Heavy talkers who are sick of counting mobile minutes can breathe a sigh of relief on Tuesday, now that another viable unlimited talk plan has cropped up among cell carriers. True to rumors, Verizon rolled out an unlimited voice plan on Tuesday which allows mobile users to make as many calls as they want every month for $99.99. However, mobile Web users will be disappointed t hear that despite rumors of unlimited broadband data service finally coming to Verizon customers, the company’s announcement of new plans on Tuesday fell short of expectations, keeping the 5GB monthly data cap intact.
Verizon’s new unlimited plan makes it one of the first major cell carriers to roll such a plan out nationwide. Sprint has been testing a similar unmetered voice plan for $119.99, but it has only been offered in a handful of markets so far, and AT&T’s voice plans still offer different sized chunks of “anytime minutes” up to 6,000, with no unlimited option. However, the smaller carrier Helio, which uses Sprint’s network, has been offering unlimited voice, texting, and Web access for $99.99 nationwide.
The new data plans are offered based on two data caps: a 50MB plans runs for $39.99 while the much larger 5GB plan costs $59.99. Both offer the same 600 kbps download speeds and 500-800 kbps uploads. By contrast, AT&T offers unlimited data plans for BlackBerrys and PDAs for $35, but with additional per-kilobyte charges for Canadian and international data. A more expensive $65 plan limits data to 5GB but allows tethering, meaning the phone can be used as a modem for laptops. Sprint’s mobile broadband offers unlimited data for $59.99 with tethering enabled.
Verizon claims it invests $5.5 billion into improving its networks every year on average, making the expanded service plans possible.