The new Verizon 5G unlimited mobile plan structure the company has dubbed myPlan aims to simplify the company’s mobile offerings and help engineer a turnaround in the company’s consumer postpaid mobile fortunes.
Impact: Starting May 18, potential Verizon mobile wireless customers have just two plan options from which to choose: Unlimited Welcome or Unlimited Plus, priced at $65/mo and $80/mo, respectively, with auto pay. That’s down from as many as six the company has offered for the last few years, including the Get More, Do More, and Play More lineup. For the time being, existing customers on any of Verizon’s previous 5G unlimited plans can stay on those plans, although there’s no telling when Verizon will move to shift those customers onto the newer plans. Verizon positioned the change as one that provides customers with more choice, moving away from one-size-fits-all options to let customers customize and personalize their mobile service.
As with its other mobile plans, the price of each plan goes down as customers add more lines, so four-line pricing is $30/mo per line for the Welcome plan and $45/mo per line for the Plus option. But once the optional perks start accumulating, the price for each plan could get steep fast. With the two new options, however, only customers who choose Unlimited Plus will get access to the company’s 5G Ultra Wideband network, powered by its faster mid-band and mmWave spectrum. Those who choose the Unlimited Welcome plan don’t get access to 5G UW and instead will end up stuck on the company’s slower 5G Nationwide network that runs solely on the company’s low-band spectrum holdings. Aside from that, under myPlan all of the content and services options that had previously been included with Verizon’s various mobile plan options, such as Apple One, the Disney bundle, Walmart+, and others, can now be had only as add-on “perks” priced at $10/mo each. Per Verizon, this change reflects the customization and personalization it wants to offer customers looking for more choices. The company also said customers aren’t locked into their plans and can change them whenever they want. Nor do multiple lines on the same account have to subscribe to the same perk options. The price for the Unlimited Plus plan features a three-year guarantee and no data caps as well as 30 GB of hotspot data and up to a 50% discount on any watch, tablet, hotspot, or Hum plan offered by Verizon. According to Consumer Group CEO Sowmyanarayan Sampath, Verizon views the new plans as a way for the company to differentiate itself at a time when it has struggled to produce positive net adds in its consumer postpaid phone results for several quarters, including 263,000 consumer postpaid phone net losses in Q1. Furthermore, he said the company wants to “fundamentally change how wireless is bought in this country,” and sees this as a way to do so and put some momentum behind Verizon’s mobile unit at the same time.
Although Verizon timed a massive new ad campaign to support the myPlan rollout, not everyone was impressed with the changes, especially the part where customers will have to pay more for the plan that includes 5G UW. Analysts at KeyBanc Capital Markets don’t think monetizing 5G when other providers include it in their mobile plans will net the results Verizon expects. The new campaign features people standing where the “i” in the Verizon logo should be as they talk about how myPlan offers savings and lets customers select the perks they want. Verizon and Sampath have a lot riding on the change, which is Sampath’s first major initiative since taking over the Consumer Group earlier this year. Verizon plans to run the campaign nationwide across multiple media channels, including TV, online, and social media, as it works to turn its consumer mobile unit around persuade customers that it still has the best wireless network.