Unlimited Data Plans: The Truth About Smartphone 'Unlimited' Data Plans | NowThis

Nothing is truly 'unlimited,' not even your data plan — here's what you should know before you buy your next plan.
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You might think your data plan is unlimited — but if you look closely, you’ll find that there are a few speed bumps in the fine print. So what you’re actually getting is a limited unlimited plan.

Mobile providers like T Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint all offer these unlimited plans, which let you talk, text, and surf the web as much as you want for a certain price point. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that these plans eventually reach a data limit, in which carriers will throttle your 4G speeds, causing temporary downgraded streaming services until the next billing cycle.

Different carriers have different data caps — T Mobile and Sprint start capping users at 50 GB, AT&T caps them at 22 and Verizon caps between 22 and 75 GB, depending on how much you’re willing to pay for a plan. According to marketing research group NPD, the average U.S. consumer uses 31.4 GB a month, which includes both wifi and cellular data.

With this in mind, T Mobile and Verizon’s high-tier data plans are pretty generous, especially if you supplement data usage with wifi. But with Sprint’s unlimited data plan, you might constantly find your screen buffering.

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