Verizon to start throttling all smartphone videos to 480p or 720p

State of Mobile Networks: USA - OpenSignal

Go Unlimited is the entry-level plan, stating at $75 per month for a single line.

Verizon's one unlimited data plan is no more. But six months later, as the dust has settled, those plans are getting some tweaks - and every Verizon Wireless customer is getting their video throttled as a result. There's no way to increase the resolution. It also has slower mobile hotspot speeds of 600 kilobits per second. Consumers can upgrade for an extra $10 per month for a single line or a total of $200 per month for four lines to get "HD-quality" video streaming, a higher limit before throttling occurs, faster tethering, and service in Mexico and Canada. Most carriers only throttle you after you reach a certain data threshold, but Verizon's can be at any point in your billing cycle. This gives you priority on the network for the first 22GB of data used, although this is bumped up to 25GB if you are willing to sign a two year contract on a new smartphone or tablet.

If you're already a Verizon customer, your video resolution will be reduced to 720p on phones and 1080p on tablets whether you have a limited or unlimited data plan. There's no way to increase the resolution on either device.

"Moving forward, HD video on all legacy plans will also match Beyond Unlimited's HD quality", Verizon reportedly said. Subscribers of this plan get free calling, texting, and data in Mexico and Canada. No matter what plan you're on - whether it's the old, grandfathered unlimited data plan or a tiered plan or the new unlimited plan - Verizon is taking a tighter grip over video streaming.

Business Unlimited: Video capped to 480p on smartphones, 720p on tablets. But a report from the research company Open Signal earlier this month showed that T-Mobile had pulled ahead in the speed wars and was averaging 17.5 Mbps on average 4G download speeds compared to Verizon's 14.9 Mbps.

Customers who purchase any Verizon limited plan in the future will see the same restrictions.

Business Unlimited: Price varies.

"We're really managing our network in a way to be able to expand unlimited data to more people", Verizon marketing executive Angie Klein told Ars yesterday.

What's unfortunate about these plans is that smartphone customers can no longer watch a video in high-definition (HD). For example, T-Mobile throttled video for some customers.

Just in case you thought that net neutrality was an abstract, hypothetical thought experiment, Verizon is here to bring reality crashing down on your head. "Our network has never been stronger", Klein said. However, the agency's current chair has announced plans to roll back net neutrality protections. While Sprint still offers 1080p video, it polices music streaming and gaming like no other carrier, in a way that practically feels draconian.

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