competitors. That’s true, for the most part and in most locations in the US. But a premium network wouldn’t cynically withhold unlimited data and try to convince us that we don’t need it, only to try and sell it back to us a half-hour at a time for even more money. A premium network wouldn’t treat its customers like carnival patrons, insisting on a few dollars a go for the real deal. A premium network wouldn’t spend years lording its superiority over its competitors, then try to swindle its paying customers into paying even more for what it claims it can’t provide.
You can read more details about Verizon’s new PopData plan over here. As a final point, Verizon has confirmed that tethering is allowed under the plan.