Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Finally, Verizon offers affordable hotspot plans

By Chuck Woodbury
PUBLISHER

For many RVers, getting online on the road is a big deal, especially for those of us who work as we travel. I’ve stuck with Verizon through the years because coverage has always been exceptional even in the rural West where I often hang out. I’ve seldom been anywhere where I could not get online. For awhile I also carried an AT&T and Sprint MiFi device. Service was not as good as it was with Verizon. That may have changed, at least with AT&T.

But Verizon has been stingy with its hotspot plans and it’s forced me – and other RVers – to be very conservative with the time we spend online.

Getting a good signal at an RV park is never a sure thing.

The new mobile hotspot plans just announced by Verizon are a huge improvement. Verizon finally realized, it seems to me, that it had to do something to service the quickly expanding legions of remote workers who need good Internet access. That definitely includes many RVers who work from the road.

The plans range from 15 GB to 150 GB per month. The top three tiers (Plus, Pro and Premium) provide access to 5G Ultra Wideband1 for streaming more videos, sending bigger files and browsing the web at faster speeds.

Here’s a breakdown of the new plans:

Essential: $20 a month for Verizon customers
• 15GB of premium mobile hotspot data, then unlimited lower-speed data2
• 720p HD streaming when on 5G Nationwide/4G LTE3

Plus: $40 a month for Verizon customers
• 5G Ultra Wideband access1
• 50GB of premium mobile hotspot data, then unlimited lower-speed data2
• 4K UHD streaming on 5G Ultra Wideband and 720p HD streaming on 5G Nationwide/4G LTE3

Pro: $60 for Verizon customers with a smartphone on an eligible Unlimited plan or $90 as a standalone plan
• 5G Ultra Wideband access1
• 100GB of premium mobile hotspot data, then unlimited lower-speed data2
• 4K UHD streaming on 5G Ultra Wideband and 720p HD streaming on 5G Nationwide/4G LTE3

Premium: $80 for Verizon customers with a smartphone on an eligible Unlimited plan or $110 as a standalone plan
• 5G Ultra Wideband access1
• 150GB of premium mobile hotspot data, then unlimited lower-speed data2
• 4K UHD streaming on 5G Ultra Wideband and 720p HD streaming on 5G Nationwide/4G LTE3

Unlimited
Verizon customers can get even more for less when adding a mobile hotspot plan to select Mix & Match Unlimited plans.

The devices you’ll need
Verizon Mobile Hotspot plans are compatible with the latest 5G Ultra Wideband-capable and 4G LTE devices offered by Verizon, including the Inseego MiFi M2100 5G UW and the Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L. Connect your laptop, tablet or gaming system to a mobile hotspot and you’re good to go.

I’ve found the Verizon website to be confusing. So you might want to stop by a nearby Verizon store to learn which plan might be best for you. I’d also recommend checking with other companies as well. T-Mobile, I understand, has improved its data plans. But whether it’s better for you … you’ll need to determine that.

##RVT1011b

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Brenda Grady
1 month ago

Pertaining to Verizon, you mentioned “to select Mix & Match Unlimited Plans”; yet, I did not see ‘mix & match” mentioned anywhere in your article. Please, explain further.
Although I currently have unlimited usage with Verizon and its jetpack MiFI 8800L service for a very reasonable (less than $105/month) amount in deep S FL, every day the service becomes more unreliable and extremely frustrating. Is it because “everyone and his brother” are utilizing the local Verizon cellular towers every minute of every hour of every day?

John Olson
1 month ago

Last year we decided to give T-Mobile a try & keep our Total Wireless (Verizon network) phones. Two T-Mobile phones, 20gb of hotspot data per phone for a total of 40gb per month. Our Total Wireless phones were not compatible with the new “Hotspot” Option so no Hotspot. Not only was this not enough data.. but finding a T-Mobile signal in the middle of the country in rural areas was tough. So we went without Hotspot Data most of the time and when we did have it, we were very disappointed with the lack of signal most of the time. T-Mobile was supposedly putting up more towers thru the midsection of the country like crazy. We shall see.

