Verizon Review: Size Matters. But So Does Price.


WhistleOut
04 April 2017

Verizon Review

Before Verizon was Verizon, it was known as Bell Atlantic. Bell Atlantic was one of seven “Baby Bells” created after AT&T needed to relinquish control and split local operations into independent companies. Bell Atlantic later decided to rebrand and created Verizon in 2000.

Verizon is a combination of the words veritas (latin for “truth”) and horizon. By the time Verizon came to be, it was already the largest telephone company in US. Upon inception of Verizon, it serviced 63 million telephone customers and 25 million mobile phone users.

As a broadband telecommunications company, Verizon has a storied history of mergers, growth, and knowing when to pull up stakes. They now focus on delivering their customers the best in wireless services for nearly every household or business need.  With features like FiOS for internet, no annual contracts, and BYOD deals, there is no wonder why Verizon today has over 140 million subscribers. They are the leader right now in the battle of the carriers. Read on the learn more and don't forget to check out the staff review for some first hand insight on the Verizon experience.

Strengths
  • Largest provider in America
  • Excellent performance overall
  • No more 2-year contracts
  • As fast as they claim to be 
  • Unlimited data now on the table
Weaknesses

  • Not as budget-friendly as competitors
  • Your Verizon phone will only work on Verizon's network
  • You can't roll over unused data
Value for Money
9/10
90%
Coverage & Speed
94/100
94%

The Future of Verizon

When someone mentions the Big Four in terms of the cell phone carrier wars, they’re talking about Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T. These are the big guys. There are other carriers out there but these four are the largest in the business and are constantly trying to get to the number one carrier spot overall – and stay there. A tall order, indeed, as mobile customers have ever evolving needs when it comes to their personal and business cell phone plans.

Here’s where Verizon stands out from the competition: they are currently the largest in America and have a reach that dominates most of the country. They have a history of evolving to meet the needs of customers and have been “bred” by the best, having originally been a, “Baby Bell”. From AT&T, to Bell Atlantic, to where we see Verizon today, they’ve certainly earned their place as a major carrier to trust.

Under the leadership of Lowell McAdam, Verizon may be making a move towards growing their data services in a whole new way. In preparation for 5G connections, Verizon (along with other major carriers) could be looking at ways to combine the new networks with cable systems so that consumers have even more reliable coverage. More recently, Verizon began offering unlimited data plans. This creates stronger competition in the unlimited data plan market, especially since Verizon claims that, unlike T-Mobile, they won't be throttling video speeds. We'll watch closely how true this claim is. 

While other carriers are making moves in a very noticeable way, it seems that Verizon will continue their domination in a very careful and methodical way that should serve the future of data users and cell phone customers—not just the needs of customers today.

If budget is a real concern for you, then Verizon might not make the cut.  And while they aren’t the most budget-friendly, their numbers don’t lie and is proof that customers will pay more for better coverage. They have the kind of reliable coverage that silences any critics.

If you get sticker shock easily, just know this:

1.     Pound for pound the most reliable LTE service in the country (via RootMetrics)

2.     They have a record of being the first in delivering the latest network and service.  

With network availability to over 250 million people, nearly 80 percent of the population, it's clear that Verizon cares about making communication accessible to all. 

How Verizon compares on pricing

Verizon is well aware of the value they bring to the table. They have mega fast, reliable nationwide service and have no problem charging a premium fee.

When it comes to price comparison, it ranks behind some of the more affordable competitors. However, this is where you as a consumer must decide what you value more: superior coverage or budget-friendly pricing.

The prices will always vary depending on the number of customers on the plan, phone, and type of service. Individual plans run about $65 for an “average” user. This means 500 minutes, 1000 texts, and 2GB of data a month. If you’re anything but average, you might want to look into their family plan for 4 lines and 10GB of data (shared with four lines) at about $160 a month. Anything more, have a look here to find a more suitable Verizon plan.

If it’s just you and you need plenty of data, Verizon has current promotional deal of 5GB for $55. This includes unlimited talk and text and other features. (note this is a current promotion at time of this review. Subject to change. For details on promotion, go here.)

Verizon Quick Comparison
Carrier Lines Pricing
Sprint 5 lines with Unlimited Data $100/mo
T-Mobile 5 lines with Unlimited Data $180/mo
Verizon 5 lines with 18GB of Data to share  $180/mo
AT&T 5 lines with 10GB $180/mo

Verizon coverage is superior

Verizon's coverage scores from Nielsen

Verizon is more than well-served in all major markets. It is considered a leader with a proven track record of serving over 150 million subscribers with 4G LTE across the nation. 

