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Verizon quietly launches Visible Wireless, a low-cost unlimited service with some caveats

By David Matthews · 10 replies
May 11, 2018
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  1. Verizon Wireless is probably best known for having arguably the best cellular coverage around the country. However, that coverage comes at a price as wireless plans can be very expensive once you start adding devices (as a Verizon customer myself, I know this all too well). For those budget conscious customers, Verizon has quietly launched Visible Wireless, a cellular service with unlimited everything…with some caveats.

    Before we get to those caveats, let’s get the specifics out the way. For $40 per month, you get unlimited data, texting, and minutes and there is no contract involved. As an added bonus, Visible will not throttle your data speeds once you reach a certain threshold. In order to subscribe, you actually have to download the Visible app and register your account. Once your account is registered, you’ll receive a SIM card in the mail. Payment can also be done via PayPal or Venmo if you don’t fancy using a credit card.

    Now for the caveats. First, in order to create an account, you must be invited by someone who is already a Visible subscriber. Second, the app is only available on iOS so Android users need not apply (for now) and the iPhone must be unlocked. Third, and probably most crucial, Visible limits download speeds to 5Mbps and video is only in 480p.

    Visible's brand strategy is an interesting take on marketing cellular service and seems geared towards millennials. The service is offered via an iOS app and new subscribers are gained through basically word of mouth. It uses online payment systems like PayPal and no has brick and mortar stores of its own with customer service being entirely virtual. Subscribers can start and stop service wholly through the Visible app.

    This may not be a horrible proposition for those who just need a cheap unlimited data plan and don’t mind slower speeds. The no-contract means that you could leave whenever you want. This may also be an effort by Verizon to head off any people leaving their post-paid wireless service.

    Permalink to story.

  2. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,529   +1,739

    Of course Verizon had to make the service as obtuse and difficult to use as possible. How hard is it to just sell the sim cards via website?
    Draconian and ikesmasher like this.
  3. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,050   +1,384

    Im actually a fan of limited download speeds to 5mpbs and 480p video instead of throttling people after a certain cap. the general public doesnt need much more than that.
  4. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,529   +1,739

    Agreed, I'd rather buy faster bandwidth then more data. OTOH, cricket offers 8 Mbps for a similar price without shenanigans to sign up for it.
    wiyosaya and Slappy McPhee like this.
  5. Juggar

    Juggar TS Rookie

    Its $60, or $55 with autopay. That is not a "similar price". $40 is much more appealing than paying $60 (some people wont use autopay, or cannot).

    Crickets cheaper unlimited plan is $55 or $50 with autopay but its only 3 mbps.

    This Verizon offering is honestly much more lucrative. It is absolutely a better deal than any Cricket offering and you get the use what is arguably the best and most reliable network in the US.
    kapital98 likes this.
  6. kapital98

    kapital98 TS Guru Posts: 324   +256

    $15-20/month is a big deal. Especially, with the industry leaving contracts behind, you have to take into account the cost of the phone. Whether you pay for it at once, or monthly, it still costs another ~$15-30/month over 2 years.

    Before you know it, discount plans can get expensive! Seemingly small costs add up.
  7. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 3,913   +3,363

    The big question is if either plan includes the taxes/fees. That's a decent chunk of change.
  8. treetops

    treetops TS Evangelist Posts: 2,514   +521

    Metro PCS is like 50-60$ a month and although it says it throttles data at a certain points iv never had problems watching videos in 1080p after going over my limit.
  9. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,842   +193

    I'll pass, not because of the value or that I am Android Developer and I already have Android cell and on $60 unlimited everything contract plan with leased phones from T-Mobile..
  10. Danny101

    Danny101 TS Guru Posts: 738   +284

    A great plan for the elderly. They would likely need some help setting it, but it ticks all the boxes. As for the cost of the phones, there is a healthy refurbish market. It so happens there is another article after this one that will help you find those refurbished deals.
  11. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,529   +1,739

    Cricket prices includes taxes/fees. Dont know about verizon, but given my past experiences with them, I'm gonna hazrd a firm "no".

    Netowkr reliability depends entirely on location. My work phone is verizon, my personal is cricket, and my personal phone gets better overall signal, especially in buildings. Verizon works, but it is typically a lower signal strength, and there are some areas where no signal is present for big red.

    The cricket plans seem more expensive, but while Verizon claims "$40 a month" I'll bet the actual cost is higher, between taxes, fees, "service charges", and other BS Verizon throws on plans, not to mention device compatibility. Verizon is notoriously stingy on devices that can be put on their network, and it wouldnt surprise me if they end up forcing you to buy one of their devices to use visible wireless.

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