2021… WOW .. what a difference. T-Mobile increased hotspot data to 40gb per phone per month. Now that’s a total for 2 phones of 80gb a month. We also upgraded our Total Wireless phones so they are now Hotspot compatible for another 30gb per month. And… T-Mobile signal has been stronger than ever. We use it now more than Verizon.

John Olson
1 month ago
Reply to  John Olson

FYI… so we have 5 phones… 110gb of hotspot data per month and use the internet for email and streaming movies on Netflix and Hulu with very little buffering.
Use your phone as a hotspot… and a lot cheaper… Total $190 per month.

S M Jenkins
1 month ago

I wish someone could tell me how I could have good WIFI everywhere in America. We have “unlimited” Verison with their jetpack, but everywhere we travel, especially at campgrounds, we get next to nothing. On the west coast, east coast, or in-between. Right now we are in the hills of North Carolina. Only in a city like Asheville does it support updating our blog.

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  S M Jenkins

That’s odd. I get a good V signal just about everywhere.

mark gipson
1 month ago
Reply to  S M Jenkins

You might want to check Insty Connect https://instyconnect.com/ Been using for several months and get much faster speeds with both Verizon and AT&T sims. In North Pole Alaska now and Verizon is clocking steady at 35 mbps up and 25 mbps down. AT&T slightly slower.

Bob p
1 month ago
Reply to  S M Jenkins

You don’t by chance have an aluminum sided RV do you? If so move it close to a window so it can “see” the towers.

Brenda Grady
1 month ago
Reply to  S M Jenkins

This may or may not help. I was Verizon/MiFi illiterate until a friend told me: While using MiFi, adjust your phone settings to “Wi-Fi ON” and “Cellular OFF”. If you are out of range of your MiFi device, adjust your phone settings to “Wi-Fi OFF” and Cellular ON”. Works for me ……usually. Other times, sitting inside my house while utilizing the MiFi, my phone connectivity just spins & spins! 😡

Larry Lee
1 month ago

To say the Verizon website is confusing is an understatement. More importantly, the highly touted 5G UltraWideBand is available almost nowhere. That means you will be streaming on 5G in the city and 4G at your campsite. 720p streaming at best is what you will see on your TV. My point is this: Don’t rush out and upgrade your TV to 4K because you will not get sufficient signal to power that new TV any better than your current 720p model.
From my point of view this is just another article written without adequate research of the facts and practical implications resulting in an overly optimistic presentation.

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Larry Lee

boy howdy. They can’t just give me a cheaper, better plan on my phone. No, it has to be some convoluted, confusing description about being a Verizon customer on a qualifying ‘unlimited plan’, then I have to buy a hotspot device.

“So you might want to stop by a nearby Verizon store to learn which plan might be best for you” Right..I went into a Verizon store this morning, and the clerk had no idea what I was talking about.

Last edited 1 month ago by chris
Tim Decoursey
16 days ago
Reply to  Larry Lee

He didn’t do any fact checking. There’s no such plans as he mentioned. I think he just dreamed it up. I have called Verizon, they know nothing about it. And I walked into the store. Same result.

Keith
1 month ago

I have just purchased a hotspot plan and device from Verizon. After spending 3 hours on hold at 3 different numbers I am still unable to talk to a human to resolve my issues with the jet pack device not connecting. I think that Verizon make you jump through so many hurdles to connect with a person is not, as they state, for security but to make you give up and go away. I have been a Verizon customer since before it was Bell South, their predecessor, in the bag phone days. Their customer service has become so bad it’s insulting. We have a back-up phone from Consumer Cellular that uses the AT&T network. CS has great service and a human answers your questions. If they had a hotspot plan I would change all my phones over in an instant. I wish that when writing articles like this the writer would do more research.

wanderer
1 month ago
Reply to  Keith

I hate phone ‘customer service’ in all industries. I know this is not easy, depending on where you are camping, but, I’ve had really good luck just going into Verizon stores and asking for help. Often the young wizards can make things happen for you. Not always, if you run into someone with an attitude or is clueless, try another store. Be patient if they make you wait for the alpha geek to get to you, lol!

