Why Stay With Verizon When T-Mobile Offers Free Streaming?

by on January 20, 2016

in consumer

smartphonesI don’t know where my brain has been but the other night I walked past a T-Mobile cellular store here in Morgan Hill and I saw a sign on the store front that said I could get free Netflix and HBO streaming without it costing me and taking up my bandwidth, unlike my Verizon account, which counts everything I do against my monthly allowance.


Right now I have to balance out my streaming and web surfing, monitoring my data usage throughout the month, sometimes on a daily basis, if I end up using too much of my bandwidth early on in my Verizon Wireless billing period.

Checking on my bandwidth usage every day is getting very old and I’m rethinking my cellular plan carrier because of this.

T-Moble is on the move. They claim to have doubled their LTE (coverage) since 2014. They say with extended range, they have better reception inside buildings now and that they are “America’s fastest 4G LTE network,” as supported by Ookla speed tests. And now now they are offering this free video streaming package, which follows on the tail of having broken out their music streaming from users data usage counts. Plus, in one independent review, that statement is backed up about being the fastest 4G LTE network, with download speeds.

For the moment, T-Mobile’s video streaming will come out at 480p unless you’re on a Wifi network, but for me, since I have to live on eggshells with my Verizon Wireless data package account, I already dilute my Netflix streaming down to the lowest quality so I can watch a few episodes of something every month.

This new add-on plan is called “Binge On,” is free for any subscriber who has a plan with more than 3GB monthly bandwidth. Plus I am noticing that they have a $95/month unlimited data plan. HOLY (*Whoop!), that’s less than a third of what I’m paying for my Verizon plan with a 16GB plan.

T-Mobile also makes a point in saying that the telecom industry collects over $2 billion a year in overage fees. I believe that, considering the moment I hit my 90% usage limit, I start getting warnings and offers from Verizon, but more importantly, if I go over my plan, I pay $10 a gig.

No wonder telecom companies structure their plans the way they do.

So this has me wondering now, how my Verizon service compares to T-Mobile’s.

It’s pretty common knowledge that Verizon has great coverage compared to everyone else. Or at least historically I’ve proven this time and time again. But never bank on what has been versus what is. I’ve noticed stores that have reputations for having good prices then sneak in higher prices on you and if you aren’t paying attention, you pay big on some things. Hence, it pays to keep an eye on things with your favorite shopping or service provider!

So I have to go out there and start figuring out if it is worth it to me to switch over.

What I will do is query my fellow Facebookers and see who has T-Mobile and what problems they encounter for coverage or how they feel about their coverage. (Remember to take into account locations and such… as in, if someone lives in a ravine and complains, those are valid grumbles.)

Where I live I already have a mediocre Verizon Signal, so it can’t possibly get much worse.

I’ll find a site that compares services, like MyRatePlan or OpenSignal. My Rate Plan pulls up maps from the actual cell providers, which to a leery consumer, could be or seem skewed. Verizon’s map does not help in understanding actual signal strength either, because like I said, I have a moderate signal right now. While I’ve noticed when you use Open Signal, the result maps show a bar graph that ranks all the services in the area you are testing or looking at.

I’ll find a phone app that registers cell provider signals and see if I have an acceptable T-Mobile signal here at home, and on my train ride and then at work.

If things line up, then I will approach Verizon to see what they want to do about retaining my business. Since I’m a lone client, I’m not expecting much, but I have to do something to change what I’m paying per month now. There have to be better options. Right?

But before I stop with this one comparison off of a single date point of observation, I’m going to go take a look at Sprint to see what they have to offer, because they too are saying they have the fastest download speeds and offer all kinds of incentives for turning to the “Sprint side!”

SO there’s a lot to consider and I’ll have to truly start badgering my neighbors! Thought, upon initial assessments, Verizon has a better signal for my rural home, (But I can swap that out to DISH), and T-Mobile seems to have an extremely solid signal over Verizon up through the Peninsula, in the Bay Area where I work. Hmm.

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