The hidden limitations of “unlimited” plans

Promises of never-ending and unlimited data may sound great up front, but before you make a switch, be sure to look deeper at what you’ll really get.

Data may be unlimited, but speeds are not guaranteed

Only a certain amount of data per month is guaranteed to be delivered at 4G LTE speeds.  As of March 1, 2017, Verizon / AT&T caps it at 22 gigabytes; T-Mobile at 28 gigabytes. After you go over your 4G LTE cap, you are eligible to be “deprioritized” for the remainder of your billing cycle and your connection reduced to “3G speeds.”

Location (rural vs. urban) makes a big difference

In rural areas there is typically a lower cell tower density (a lower number of cell towers per square mile), which means that more customers will be sharing signals from each tower. This isn’t an issue for suburban and urban areas where cell tower density is high and able to serve more people. In a rural setting however, the more people connecting to each tower will increase signal congestion, increasing the likelihood that you will be bumped to lower “3G speeds” after you exceed your guaranteed 4G data cap.

The rules change depending on what device you use

For most carriers, “unlimited” data only applies to a phone itself. Using your phone as a dedicated hotspot (so other devices can use your cellular data) triggers a different set of rules:  only 10 GB of 4G LTE hotspot data are allowed per billing cycle; after that, you’re immediately demoted to “3G speeds” for the rest of the billing cycle.

Stream all you want? Not so fast!

What does “3G speeds” mean? That’s a good question! “3G speed” is undefined. Unofficial reports indicate that it can vary anywhere from .5 megabits per second to 1.5 megabits per second. To put that speed into perspective, Netflix requires 5 megabits per second download speed for HD video.

Softcom customers’ data use has been steadily increasing year by year.

  • In January 2017, our customers used an average of 130.5 gigabytes each for the month.
  • Streaming Netflix HD uses up to 3 gigabytes per hour; minimum speed of 5 megabits per second.
Get Plans & Pricing Get Softcom FAQ

Here at Softcom, we don’t play word games with our customers. We know that you want unlimited data – which is why we already provide it. Softcom offers speedy, stress-free internet backed by next-gen 4GLTE and 5G+ technology and unlimited usage. Yes, UNLIMITED DATA! No data caps, no overage charges, no extra fees or hidden restrictions. Use as much as you want, we won’t stop you!

If you’re feeling the need for speed, we have a variety of service plans available for you to choose from.

We know that all this information can be a little overwhelming.  But we want to make sure you know exactly what you’re paying for.  Still confused about caps and coverage? We’ve got your back! Give one of our customer service professionals a call, we’re here to help.


(800) 982-7675 or

(888) 4-SOFTCOM

Kristy CooperThe hidden limitations of “unlimited” plans