Peggy Bradley
1 month ago

I have a MiFi via FMCA that uses Sprint/ATT as carrier. Unlimited, $50/month. Excellent.

Keith K
1 month ago
Reply to  Peggy Bradley

That’s great if you stay in major metropolitan areas where Sprint has coverage. We spend a lot of time on the Oregon coast, eastern Oregon, and Idaho where there is little if any coverage. Verizon, however, works everywhere we travel.

Larry
1 month ago

Not impressed with Verizon’s coverage. Where I live (rural NWPA) I find multiple dead spots where I used to get coverage when I was on ATT towers using Cricket. Recently I traveled I90 and I94 through Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. Verizon coverage was very spotty, even along the interstate. Furthermore I am not seeing 5G service hardly anywhere on my new Samsung S20FE purchased from Verizon. Fortunately, for me, 4GLTE has been good enough.

I am switching back to ATT (Cricket). I’ll get unlimited talk, text, and data plus 15GB of mobile hotspot use for $55 per month with autopay. My new phone will only work for 4GLTE on ATT’s towers, but there is no 5G accessible to me anyway, so that is not a factor. I would rather have the better coverage I already know is there.

John Olson
1 month ago
Reply to  Larry

Hi Larry.. we did the same thing from Utah across the country thru Wyoming, Montana and Dakotas to Indiana. I was very impressed with T-Mobile this year compared to our Verizon network. T-Mobile has done a good job this past year increasing towers.

John Koenig
1 month ago

Over the last few years, T-Mobile has REALLY “upped its’ game”. MUCH wider coverage and speeds (even before they acquired Sprint) AND, USEABLE mid-band 5G (as opposed to Verizon’s “vaporware 5G” across MOST of the U.S.A.). The “fall back” data speeds (lower-speed data2) can be almost useless; especially when “data hog” campers expect to stream HiDef content. Better RV parks throttle these people but, too many parks still lag WAY behind the technology (I DO realize that many parks simply do NOT have access to high speed, broadband internet service which means they simply CAN’T provide a service they can NOT access themselves). Like many RVers, I use multiple devices and multiple carriers which gives me a greater chance of getting online when I want / need to. T-Mo is my PRIMARY provider backed up with devices on Verizon and Visible. Newbies should give T-Mo a SERIOUS look first, then Visible and finally Verizon and ATT.

Tom D
1 month ago
Reply to  John Koenig

John, you give me hope – my T-Mobile experience has been very different than yours. I was a very satisfied Sprint customer for almost 20 years, but was just switched to T-mobile as a result of the acquisition. My connectivity experience with T-Mobile has been very disappointing thus far, when I was expecting it to be better. Customer service told me that was due to the fact that T-mobile had not completed the integration of Sprint’s towers into their system.. I just returned from two weeks camping in northern Wisconsin and the UP and found myself without service almost the entire trip. I’m also having similar issues closer to home that I never had with Sprint.

John Olson
1 month ago
Reply to  John Koenig

John… I agree 100%… Very impressed with T-Mobile and with the 40gb of data per month per phone we have had plenty of data with no throttling. T-Mo is my PRIMARY provider now for streaming data… Including live racing & baseball feeds.

Kevin
1 month ago

This year we went with the US Cellular Prepaid Phone Plan. As we spend most of our time in out of the way locations USC seems to specialize in remote. Buy the phone for .01, then pay a non contract monthly fee. For 65.00 its 100GB 4G. Fabulous. Double check their coverage map to verify coverage,

Firefly
1 month ago

Also, if you have VZW service for your phone, some of their plans offer 50% off for the two lower tiers of these connected device plans. So you can get 50GB for $20.

