Remember Yahoo? It’s back… in phone-plan form. The Verizon-owned company is trying to get customers excited with a new “Yahoo Mobile” service that combines Verizon’s 4G LTE network with Yahoo mail, for some reason.
Why even put the word “Yahoo” on a re-branded Verizon data plan? Because the service comes with Yahoo Mail Pro, the ad-free version of Yahoo Mail that normally costs $3.49 a month. Yahoo Mobile also includes “24/7 Yahoo account customer service.” Verizon says Yahoo Mobile has “no hidden fees” or “clingy contracts.”
“We’re the only plan that gives you Yahoo Mail Pro for ad-free email across ALL your devices,” the Yahoo Mobile website says. (Fact check: True.)
Verizon acquired Yahoo for $4.48 billion in June 2017, combining it with the Verizon-owned AOL to form one media division but hasn’t been able to revive the floundering Internet platforms. A goodwill impairment charge of $4.6 billion wiped out nearly all of the Yahoo/AOL division’s goodwill value in December 2018, contributing to multiple rounds of layoffs in the ensuing 12 months.
Verizon this morning announced its latest attempt to revive the Yahoo brand, saying that “Yahoo Mobile will bring together the capabilities of Verizon’s assets including its superior 4G LTE network and Yahoo’s trusted brand, content, and scale to create the best experience and connectivity for consumers.”
$40 a month: Watch out for throttling
Yahoo Mobile costs $40 a month and provides “unlimited” data, with a caveat. “In times of traffic, your data may be temporarily slower than other traffic,” the announcement said. With the more expensive Verizon-branded unlimited service, customers have the option of buying plans with no data slowdowns until they use 25GB, 50GB, or 75GB in a month. With Yahoo Mobile, the speed limits can be imposed any time the network is congested, regardless of how much data a customer has used.
Yahoo Mobile also comes with an “unlimited mobile hotspot for use with one connected device at a time,” but those hotspot speeds are capped at 5Mbps. The Yahoo plan doesn’t have access to Verizon’s 5G network, though that’s not really a big deal yet. Aside from the Yahoo-specific aspects, Yahoo Mobile is essentially the same plan offered by Visible, a Verizon subsidiary.
$40 a month is a pretty good deal for a Verizon-powered phone plan. But there are plenty of network resellers that offer Verizon phone service, so it would be wise to compare Yahoo Mobile with other offers—unless you really want your phone plan to include ad-free Yahoo Mail.
We doubt Yahoo Mobile will do much to revive Yahoo’s diminished brand. But the people who write Verizon press releases seem excited about it. The word “synergy” is involved.
“Yahoo Mobile builds upon Verizon Media’s diversification strategy and subscription model which launched membership programs with TechCrunch, HuffPost, Yahoo Sports, and Yahoo Finance that drive more value for consumers,” the Verizon announcement said. “Yahoo Mobile showcases how Verizon and Verizon Media can partner and drive synergy to develop powerful and unique solutions for customers.”