What The Tech? The return of unlimited data plans - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

What The Tech? The return of unlimited data plans

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

If you're looking to find a new wireless plan there hasn't been a better time than now, especially if the amount of data is of importance to you.

Let me tell you, if you have kids on your plan who stream music, watch video and send hundreds of Instagram and Snapchat pics, you do want to think about the amount of data you have.

All four major carriers have now introduced unlimited plans again, but they're not all the same.

The best deal? It's not easy to judge.

Here's what you can expect from the unlimited plans for a family of four: Verizon, the nation's most popular carrier has finally re-introduced an unlimited plan.

Up until now at least, families forced to pay hundreds of dollars for only 10-20 GB of data have been forced to look at Sprint or T-Mobile out of cost savings.

Verizon's new unlimited plan is $45 for each line on the plan.

For four phones that's $180/month. That's expensive compared to Sprint and T-Mobile, and AT&T's new plan (due out this week).

The $180 doesn't include taxes and fees which can total over $20 depending on where you live. Verizon is offering a $5 discount for customers who sign up for auto-pay.

The carrier, like the others, will throttle speeds from 4G LTE to 3G once the customer uses a set amount of data, usually around 23GB per month.

AT&T's unlimited plan is similar in savings to Verizon. It appears to be more expensive at $60 for the service and $40 for each phone line.

The difference is AT&T offers the 4th phone line at no charge for a total of $180. It too doesn't include taxes and fees and will be throttled once you've reached 23GB.

However, AT&T is offering a less expensive plan for customers who'd rather save money than have the fastest 4G LTE speeds.

T-Mobile's unlimited plan will save money by including fees, surcharges and taxes that will add up to hundreds of dollars each year.

A T-Mobile family plan starts at $70/month for the first phone, $100/month for 2 phones and an extra $20 per phone.

A 4-line family plan will total $160/month. Again though, that includes taxes and fees so you'll pay that price each month. It also takes off $5/month if you set up auto-pay.

T-Mobile has other perks and benefits such as discounts every Tuesday and some research says its network is the fastest in the nation.

Sprint has the lowest priced plan at least for right now. The carrier has a much lower price of just $90/month.

A current promotion starts charges at just $50/month for the first phone, an additional $40 for a second smartphone and a 3rd, 4th and 5th phone on the same plan for free. So for four phones it's $90/month.

The promotion ends March 2017 when the cost jumps back up close to T-Mobile.

Over the first 12 months though, Sprint customers will save around $900 over the competition.

Price does not need to be the only reason you choose one network over another. Certain wireless carriers have better service in areas so it is wise to talk to friends of each company to see how happy they are with the plan they have now.

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