AT&T, Verizon, Sprint unlimited LTE data plans differ

AT&T customers who were grandfathered into the company’s unlimited 3G data plan can continue to receive unlimited data on the iPhone 5’s 4G LTE network, a press release has confirmed. Unlimited data customers can keep their current data plans, though LTE users who exceed 5GB of data per month will be throttled—a jump from the 3GB throttling cap of prior AT&T data plans. AT&T will apparently not offer FaceTime Over Cellular video calling functionality or Personal Hotspot tethering to unlimited LTE users.

As previously announced, grandfathered unlimited 3G data customers will be able to get unlimited Verizon LTE data, but won’t be able to buy an iPhone 5 at a lower subsidized cost. However, the carrier will be offering FaceTime Over Cellular and Personal Hotspot over all of its data plans. AT&T will require subscribers to join a data-sharing plan to use FaceTime over cellular.

Like Verizon, Sprint is offering FaceTime Over Cellular to users, and the company will offer unlimited data on its 4G LTE network—a seemingly major advantage over rivals. However, Sprint’s LTE network is tiny by comparison to Verizon’s, meaning that its unlimited data speeds for iPhone 5 will be no better than the iPhone 4/4S in most U.S. markets.