T-Mobile and Sprint have been making a big deal out of their “unlimited” data plans which offer generous data allowances, but throttle you to 2G speeds when you go over. Now even Verizon, famous for having good service that you have to sell both kidneys for, is jumping on board.
Starting September 6th, a new feature called “Safety Mode” will be an option available to every subscriber. When you go over your allowance of 4G data, Verizon will no longer charge overage fees, but instead throttle you to 128Kbps.
Safety Mode has been around as an optional extra for a few months, but Verizon is making a move now to have it as a central part of its pricing strategy. The $5-per-month fee for Safety Plan is gone, and it will be a free opt-in option for subscribers.
It’s hard to not assume that this move is a retaliation against Sprint and T-Mobile’s recent pricing wars, which have seen the two smaller carriers fundamentally change their pricing structure. Verizon isn’t going nearly as far — you’re still paying per gigabyte — but removing the potential for overage fees is still a big change, and probably a welcome one for users.
If you still want to get extra data when you use all your LTE, you’ll still be able to, but for $15 per gigabye.