Verizon Now Refuses to Stream 1080p to Any Smartphone, Period

In February, Verizon released a new unlimited data, talk and text plan for $80.

The three plans start at $75 with the "Go Unlimited" plan. Customers with an "Unlimited" plan can be throttled at any time, even at the beginning of their billing cycles before they've used any data.

Go Unlimited: $75/month. Video capped to 480p on smartphones, 720p on tablets. As its previous unlimited plan offered full HD resolution, users who choose Beyond Unlimited will now be paying more for roughly the same service.

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Existing customers can reportedly keep their current plans, but all Verizon users will be subject to the new policies regarding video streaming. Additionally, if you're watching video content on the network, it's throttled to 720p on a smartphone and 1080p HD on tablets. Data speed will be slowed in pricier plans only when a customer exceeds 22GB (gigabytes) of data in a month. Again, unlimited mobile hotspot is included, but with less draconian conditions: you get up to 15GB of LTE data for tethering, and if you tether your laptop to your phone, video is limited to 1080p. Now with the new three-tier plans, it is not clear if the company is limiting the bandwidth of all video platforms.

Verizon's second unlimited option is the Beyond Unlimited plan.

"While entry-level pricing appears more competitive, the changes more likely reflect the impact current plans are having on Verizon's network", said Mike McCormack, an analyst at Jefferies in a note.

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Effective tomorrow, August 23, the No. 1 carrier in the United States is offering three unlimited data plans instead of one. The company has had to deal with less money coming in from fees charged when customers go over data limits, as unlimited plans don't have those fees. For example, T-Mobile throttled video for some customers. At the time, Verizon's offering was more generous with HD video than AT&T or T-Mobile, permitting it by default; now it's the worst, behind Sprint, not even allowing phone video to reach 1080p. But six months later, as the dust has settled, those plans are getting some tweaks - and every Verizon Wireless customer is getting their video throttled as a result. At the moment, few phones feature displays that could stream at a 4K resolution, which would require higher-end download speeds.

However, Verizon's move has been a concern among net neutrality supporters, who contend that the carrier's streaming throttling and divvying up of its service options for consumers reflects what could become increasingly commonplace if the policy is reversed. Without line limitations in Business Unlimited, Verizon Communications aims to target business entities.

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