What to Consider When You Compare Unlimited Cell Phone Plans

With the rise of people using their smartphone data for things like streaming, nearly every carrier now offers unlimited cell phone plans. If you want to sign up for one of these plans, you should do some research just like you would with any other cell phone plan. Keep the following considerations in mind as you compare plans.

Network Speeds

One major consideration regarding the unlimited cell phone plans is whether or not you will notice a change in speed at peak times. Most plans will give you as much data as you want. However, they will only give you a portion of it at the fast speeds you are used to. You may notice reduced speeds once you use a certain amount of data or at peak times. Some may also have specific speed limits for video streaming or another specific type of use. Compare whether various plans slow your network speed, and when they do so.

Pay attention to the point at which your connection may be deprioritized or slowed down as well. Most carriers will do this after you use a certain amount of data in your billing cycle. Some cheaper plans will always have it active, however.


Most people opting for unlimited cell phone plans will want to utilize the ability to create a mobile hotspot at some point in time. This is a great way to connect other devices without using data on them. But read the fine print in the plan since some carriers will limit the speed when creating a mobile hotspot. Hotspots may always go slower or only go slower after you hit a certain amount of data usage. Some unlimited plans may not even support hotspots so pay attention if you think you might want to use one.

Video Quality

All providers also place some sort of quality restriction on video streaming unless you pay for a high-end plan. The average is a 480p restriction, compared to the 1080p that most smartphones can play. This is certainly something you will need to pay attention to if you watch a lot of video on your smartphone. Especially when you are on data instead of Wi-Fi.


Some of the higher-tiered unlimited plans will also throw in extras to sweeten the deal. Some, for example, give you travel passes for discounts or better speeds when traveling to another country. Others give free access to specific streaming or subscription services, like HBO, Showtime, Pandora, or Amazon Music Unlimited.


Cost and Hidden Fees

You should consider the cost of the unlimited cell phone plans when comparing them; however, do not just limit yourself to the obvious price. Pay attention to what is included and whether there are any hidden fees. Some carriers, for example, will charge more if you want a physical paper bill mailed to you. They will do the same if you also do not enable automatic payments.

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