So, now that the iPhone 5 is here and it’s got 4G LTE, you need to worry about losing your grandfathered Verizon or AT&T data plan in the upgrade if you don’t handle the phone changeover right. And let’s face it, you’re going to need a decent data plan if you’re going 4G LTE, so how do keep hold of your unlimited data plan when you jump up to an iPhone 5 on contract?
iPhone 5: How to keep your unlimited data plan when you upgrade
Pre-orders for the iPhone 5 are already underway, but if you want to keep your data plan, you’re best not ordering it online, as both Verizon and AT&T are well-known for being a bit vague about honoring grandfathered plans. Once you’ve signed away your data plan, it’s gone forever, as you won’t be able to get it back. If you place your iPhone 5 pre-order in a store, however, you can get verbal (and, if you’re savvy, written) confirmation that your plan will carry over by the rep.
Another thing to bear in mind is that you shouldn’t add anything to your plan, as if you do, your old plan will be void and you’ll be shunted onto a tiered or shared plan. You’ll have to stick to a basic plan if you want really unlimited data on your iPhone 5.
AT&T is trying to get customers to sign up for their shared plans, but if you get a new plan you’ll find yourself throttled after 5GB – it used to be 6GB. It’s easy to carry over your unlimited data plan with AT&T, and even though none of the sales reps will have seen how the network handles this new iPhone 5, it’s not likely to be a problem.
Verizon, on the other hand, means you lose your unlimited plan as soon as you get a new contract. So, just buy your own handset. Of course you won’t get a network subsidy, which means you’ll pay full price, but you will probably save money in the long run.
The iPhone 5, according to Apple, will cost the same as the iPhone 4S did upon launch. So with Verizon you’ll be paying $649 for the 16GB or $749 for the 32GB unlocked.
If you often go over the 5GB limit – which is likely with 4G LTE, then shelling out the initial cost of the iPhone 5 will be worth it. If you can’t afford that initial outlay, then shared or tiered is your only option.
If you’re on Sprint, you’ve got nothing to worry about!