Verizon to start throttling all smartphone videos to 480p or 720p

The telecom giant introduced a number of "unlimited" data plans that throttle video quality across the board, and reserve the right to throttle data speeds in certain conditions. Verizon specifically cited the introduction of Unlimited plans as the reason why the company saw 356,000 new phone lines added in Q2, versus 86,000 a year before.

Now, Verizon has "evolved" its single plan, which was slowing network speed for all users, by splitting the original unlimited plan it into four new options that do away with unlimited video streaming in 1080p resolution unless customers are willing to pay more.

Beginning from today, Verizon Unlimited is evolving into Go Unlimited, Beyond Unlimited and Business Unlimited.

Verizon will launch three new data plans for consumers.


The "Beyond Unlimited" $85 plan also includes "unlimited" tethering, but after using 15 GB of data your connection is throttled from 4G LTE speeds down to 600 Kbps (that's somewhere in the 2G to very early 3G connection speed range).

Verizon will officially begin throttling the quality of video on its unlimited plans, starting August 23. Most carriers only throttle you after you reach a certain data threshold, but Verizon's can be at any point in your billing cycle. You will also have just 600kbps of mobile hotspot and video streaming will only be up to 480p. The new limits will also apply to users who have Verizon mobile hotspot devices or who use their smartphone or tablet devices as hotspots.

There is no doubt over the fact that Verizon Communications' unlimited data plans have always heated up the wireless industry. The carrier says things won't change much, so you'll be able to keep paying the same price without being forced to pick from the new options. You can still view HD videos when accessing Wi-Fi networks. 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. Because most video is not yet offered in 4K, and most devices can not yet support 4K - conditions that are both changing rapidly, with new phones and new shows hitting the market every year. Verizon claims that there's no visible quality boost between 720p and 1080p on a smartphone, and that's actually fairly true - a 1280×720 resolution screen on a six-inch panel is Retina quality at 14 inches. That means you'll still be tapped out at 720p video quality on smartphone and 15GB of 4G LTE mobile hotspot data.

What do you think about Verizon's decision to throttle video streaming?


The price of the cheaper plan with DVD-quality streaming against HD quality will be $75.

Verizon has been competing for customers with smaller rivals T-Mobile US Inc and Sprint Corp in a saturated USA market for wireless service as most consumers already have cell phones.

It's technically unlimited service, but it sure won't feel like that in practice. The FCC's current chairman, Ajit Pai, has proposed eliminating the rules.



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