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US Mobile continues to be on fire with greatly improved plans. A couple of weeks ago, the company released some exciting new plans featuring a $20/month plan with 12GB of hard-capped data. It's one of the best-valued plans on the market. The MVNO also offers what it calls unlimited plans that start at $40/month. US Mobile's unlimited plans come with unlimited talk, text, and data with the first 50GB of data available each month at high-speeds. Previously, once 50GB of data got consumed during a billing cycle, data speeds had been reduced to 512Kbps. But now US Mobile has made another big change. After the high-speed data gets consumed, data speeds will now be throttled to 1Mbps. And that is a big improvement.
At speeds of 512Kbps it can be pretty hard to watch videos and some webpages may be slow to load. But at speeds of 1Mbps, you will be able to stream videos at a resolution of up to 480p (SD), although streams at 360p will likely be more common. Amazon recommends a bare minimum speed of 1Mbps for streaming Amazon Prime videos in SD. Typically though, 1.5Mbps seems to be the recommended speed in order to be able to stream in SD.
Are US Mobile's Unlimited Plans Now Best In Class?
Many providers toss around the term unlimited rather loosely. And that is understandable from a marketing perspective. To the average consumer, the word "unlimited" is certainly more appealing, comforting, and easy to understand than to hear their plan comes with 10GB of data. So instead, many providers will call their plans unlimited, even though they have data caps where speeds drop to 128Kbps or lower once a high-speed consumption threshold has been reached. At speeds of 128Kbps or less data is virtually unusable, so to me, that's a bit misleading to call those types of plans unlimited.
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Mint Mobile is one such provider to fall in this camp advertising their $30 plan as being unlimited when it in fact includes 35GB of high-speed data before throttling speeds to 128Kbps. Hello Mobile also does this. But these two are far from being alone in this practice. US Mobile was also doing this at one point, but perhaps now it's a bit more fair to call their plans unlimited.
A Brief Comparison With Spectrum Mobile And Xfinity Mobile
With this change, US Mobile now joins the ranks of cable MVNO's such as Xfinity Mobile and Spectrum Mobile who also advertise unlimited plans where speeds get throttled to higher than the industry standard once a certain data threshold consumption has been reached.
With Xfinity Mobile, subscribers that use more than 20GB of high-speed data have their data speeds reduced to a maximum of 1.5Mbps download and 750Kbps upload. With Spectrum Mobile, after 20GB (or 30GB depending on which unlimited plan you are subscribed to) of data gets consumed, data speeds get reduced to 1Mbps download and 512Kbps upload for the rest of the billing cycle.
Although US Mobile isn't offering the fastest throttled data speeds compared to the two cable MVNOs, their plans do have some advantages. US Mobile's data plans come with significantly more high-speed data, 50GB vs up to 30GB before any throttling takes place. And US Mobile doesn't require its subscribers to also subscribe to another service to be able to keep their rate plans. Xfinity Mobile and Spectrum Mobile require their customers to also be subscribed to their respective brand's internet services. If not, the cost of their unlimited plans goes up in price by $20/month for Spectrum and $25 a month for Xfinity. US Mobile's unlimited plans also come with 10GB of international roaming data. And finally, US Mobile's unlimited family plan options include perks like getting your subscription to Netflix paid for.