Verizon's new unlimited plans come with a few unpleasant surprises

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This morning, Verizon made some significant changes to its Unlimited plan that makes it more expensive and worse, and it's started throttling all smartphone video - on any plan, regardless of price - to 720p. Verizon indicated then that "we deliver whatever the content provider gives us".

News of these changes comes after Verizon customers in July reported speed caps on Netflix's Fast.com speed tool, as well as YouTube.

The third of the three new plans is the Business Unlimited plan. Sprint has a $50 promotional plan that includes HD video streaming, but prices go up to $60 after a year.

While those who are now on Verizon's unlimited will get to keep it once these new plans go into effect tomorrow, it's absolutely worth pointing out that Verizon's new video streaming rules will apply to everyone, even grandfathered users. Furthermore, video streaming is limited to 480p (or 720p on tablets) which the carrier skillfully calls "DVD-quality streaming".

But if that's the case, why would Verizon put so many restrictions on its flagship plan?

A new Go Unlimited plan costs $75/month with paper-free billing and AutoPay for a single line.

Again, the addition of a cheaper plan also indicates the company's attempt to strengthen its base in the competitive and saturated wireless space, by luring more subscribers from its rival carriers.

What do you think of Verizon's new idea?

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It's upsetting that Verizon has decided to make this move. Video streaming while tethered is also limited to 1080p.

Mobile hotspot speeds are limited to a meager 600kbps.

The limitations to the cheaper plan only apply to data use.

Verizon finally rejoined the unlimited bandwagon in February after bleeding customers to rivals that had previously launched unlimited plans.

Is a new mobile price war about to get underway? This may actually lose them some of the goodwill that they received due to the better than average unlimited plan. Verizon's marketing for years has been built around having a high-quality wireless network. Charging customers who want high-resolution video can help Verizon Communications make more money off the unlimited plans.

"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.

Other carriers have been launching aggressive promotions in recent months. T-Mobile CEO John Legere also claimed that the Verizon and AT&T networks "seem to be choking after we forced them to go unlimited".

Full pricing and availability of services can be found on Verizon's website.

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