Explaining AT&T and Verizons’ complex shared-data plans

Confused by how AT&T’s new shared-data planswork? Well, we’ve put together a primer to show you how they work and compare them to Verizon’s similar pricing structure. Ultimately, shared data might not be for you, but hopefully this guide will help clear up the confusion.

Verizon: You can keep unlimited — if you buy your own phone

Verizon Wireless apparently isn’t done talking about its controversial plan to phase out “grandfathered” unlimited data plans, issuing a statement Thursday explaining the new policy. What it boils down to is this: You can keep unlimited, but don’t expect Verizon to subsidize your device.

U.S. Cellular ends punitive overage charges on mobile data

U.S. Cellular has finally done away with that relic of a bygone 3G age: punitive overage charges on its mobile data plans. Almost all carriers have stopped charging exorbitant rates the slightest breech of the cap, but until this week U.S. Cellular was the exception.

MetroPCS starts throttling, but keeps unlimited data an option

MetroPCS on Tuesday became the latest operator to begin throttling mobile data, but MetroPCS isn’t eliminating its unlimited data plans entirely. It’s added a $70 price tier that preserves unlimited voice, SMS and LTE data use, but all other customers get capped.

If 2 GB is excessive, why is AT&T selling 3-GB mobile data plans?

When AT&T first started throttling unlimited smartphone data users plans last fall, it claimed it had to limit the “extraordinary” consumption of its greediest customers. It turns out extraordinary is only 2 GB – a full gigabyte less than it sells customers under its most-common data plan.

Verizon charging 4G prices but selling a lot of 3G phones

Verizon plans milk as much revenue off of its 3G and LTE networks as possible, becoming the “premium” mobile data operator, but its plan could backfire. Despite the increase in 4G sales, Verizon is still primarily a 3G operator, and 3G doesn’t justify its steep prices.