Be it rural or metro areas, Verizon has strong coverage and reaches places that most carriers, especially the smaller guys, just can’t. If you travel often throughout the U.S. and having reliable coverage without fear of dropped calls or unavailable data is important to you, Verizon is probably your best bet. There are other features that you should take into consideration, of course. But when it comes to coverage reliability, size does matter. Verizon’s sheer scale of coverage is undeniable, regardless of what other carriers say or do: Verizon is massive. 

Right now, T-Mobile is in a position to boast about how they manage faster speeds. If having a gif your friend sent to you appear on your phone’s screen a fraction of a second faster than fast, then this could be something that warrants a rethink about Verizon. However, across the board the reality is that Verizon’s dependability is what keeps customers loyal. When it comes to pricing, this dependability is worth it for many customers who have decided that a tried and true network reliability trumps faster when fast is fast enough. 

If we look at the Nielsen report on network reliability, we see the consistency that Verizon has proven over time. While other major carriers have been playing catch up with their network dependability, Verizon has been there from the start. 

Coverage Comparison (in 280 major markets)
Verizon 97.5% coverage & reliability score
T-Mobile 95.1% coverage & reliability score
Sprint 93.9% coverage & reliability score
AT&T 96.3% coverage & reliability score

Before you begin wondering if your data plan is “off” or if your coverage just isn’t worth the money, look at your phone. Only the newest generation phones will be compatible with the very newest networks. If you want to take advantage of the power behind Verizon’s 4G LTE network, you’ll need a phone that handle it. Premium petrol in an old Datsun just isn’t done. Remember, wireless coverage is a combination of the network from the carrier (towers, antennas, infrastructure) AND your phone. 

Things to Consider with Verizon

Verizon has deep pockets and can implement some of the latest technologies often before their competitors. Their cell phone plans are easy to understand and you don’t have to be locked into any more contracts. We have to be honest, however. Verizon isn’t cheap. 

1) Hot spot

There are public WiFi hotspots all over the country but unless it is secure, it is not recommended for anyone. Verizon offers their Ellipsis Jetpack and the Jetpack MiFi to help ensure you can always jump online. 

2) No contracts, but...

You have the freedom of not being stuck in a 2-year contract. Most carriers have done away with this. Verizon, like most carriers, want you to be free to leave. Just don’t. Not if you want to keep using that Verizon phone of yours. It won't work anywhere else. 

3) To get the best of Verizon, you need a new phone. 

Verizon has a variety of phones and cater to a variety of lifestyles. If you're switching over from another carrier you can try to bring your own phone but there's no guarantee your phone will work on the Verizon network. There are pre-owned phones, new phones, leased and prepaid options for the mobile device that works best with you.

Verizon is holding steady on top

Verizon had a tricky time leading up to their successful overall growth in the Q4 2016 roundup. They did eventually add 1.5 million new wireless customers after a slight dip of 34k customers back in Q2. This should speak volumes in terms of what customers are truly after. While some carriers are (slightly) faster (for now), Verizon is pushing forward with their desire to create complete coverage accessible to over 250 million Americans. 

It's your money. The smart money in wireless today is chasing value. If you get whatever value you're looking for in the wireless carrier you're with, then the higher cost of Verizon is worth the value. The market is saturated and mature, but Verizon is the leading the way by establishing their optimistic approach. Loyal customers want to know: what will Verizon give us next? 5G is already being kicked around the neighborhood of what to expect. 

You should also expect to pay for the coverage you get. Here's more:

How Much Should You Expect To Pay?
From $55 (2GB)
Compare
Prepaid From $15 (0MB) Compare
No Contract/Monthly From $55 (200MB) Compare
Data Only SIMs From $15 (500MB) Compare
Want to contact Sprint?
Twitter @verizon
Facebook facebook.com/verizon
Phone
Sales
855-594-1234 (8am-9pm, Monday to Friday. 9am-to-7pm, Saturday and Sunday)
Service
855-480-4789 (8am-9pm, Monday to Friday. 9am-to-7pm, Saturday and Sunday)
Websiteverizon.com/support
Contact Page verizon.com/contact
Apps iPhone, Android
FAQs
No, not under the Verizon plan. Check out the Prepaid options for options.
Verizon is the largest carrier in the nation. Their coverage scale is massive. Visit their coverage map to find your specific areas.
The Verizon plan has a feature called Safety Mode. This reduces your speed in case you go over your data cap for the month. You still get data, just slower. This way, you don't pay (more).
Verizon has the largest 4G LTE network around. This is basically the fastest, latest way to transfer data technology for cellular networks. 
There are different plans you can sign up for with Verizon. One of the deals, International Value Plan, is just $5/month per line and calls to Canada and Mexico are free.

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