Verizon follows Sprint with higher-priced unlimited data

Verizon customers with rare unlimited data plans will reportedly see a price increase.
Verizon customers with rare unlimited data plans will reportedly see a price increase. The Kansas City Star

Consumers who like unlimited data plans are losing the price war that has been sweeping through the wireless industry.

Sprint announced last week that its price increase on new unlimited data plans would hit Oct. 16. Verizon followed suit Thursday with news its prices are going up for customers with grandfathered unlimited plans, according to a report by FierceWireless.

Both companies are reacting to wireless customers’ increasing use of data to watch videos, download apps, browse the Internet and otherwise use many of the popular features of cellphones and tablets.

Verizon no longer sells an unlimited data plan, but a small number of its subscribers who had such plans have been able to hang on to them. Verizon and AT&T both dropped unlimited plans years ago in favor of plans that come with a set amount of data, such as 2 gigabytes or 10 gigabytes a month.

“We continuously evaluate the price of our plans and service, so we're increasing the price of unlimited data plans by $20 per line per month for customers no longer under contract with Verizon Wireless,” Verizon spokeswoman Kelly Crummy told FierceWireless.

The price will become $50 a month on top of whatever the customer already pays for voice and text service each month, FierceWireless reported.

Sprint and T-Mobile continue to offer plans with unlimited data.

Sprint announced its planned price increase as a marketing pitch, saying to sign up before prices go up. Its $60-a-month unlimited plan goes to $70 a month next week for new plans. Customers that already have the $60 plan won’t see the price increase, Sprint said.

T-Mobile’s unlimited data plan costs $80 a month. Plan features vary among companies.

Mark Davis: 816-234-4372, @mdkcstar