Now that the iPhone 5 has been released with 4G LTE and you may want it, you might be worried about losing your grandfathered AT&T or Verizon data plan if you upgrade. Let’s face it you’re going to need that data thanks to the fast speeds of 4G. So how can you make sure that you keep your plan?
iPhone 5: How to upgrade & keep your Verizon / AT&T unlimited data plan
As you know pre-orders for the iPhone 5 start from tomorrow. However, if you want to keep your unlimited data then don’t order your new iPhone 5 online. Both of the carriers are well known for having opaque tools when it comes to carrying your grandfathered plan over. Therefore if you were to get rid of your unlimited data plan without knowing you would not be able to get it back. Reps will tell you to be very careful about this; chances are you won’t be able to get it back. If you pre-order in store you can double check by asking if they are sure you won’t lose your unlimited plan.
One thing to bear in mind is not to add anything into your plan. This could include hotspot or sharing bandwidth. If you do then your unlimited plan would be void and you would find yourself on a shared or tiered plan. If you want unlimited data for your iPhone 5 then you really have to stick with the basic data plan.
AT&T is trying to get their customers onto their shared plans. If you do take out a new unlimited plan then you are throttled once you pass the 5GB mark, which used to be 6GB. The process with them for keeping your unlimited data plan is easy. Of course in store none of the reps have actually seen how their system handles the new iPhone 5 but they are saying that it shouldn’t be a problem.
Verizon however is different and the minute you take out a brand new contract your unlimited plan goes out of the window. The way around this is to buy your own handset. This of course means that you can’t benefit from a subsidized phone, and this would mean you having to pay out more for the iPhone 5 to use on your unlimited data plan.
Apple has said that the iPhone 5 will have the same pricing as the iPhone 4S did on release. This means that with Verizon you would be looking at paying around $649 for the 16GB or $749 for the 32GB.
Should you regularly go over the 5GB and its possible with 4G LTE, then you may wish to put your hand in your pocket and buy the iPhone 5 outright. If not then you might have no option but to go on a shared tiered plan.
Those on Sprint have nothing to worry about of course.