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AT&T joins the unlimited plan battleWhich 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 unlimited data plans, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T 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 1 unlimited plan for 1 line. And you can get this on four lines for $180, T-Mobile's unlimited plan starts at 70 bucks 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 Springs 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 now offering unlimited, to any customer. It drop the tv service bundle requirement. It starts at around $100 for one line and four lines will cost you $180, which is close to Verizon's prices. When you're comparing prices though, remember there will be additional fees and taxes added to the bill. Except for T-Mobile. They fold all that into their advertised prices. Of course, you 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 going to slow you down. For example, on Verizon, if you use twenty-two 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 used to be the case. Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint also now include the same hotspot perks offering ten 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 heats up let's hope the 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.