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Verizon's $80 prepaid plan is unlimited but also imperfect (updated)

Tethering and mobile hotspot use aren't part of the package.
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Cecilie_Arcurs via Getty Images

Verizon has launched a new prepaid plan that sounds more enticing than many of its competitors'. At $80 a month, it offers unlimited data, talk and text in the country. The carrier also tacked on unlimited text to 200 other international destinations and unlimited talk if you're calling numbers in Mexico and Canada. However, it's not as "unlimited" as we all would want. For starters, it can only stream videos in 480p, putting your new phone's HD screen to waste. More importantly, tethering and mobile hotspot aren't part of the package, meaning you won't be able to share your phone's connection with your other devices.

In addition, if you take a look at the fine print on Verizon's prepaid page, it says "once high-speeds data allowance is used," you'll get "128 kbps speeds for the rest of the month." Unfortunately, it doesn't say how much data allowance you'll get for $80.*

The carrier's new prepaid offering takes cues from the unlimited postpaid plan it revived back in February. Verizon relaunched the option since it lost hundreds of thousands of customers in a short span of time after killing its unlimited plans. As soon as it revived the offering, over 100,000 customers immediately signed up, illustrating why wireless competition is a good thing for subscribers.

*Update: A Verizon spokesperson told us that its $80 plan isn't affected by data priorization:

"While this applies to our other 2 GB, 5 GB and 10 GB prepaid plans, it does not apply to our unlimited prepaid plan. On our prepaid unlimited plan, data prioritization means that a customer may on occasion experience slower speeds than some other users during times of network congestion."

Verizon owns Engadget's parent company, Verizon Media. Rest assured, Verizon has no control over our coverage. Engadget remains editorially independent.

Source: Verizon
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