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Did Verizon take up skateboarding? Because they just pulled a major 180.

Over the weekend, Verizon announced a new unlimited data plan despite vehement assertions over the past 18 months that such a move wasn’t in its cards.

The carrier said the new plan – which went live Monday – will run customers $80 for a single line of unlimited talk, text, and data with paperless billing and AutoPay or $120 for two lines, $160 for three lines, or $45 per line for four lines (for a total of $180 – ah, there it is!) with the same. Past four lines, customers can add additional lines up to 10 for $20 per month per line. The plan includes HD video streaming, a mobile hotspot, calling and texting to Mexico and Canada, and up to 500 MB of high-speed roaming data per day both north and south of the border.

Verizon is also dangling some bait in front of would-be switchers with an offer of a free, high-end smartphone when customers port their number to Verizon, sign up for the unlimited plan on a device payment plan, and trade in an eligible device. Free phones on the table include the iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, Google Pixel, Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, and LG V20, among others. More details on that offer can be found here.

The move marks a complete turnaround from the carrier's previous position that unlimited wasn't an option it was looking to revive. In fact, former CFO Fran Shammo infamously said last year "you cannot make money in an unlimited video world." Its staunch opposition to unlimited led some analysts and investors to question just how well-position Verizon's network was to meet future data demands.

Verizon Wireless President Ronan Dunne, however, subtly addressed network questions and took a few not-so-veiled shots at T-Mobile’s unlimited offerings in a statement.

“We’ve built our network so we can manage all the activity customers undertake. Everything we’ve done is to provide the best experience on the best network – and we’ve built it for the future, not just for today,” Dunne said. “We also fundamentally want you to have more choice. We’re not limiting you to a single plan. If you don’t need unlimited data, we still have 5 GB, S, M, and L Verizon plans that are perfect for you.”

The new plan, he added in a video accompanying the announcement, is meant to alleviate “data anxiety” among Verizon’s power data users and will eliminate the need to choose between an “inferior, so-called unlimited plan on a discounted carrier” or the risk of running out of data.

“We’ve been working tirelessly but quietly behind the scenes to deliver exactly what you’ve asked for, whether you’re already with Verizon or have been looking for the reason to switch,” Dunne commented.

As with other carriers’ unlimited plans, though, Verizon’s plan does have a limit: 22 GB. Verizon notes that after that point it “may prioritize usage behind other customers in the event of network congestion.” That compares to a slowdown limit of 28 GB on T-Mobile’s $70 unlimited plan, 22 GB on AT&T’s plan, and 23 GB on Sprint’s unlimited plan – which is currently discounted to $50 per month.

Still, Wells Fargo Senior Analyst Jennifer Fritzsche said the plan is exactly what Verizon needed to get its feet firmly back on the playing field and noted the move sends a “very strong message” about the carrier’s network strength.

“This announcement is significant as it offers a ‘fightback’ moment for the company,” Fritzsche wrote. “Recall, VZ was the only one of the 4 national carriers not to offer unlimited. With this move it is very much back in the conversation. We would expect VZ to put aggressive advertising around this new plan with the key focus being centered around the strength of the network.”

Unsurprisingly, rival CEOs John Legere and Marcelo Claure from T-Mobile and Sprint were not impressed with Verizon’s move.

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