Verizon is in the process of preparing its network for a big 5G improvement due at the end of the year. Before that upgrade comes online, however, it really wants to get people onto its latest unlimited plans.
On Tuesday the carrier introduced yet another new promotion for both new and existing customers who switch to one of its Do More, Play More or Get More plans. The promotion, which the carrier touts as the "biggest Verizon 5G upgrade campaign ever" will offer users up to $700 towards a new iPhone 12 or $800 towards a new Galaxy S21 5G.
To get the deal you will need to trade in a phone and make sure you are on one of those aforementioned unlimited plans. Like a prior Verizon promotion, the carrier doesn't care if your phone is busted and it will accept broken, cracked or damaged phones so long as it doesn't have any battery damage.
The carrier tells CNET that those switching to one of those plans and trading in an iPhone 8 or later, Galaxy S8 or Note 9 (or later) or Pixel 3 (or later) will be able to get the full credit towards a new device. If you have an older phone you should check with the carrier online or in-store to see what your offer is.
The discount will be doled out as bill credits over the course of 24 months, incentivizing you to stick with the carrier. If you leave Verizon before the 24-month period is up, or if you downgrade your unlimited plan, you will forfeit the remaining bill credits and need to pay off the rest of what is owed on the device.
If you're switching to Verizon from a different carrier you can get an extra $300, though that will come later via a virtual prepaid Mastercard.
If you don't want an iPhone 12 Mini or Galaxy S21 5G you can put the credit towards a higher-priced member of those phone lines such as an iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro or iPhone 12 Pro Max or Galaxy S21 Plus 5G Plus and S21 Ultra 5G. You can also use the credits towards other 5G phones such as the Galaxy Z Fold 2.
The promotion is designed to get people onto Verizon's highest-priced unlimited plans, which are compatible with its fastest flavor of 5G (what it calls "Ultra Wideband"). Today that 5G network is based on a technology known as millimeter-wave which often offers download speeds well over 1 gigabit per second but is only available in certain parts of 75 cities, 13 airports and over 60 stadiums.
Ultra Wideband, which is only accessible with these higher-priced unlimited plans, will also encompass Verizon's forthcoming midband 5G network that will start to go live at the tail end of 2021. Using what is known as the "C-band," Verizon recently spent $53 billion acquiring these airwaves that should provide a noticeable speed upgrade over its 4G LTE and low-band 5G networks with much better coverage than the millimeter-wave 5G network.
Of its current lineup of devices, the phones that support C-band 5G are the iPhone 12 and Galaxy S21 lines as well as Google's Pixel 5. Verizon says that going forward, all new 5G phones that it launches will support the technology, with the carrier planning to have "more than 20 C-Band compatible devices offered by the end of the year."