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Sprint steps up unlimited plan against Verizon, T-MobileWhich carrier offers the best unlimited plan? Here's a quick breakdown of prices and what to consider when going with the major US carriers.
The fight over your mobile business is getting heated. In the same week that Verizon began offering an unlimited data plan, T-Mobile and Sprint striked back to beef up their unlimited offerings. Things are changing fast, but to make sense of it all, here's the breakdown of current unlimited plans for the major US carriers. On Verizon, $80 gets you one unlimited plan for one line, and you can get this on four lines for $180. T-Mobile's unlimited plan starts at $70 and four lines will cost $160. Sprint's unlimited starts at $50 and five lines, not four is just $90 in total. That's obviously the cheapest but Sprint's pricing will only last a year. After March of 2018 this deal changes. It will cost more. Roughly the same price as T-Mobile. AT&T is the oddball right now. The only way to get an unlimited plan is if you also subscribe to DirecTV or U-Verse TV services. It start at around $100 for one line and four lines Will cost 180$ which is close to Verizon's prices. When you're comparing prices then remember there will be additional fees and taxes added to the bill except for T-Mobile. They fold all that into their advertise prices. Of course you'll also have to take network quality into consideration Verizon and AT&T are the largest. But it doesn't always mean they are the best where you live. T-Mobile is ranking high in many reports these days. And keep in mind unlimited is not truly unlimited. The fact is if you gobble up data, all of these networks are gonna slow you down. For example on Verizon if you use 22 gigs of data your speed is gonna take a hit and other customers will be given preference over you if the network is congested. Throttling limits are about the same for every carrier. But T-Mobile offers the most leeway and waits until you hit 28 gigs. Right now, all of the carriers are including HD video streaming in their plans. That didn't use to be the case. Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint also now include the same hotspot perks, offering 10 gigs of high speed data That you can tether to share with another wireless device. At&t once again though is the strange exception. Unlimited plans do not include mobile tethering unless connected to a smart car. But as competition hits up, let's hope that deals get even better. Networks are growing to handle more capacity and consumers are hungry for better unlimited deals. As our apps and streaming habits just demand more data. For Cnet.com, I'm Bridget Carey.