On Sunday, Verizon released its new Unlimited Data Plan. But it's so confusing that Verizon itself doesn't know all the details. I've spent a couple hours in online chats trying to get some questions answered. I have chat transcripts of the reps providing me completely opposite information, and one transcript has the rep telling me one thing, reversing course, and then going back to what he originally told me after I pressed the issue.
Rather than going through all the details here, I'll just post a link and let the experts over at RVMobileInternet.com explain the new plan and the "catches" - Verizon Brings Back Unlimited Data Plans - With Some Catches.
Basically, the data is "unlimited" overall, but it's not unlimited at Verizon's fastest LTE speeds. You get the fastest speeds up to 22GB PER LINE, and then the speed drops to 3G speeds.
BUT, if you are using data via a mobile hotspot, you only get 10GB at LTE speeds and then the speed drops to 3G speeds. A "mobile hotspot" is turning on the mobile hotspot feature of your smartphone OR a JetPack (Verizon's version of a MI-FI device) OR any other internet device such as a 4G LTE Mobile Broadband Router With Voice (which we use 95% of the time). But I can assure you, this is not very clear on Verizon's website and there are numerous examples of Verizon representatives getting this wrong in the early roll-out.
I've run the numbers and looked at the various combinations. Switching to the "unlimited" plan would save us about $20 a month, but we would lose the convenience of our current plan and risk being throttled back on speeds on our primary internet devices. For now, I think we'll be better off with the 30GB plan we have, but the new "unlimited" plan may be great for many of our readers.
Then, on Tuesday, a thread in a Facebook Full-timers group blew up. Apparently, AT&T has a plan for rural home owners that they don't advertise. And, it appears that this unbelievable plan - 250GB for $60/month - may be available to RVers. Again, I'll let Chris & Cherie over RVMobileInternet.com explain the details - AT&T's Wireless Home Phone & Internet Rural Plan.
Although AT&T is the second largest network behind Verizon and I still believe Verizon has a much better network for RVers, this deal may be too good to pass up for many.
The device to be used with this plan is the AT&T Home Base router, which is basically the same as our Verizon 4G LTE Mobile Broadband Router. These devices are designed for residential use, but we've found the Verizon model to be great in our RV, and it actually has a stronger internal antenna so that our booster and external antenna is needed less.
Though I'm really tempted to give this a go, I don't want to give up our Verizon plan. As much as I hate dealing with Verizon, each time I've try to wander to something different, I've regretted it. It really is a love/hate relationship with Verizon - love the service across the country, but hate the high costs and anytime I actually have to communicate with them.
My other hesitation is to do anything with AT&T. We have been DirecTV customers since 2005, but since AT&T took them over, our customer service has been horrible and our costs go up significantly every year. Still, this may be an opportunity to do side-by-side comparisons at a reasonable cost for a lot of data - maybe the disparity I believe exists between Verizon and AT&T isn't as large as I think it us.
Mobile internet is ever-changing, it's confusing, and it takes a lot of time and effort to stay on top of it. That's why we're premium members over at RVMobileInternet.com - Chris & Cherie stay on top of all of this stuff and keep us updated.
And they have an upcoming live member webinar on this topic on February 22. It might not be a bad idea to become a member and attend especially if internet on the road is important to you.
Confused by all of the Options?
Join us for our next live member webinar - where we'll be addressing how to put together different cellular data plans to best meet your RVing traveling style. The webinar will be archived, and available exclusively to our premium members who fund everything we do here at RVMobileInternet.com.
When: Wed, February 22, 2017 - 8pm EST / 5pm PST
Topic: Selecting Cellular Plans
Description: Selecting cellular plans to replace a home internet connection on the road can be an overwhelming experience. In this webinar we'll be discussing selecting your carrier(s), differences between prepaid and postpaid, contracts, equipment installment plans, resellers & MVNOs and gotchas to be aware of like throttling, network management and limits on tethering. We'll also share some of our current top pick deals on cellular data for each of the carriers and some smart combinations of carriers.