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Where is the Verizon network typically congested?

I currently have a Verizon unlimited plan that we signed up for a few years ago.  It appears similar to what is currently the "play" unlimited plan.  I'm adding a fourth line (for daughter #2) and have discovered the new array of unlimited plans.  At first, I thought it would make sense to switch to the cheapest plan (start) and save $40 per month (on 4 lines), since I don't feel the extra features (higher quality streaming and hotspot) are worth that much.  But I've been reading horror stories of being deprioritized.  Years ago, we used to have a mifi hotspot, and when we busted our data limit on that, it was unusable.

So, I'm curious if there's any data or info about where and when the network gets "congested", deprioritizing those on the lower tier of service.  I live in upstate NY, not near any population centers - so I would hope that that it wouldn't be congested too often (making it worthwhile) - but who knows.   It would be great if there was some kind of map showing this info. I'm sure Verizon has this info, but would never make it public.  But maybe there is some user-collected data or anecdotal information somewhere.

I could always start with the "start" plan and switch later, but since I'm also getting a couple of new phones, there are other incentives available that rely on tier of service.  If I'm going to go with the "play" plan anyway (which is basically what I have now), I would get the newer (more expensive) model of phone for the same price as I would end up paying for the older (less expensive) phones I could get a smaller incentive on with the cheaper plan.  But I don't wan't an unusable plan that I have to upgrade in a few months AND then kick myself for not having a nicer phone.  Over 2 years, that $40/month is an extra $960.  I don't get  a new phone every year.  I'm still using the first smart phone I owned, which is 5 or 6 years old now - so I'd like to make the right choice.

Re: Where is the Verizon network typically congested?
Customer Support

Hello, being on top of your data is vital, especially if you are administering your usage and finances. Please keep in mind that Network Management has no map, no footprint or scheduling. It occurs based on congestion in an area at any time, therefore it does not follow a specific pattern. To better understand how Network Management works, check out this video:



Re: Where is the Verizon network typically congested?

I was hoping for some useful input from actual users.  Instead, Verizon has supplied a typically useless and inaccurate response.  The idea that congestion "does not follow a specific pattern" is ludicrous.  Just like on highways around large population centers, there are very specific times when one can expect congestion (namely work rush hours on weekdays).  There may be unexpected congestion at any time, but there will be expected congestion at certain times.  The number of vehicles using the infrastructure is both well monitored and well modeled.

Congestion at certain times (on highways or cellular networks) is to be expected, because if the infrastructure was built out to accommodate the maximum load at ALL times, it would be lying idle most of the time, which would be an inefficient use of resources.  On the other hand if there is congestion much of the time, then capacity is clearly less than what it needs to be, and should be increased.

Anecdotal reports on this forum suggest that in certain markets, Verizon's infrastructure is well below the level it needs to be to accommodate the number of users it has.  Verizon definitely monitors its own networks and knows the patterns of usage.  To suggest otherwise is a blatant lie.  But since unlike highways, Verizon services is not a public good, Verizon is under no obligation to release this information to the public.  In fact, it is surely best for their business model to hide this information.

Oh, and if anything was more useless than Verizon's response, it was the video they linked to. What a joke!

If anyone has any useful information, please post.  Thanks.