One of our favorite features of Verizon's tiered cellular plans was how easy Verizon made it to change how much data you were signed up for each month.
You could easily toggle between Verizon's defined sizes as needed:
S, M, L, XL, XXL - with extended data buckets available all the way up to 100GB for $450/mo.
Verizon would even let you backdate a change to a larger plan size before the end of your billing month to avoid accidental overage charges.
This made managing data on Verizon plans extremely flexible for those variable needs.
For those who are more interested in lots of tethering data than "unlimited" on device data - this is a huge step backwards.
And even worse - Verizon made the change without warning, trapping some customers with plan sizes they'd rather not have!
XL+ Plans: No More Changes!
Verizon revealed the elimination of the larger tiered plans in an update to its online FAQ page revealing that S, M, L, and U were now the only valid Verizon Plan options.
But there is good news - if you are currently locked into one of the larger sizes, you can keep it:
"If you're currently on a size not listed above, you can keep that size data plan. If you want to switch, you can choose one of the current sizes available, but you won't be able to switch back to an old plan size."
In other words, if you have an old XL or larger plan, you can keep the size you are currently at - but you are now stuck there. Fortunately, all data on tiered data plans is able to be used for full speed mobile hotspot use.
The flexibility of being able to dial your plan up or down to meet your monthly needs is now gone.
TIP: Some people have reported that they've been able to convince Verizon reps to make one final change to their data allotment, locking in an XL or XXL plan. You can not do this via the Verizon app or website, but you may have luck if you call in and raise a fuss.
Getting More Than 10GB Verizon Tethering Data
The new Verizon Unlimited plan allows for unlimited on-device data, but only allows for 10GB of high-speed hotspot / tethering usage per line.
Once the 10GB threshold has been crossed, the tethered data speeds will drop to a painfully slow 600kbps for the remainder of the month - regardless of tower congestion.
If you need more than 10GB of fast tetherable Verizon data in a month (and didn't have a higher tiered data plan before Verizon slipped this change in) you now have just three alternatives:
- Multiple Lines: You can have up to 10 lines on a Verizon Unlimited plan, with a line access charge of only $20/mo per smartphone, tablet, or Jetpack hotspot line you add. It may be awkward, but getting multiple SIM cards for a single hotspot and swapping every 10GB may be the cheapest and easiest way to get more data - it works out to just $2/GB.
- Data Only Plan: Verizon also has "Data Only Plans" with buckets of data that can be shared by multiple hotspot, tablet, or cellular-integrated router lines. These plans range from 2GB for $20/mo to 10GB for $60/mo to 20GB for $110/mo, and then the prices start to skyrocket to 50GB for $335/mo all the way up to 100GB for $710/mo. Ouch!
- Grandfathered Unlimited Plan: If you jump through the right hoops, it is still possible to get Verizon's original Unlimited Data plan that has not been generally available since 2011. These plans have reasonable monthly fees, are not subject to the 10GB hotspot usage limitation, nor are they subject to network management slowdowns after 22GB of usage in a month. We keep our guide to getting these plans updated regularly - be sure you do your homework before heading down this confusing road.
The new Verizon Unlimited plan is a legitimately fabulous option for smartphones - but Verizon sure makes things difficult for RVers who need more than just small-screen cellular data.
Not everyone has fast and unlimited Wi-Fi at home or work after all - some of us are cellular 24/7!
- Verizon Brings Back Unlimited Data Plans – With Some Catches
- Navigating Verizon Grandfathered Unlimited Data Plans – Assumption of Liability, Buying & Renting
- Verizon's Unlimited Plan FAQ
- The new Verizon Plan FAQs