But none of these carriers have walked these unmetered-data deals. And although one third party study discovered that AT&T and Verizon’s networks had slowed under the stress of new unlimited-data readers, OpenSignal’s latest results reveal America’s two biggest carriers have rebounded.
(You can easily check your monthly info use in Android from the Preferences program, but Apple’s data judge monitors your use from when you got an iPhone, which makes it useless in practice. Check your bill instead.)
Unlimited and limited Options
âºAT&T’s limited-data deals have gotten less appealing than they had been six months ago, thanks to the carrier shutting a 3 gigabyte option that cost $60 for a single smartphone. Now, if you need more than 1GB you’ll have to pay at least 70 to get 5GB on one smartphone, following a 10 autopay credit. But that still surpasses AT&T’s Limitless LTE, $90 following a half-as-generous $5 autopay discount.
âºSprint continues to offer only one limited-data subscription, a $40 for 2GB deal. But its $60 infinite rate stays the cheapest among the big four and, unlike in its own rivals, includes HD video streaming along with a generous 10GB mobile hot spot allowance.
âºT-Mobile is the least flexible of these four carriers: If you don’t want unlimited data and also you’re not in an older plan, you’ll have to switch to one of its prepaid plans or take your business elsewhere. Note that while the $70 (taxes and fees included!) T-Mobile One rate contrasts nicely with AT&T and Verizon, that plan limits hot spot use to caps video streaming in a resolution that is DVD-grade and 3G rates; removing those limits adds $10 .
âºVerizon’s Go Unlimited plan, $75 after a 5 autopay charge, borrows the tightest restrictions: Video flows at DVD resolution and mobile hot spot speeds top out at a punitive 600 kbps. (VzW’s Past Unlimited, $10 more, lifts those limits.) The 55 5GB single-line deal (after a 5 autopay charge) that you’ll see in its site after choosing a telephone could be a much better value.
In each these cases, you might also want to check at the carriers’ prepaid manufacturers and at the cheaper offerings of these third party wholesalers as Consumer Cellular, Google Project Fi, Republic Wireless and Ting — the four highest-ranked providers in Consumer Reports’ latest reader survey.
Fi, Consumer Cellular and Ting have become better bargains in the last six months thanks to their cost changes. For example, 5GB of data and unlimited calling and texting now run $50 at Consumer (which will set you on either AT&T or T-Mobile’s network) and $40 in Republic (which uses Sprint and T-Mobile). In Fi, a reseller of Sprint, T-Mobile and US Cellular that needs a subset of all Android telephones, a new invoice protection attribute means unlimited data costs $80 for a single smartphone.