Verizon held a launch event last Tuesday to unveil updated plans and updates to the companies 5G deployment, among other things. In my last article, Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T: A Comprehensive Guide for 2021 I went over my pros and cons related to each provider. It appears Verizon is finally taking on its primary 5G competition, T-Mobile, by making changes primarily focused on the data priority (on certain plans) and mobile hotspot. The plan names haven’t changed much, but they have added “5G” to the beginning of each plan. These are marketed under the Mix and Match 4.0 Plans. Verizon has stated that customers on the legacy Start, Play More, Do More, and Get More plans will be automatically upgraded to the new plan at the beginning of their next billing cycle.
The package with likely the least amount of change is Start or “5G” Start. This package is suitable for people in non-congested areas or individuals who consume a very small amount of data. Unfortunately, since the plan is deprioritized over the other plans, it isn’t something I’d even consider for a user with an LTE-only capable device. Another major factor is this plan only includes 5G Nationwide and not 5G Ultra Wideband, which is what is capable of much faster data speeds and less prone to congestion. Lastly, there is no mobile hotspot on these plans.
Next is 5G Play More and 5G Do More, replacing Play More and Do More respectively. Both of these plans include 5G Ultra Wideband in the base-cost. Additionally, both plans will be prioritized above 5G Start and include 50GB of premium data and 25GB of mobile hotspot data. Bare in mind that these plans are Unlimited, however you will be deprioritized after 50GB of premium data and throttled after 25GB of mobile hotspot data. These limits are separate. If you use Verizon Fios then you will also will receive up to 50% off your home internet service. Where the plans start to differ is the included perks. 5G Play More includes the Entertainment package which has Hulu, Disney+, ESPN+ and your choice of Apple Arcade or Google Play Pass. 5G Do More includes the Connectivity package which has up to 50% off a watch, tablet, hotspot, or HUM device, 1 Travel Pass, and 600GB of Verizon Cloud.
Finally, we get to the biggest change with 5G Get More. This plan is the best available to consumers accounts with Verizon Wireless. For users whom consume over 50GB of data per month or require additional hotspot data, this package is the best option out there. Several users on existing gUDP plans are seeing value in these plans, as long as mobile hotspot isn’t your top priority. With Get More you will have Unlimited Premium Data and 50GB of Mobile Hotspot Data, and all the features of existing plans including up to 50% off Verizon Fios and a Connected Device as well as both the Entertainment and Connectivity packages as well as the Travel Pass.
TravelPass provides you with 1 pass per month (you can accumulate up to 12) which is automatically applied when roaming out of the country. There are limits with TravelPass, such as being limited to 512MB (0.5GB) each day. Previously this cost $10/day. Being included those limits aren’t so harsh, but paying for such little data was quite ridiculous considering other providers offerings. Verizon still offers other roaming options for users whom need more data, although you are likely better off purchasing data in the country you intend on visiting when you arrive. Several other services have popped up to provide inexpensive data internationally such as Ubigo. Remember, phones are normally unlocked after 90-days with Verizon.
For those unaware, you are able to mix and match plans with Verizon on these plans. This allows you to ensure you only pay for Unlimited Premium Data on lines which absolutely need it. Since everyone has different needs it is difficult to tailor each package to an individual need, you will have to evaluate based on the aforementioned and make your decision. Personally, I use 5G Do More and 5G Get More as I have two lines exceeding 50GB of usage monthly and both a hotspot and connected watch on my plan.
Lastly, if you do decide to make this change from a tiered or gUDP plan there is one last thing to be mindful of which is Premium Streaming. Verizon will throttle most streaming services to 3-4 Mbps by default, making two options viable if you wish to stream HD or 4K content. Verizon sells a Premium Streaming add-on which will raise this limit to 42 Mbps, plenty for a 4K stream. Alternatively, you can utilize a VPN which should bypass this as well. This will be dependent on your overall connection speed, VPN performance, and many other factors. You will want to consider a paid VPN as free VPNs tend to be unreliable.
Perhaps the most notable thing from this launch event is that we will finally see 5G Ultra Wideband available in ~30 additional cities within the next couple of weeks, as long as there’s no further pushbacks. Verizon still has much work to catch up to their rival, T-Mobile, but considering the randomness of T-Mobile’s deployments, seeing 30 cities light up with 5G UWB will be a pleasant sight to see.