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Verizon’s new $80 unlimited prepaid plan isn’t exactly unlimited

Updated Apr 27th, 2017 6:08AM EDT
Verizon $80 Unlimited Prepaid Plan
Image: Amendola/AP/REX/Shutterstock

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Verizon on Tuesday announced a new unlimited plan, this time targeting customers who’re more interested in prepaid offers rather than contracts. The plan sounds great on paper, but it’s not as unlimited as you might think. There’s a fine print you need to be aware of, which isn’t surprising considering that, unlike prepaid fans, Verizon is more interested in postpaid customers.

For $80 a month, the new unlimited prepaid plan offers users unlimited data, talk, and text across the US. Also included in the offer are unlimited text to over 200 international destinations and unlimited talk to Mexico and Canada.

However, the fine print reveals a few expected surprises, including video throttling, no tethering support, and even data throttling — here’s how Verizon explains it.

Video streams up to 480p. Mobile Hotspot and Tethering not included. Not available for machine-to-machine services. We may prioritize your data behind other customers during times/places of network congestion.

The main drawback here isn’t necessarily the video throttling. Streaming videos on the go at just 480p is still acceptable given that there’s no data cap for that. However, the absence of Mobile Hotspot / Tethering support is more annoying.

Data “prioritization” doesn’t sound too hot either. And here’s the kicker, which isn’t even mentioned in Verizon’s press release, but you’ll find it on Verizon’s prepaid page:

Once high-speeds data allowance is used, 128 kbps speeds for the rest of the month. Functionality of some data applications, like streaming video or audio, may be impacted.

It’s unclear what the data allowance threshold is for the $80 unlimited plan.

UPDATE: Verizon explained that data throttling only applies to its 2GB, 5GB, and 10GB prepaid plans. Data prioritization means that an unlimited prepaid plan customer may experience on occasion slower speeds than other users during network congestions.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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