Some wireless plans have aged better than others. Has yours?


When all four of the nationwide wireless carriers rewrote their unlimited-data wireless plans over the past few weeks – making them more complex and, in their cheaper forms, more limited – they didn’t really retire their older plans.

Although new customers can’t decline these new offerings from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, subscribers to their old plans can keep them, just as they could through earlier rate changes.

That’s not always a good thing – the unlimited-data plans that AT&T and Verizon once sold, now each $90 factoring in unlimited-texting-and-calling packages, cost more than their latest unlimited options. But in certain other situations, holding on to a grandfathered plan can save serious cash.

For example, if you switched to an unlimited-data plan in late February 2017, after Verizon’s return to selling uncapped data goaded its rivals into sweetening their unlimited deals, you probably have a better bargain than what you’d get today. If so, ignore your carrier’s enticements to switch.

T-Mobile, for instance, offered unlimited data plus HD video streaming and 10 GB of LTE mobile-hotspot use for $70 – taxes and fees included. Today, that would cost $85.

As recently as January, Sprint offered unlimited data with HD streaming and 10 GB of hotspot for just $60; now that’s $70, although it does up the hotspot quota to 15 GB.

Verizon’s unlimited deal then cost $80 and also included 10 GB of hotspot use; the closest equivalent now runs $85, except with 15 GB of hotspot use.

AT&T, however, has cut the price of its hotspot-enabled unlimited-data option from $90 to $80, and that’s persisted through the last round of changes.