For a while now, Verizon has offered a prepaid plan with unlimited minutes, texts, and data. Yesterday, Verizon Prepaid launched a second and more expensive unlimited plan. While the old plan had a base price of $65 per month, the new plan has a base price of $75 per month. Both plans are eligible for loyalty discounts and a discount for automatic payments. Together, discounts can decrease the monthly cost of either plan by up to $15 per month.
Verizon’s new plan includes two features that aren’t included with the old unlimited plan:
- 10GB per month of regular mobile hotspot data
- 5G Ultra Wideband access
Ultra Wideband 5G
Verizon splits its 5G service into two buckets: 5G Nationwide and 5G Ultra Wideband. 5G Nationwide is Verizon’s widely available 5G service. While the 5G Nationwide coverage profile is solid, the speeds 5G Nationwide delivers are not especially impressive. 5G Ultra Wideband is outrageously fast, but the service has extremely limited availability.
All of Verizon’s prepaid plans give subscribers with compatible devices access to Verizon’s 5G Nationwide service. The new prepaid plan is the only one that offers 5G Ultra Wideband service. Given 5G Ultra Wideband’s terrible coverage, not many people will benefit from the added feature. I suppose the tiny minority of people that live or work where 5G Ultra Wideband is available might have a rationale for paying extra to get Verizon’s latest plan.
Verizon’s cheaper prepaid unlimited plan does not include mobile hotspot access by default. However, subscribers can add a 10GB per month hotspot allotment for an extra $5 each month. Subscribers on Verizon’s new unlimited plan will get a 10GB hotspot allotment at no extra charge. Additionally, subscribers on the new plan can use an unlimited amount of mobile hotspot data when connected to Verizon’s 5G Ultra Wideband network.
Is the new plan worth it?
For most people, it will be hard to justify the extra $10 per month that Verizon’s new plan costs relative to Verizon Prepaid’s old unlimited plan. If you need hotspot access, I’d recommend just using the old plan with a $65 base price and adding the $5 per month hotspot feature.
In the off chance you happen to spend a lot of time covered by Verizon’s Ultra Wideband service, the more expensive plan might be justifiable. However, the choice still might not be a no-brainer. While Ultra Wideband delivers impressive speeds, it’s rare for consumers to see many real-world benefits from the added speeds. 4G LTE and 5G Nationwide deliver speeds that are sufficient for most people.