Ozzie
1 month ago

We were lucky enough to enroll in Verizon’s $70/month unlimited package with purchase of their MiFi8800L device over 2 years ago. This plan has been discontinued but we were grandfathered in and pay $65/month with a $5 discount for using automatic renewal. Best of all it’s truly unlimited with no throttle down threshold. Might be the smartest thing I ever did.

Kamwick
1 month ago
Reply to  Ozzie

Good for you. The throttle down is a killer.

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Kamwick

Throttle down is unusable.

bull
1 month ago

With no hardwire internet service at our lake home we have been using one of the data only resellers for internet service. This service is not through the cell phone providers. The cell phone companies SELL data only wavelength service to resellers. We have a DATA ONLY plan that is unlimited data with the cell data service provided through ATT cellular service for $129.00/month. We use a Netgear Nighthawk router that we own for connection. We can take the router anywhere there is ATT cell service and it works great! No limits, speed is good and allows multiple users at the same time.

This is the dirty little secret the cell service providers do not tell you about.

Lisa Adcox
1 month ago

I kept Verizon for a long time but it got more expensive as time went and I did find areas it did not work at all in TX. Changed to T Mobile and have unlimited plan for seniors Way more affordable and great service. Two phones and a Tablet runs a lot less that Verizon plus better service . I also get free Netflix.

Bob
1 month ago

I believe they are all afraid of starlink, they need more towers if they want to keep up, I still find limited service in rural areas and some of their towers I’ll have plenty of signal just not a good signal. Can’t wait for starlink to fully launch!!

Toto
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

Same here…already have my starlink system on order…and if you don’t already have an order placed, I’d recommend that you do as Elon Musk said they may not be able to service everyone if order growth continues like it has been.

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  Toto

I researched Starlink yesterday, and it doesn’t look very good for RVers. You have to tell them what location you will be installing it, and moving doesn’t seem very easy. You are assigned a ‘cell’ of service, for your address only. I was all pumped for this after seeing a youtube vid where a guy had one on his MH, but, at least for now, that isn’t the story I found.

Last edited 1 month ago by chris
The Lazy Q
1 month ago

Finally

Donald Schneider
1 month ago

We use the T-Mobile prepaid data plan- $50 for 100GB of 4G LTE which is more available in the “remote”areas than 5G from anyone. We are full timers and 5G is just not available everywhere and probably wont be if your 50 miles from an Interstate highway.

Last edited 1 month ago by Donald Schneider
Kim Christiansen
1 month ago

All of the Verizon devices that are 5G will also do 4G and there is no doubt that Verizon has the widest 4G coverage of anyone.
Even then, you’ll find areas without 4G coverage.
I use T-Mobile as well and they are great as long as you’re near a major route or a city. But step off the beaten path by a mile or three and your signal drops rapidly.

John Crawford
1 month ago

You’re way behind if you’re still dealing with Verizon. I’ve been with
T Mobile for 3 years and have had unlimited hotspot the entire time. Now I have just gotten on their 5g plan and new phone for free. I pay only $30 per month which includes a $5 per month discount for veterans. The 5g is 100 times faster than 4g when you can get it. When not, you can still get the 4g. We are full time RVers and have used t-mobile all over the US, Alaska, Canada and in Europe.

chris
1 month ago
Reply to  John Crawford

Verizon has the best coverage.. or at least it used to. If you can’t get service it doesn’t matter how cheap the plan is.

Jean Painter
1 month ago

Links to these plans would be very helpful. I’ve searched the Verizon site for the “Essential” plan with no success.

tom
1 month ago

Have FMCA MiFI package from T-Mobile. Works well for us.

Charles Yaker
1 month ago

Don’t count on Verizon. Here in Watkins Glen had two days of reasonable service then it became unusable last night it was .65 Mmbpc download and 0 upload up zero . I tried calling Verizon and tried chatting neither works but I am moving today. At least T Mobile answers the phone and the service in some areas is comparable or better then Verizon. We have both. wife has 20 gig of Verizon I have 100 from T Mobile but considering cutting back because coverage hasn’t been that great. Provider says they are incorporating Sprint and upgrading towers which slows things down

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