AT&T announced earlier this afternoon that it would allow customers on a grandfathered unlimited data plan to keep their plan even when paying a subsidized price for the iPhone 5. The nation’s largest carrier looks to take things a different way, however. A Verizon representative confirmed with 9to5mac this evening that customers will only be able to keep their unlimited data plan if they pay full price for the iPhone 5 ($649 for 16GB). Furthermore, existing Verizon customers can keep their old Nationwide Usage Based plan. They will not be forced to switch to one of Verizon’s new Share Everything Plans when buying the iPhone 5 on a two-year contract.

New customers will be forced to go the shared data plan route, though.

If you are an existing customer and want to keep your Nationwide Usage Based plan, you can keep your plan, purchase the iPhone at the discounted price with a 2 yr customer agreement. If you have a Verizon Wireless unlimited data plan, you can pay full price for your iPhone 5 and keep your unlimited data plan.

Only customers who are new to Verizon Wireless will select from Share Everything Plans.

The nation’s third-largest carrier, Sprint, also detailed its iPhone 5 launch this evening. In a press release, seen below the fold, Sprint said it would begin pre-orders at 12:01 a.m. PST on Sept. 14. We assume this is the same time for all parties making the iPhone 5 available. A 12:01 a.m. pre-order time took place for the iPhone 4S last year. In addition, in its press release, Sprint touted its unlimited data plan, which may be a serious draw to some customers. Pricing for the iPhone 5 remains the same across all carriers: $199 for 16GB, $299 for 32GB, and $399 for 64GB  (on a two-year contract) There is also T-Mobile…it launched a serious “save $1,200″ advertising campaign in the hopes of attracting customers with unlocked iPhones.

For those who want to pick up the device in-store, Apple will open its retail stores at 8 a.m. on Sept. 21. All online orders will also be shipped that day. With pre-orders close to two days away and the recently released information from every carrier, now comes the serious question: which carrier will you go with? 

According to the Wall Street JournalVerizon will make FaceTime calls over 3G available on all data plans (that you can get your hands on).

(Top image via Slashgear)

Sprint (NYSE: S), the only national carrier that gives customers Truly UnlimitedSM 4G LTE data, text and calling to any mobile, today announced it will offer iPhone 5 on the Sprint network beginning on Friday, September 21. New and existing customers can pre-order iPhone 5 beginning at 12:01am PT on Friday, September 14 at www.sprint.com/iPhone.

iPhone 5 is the thinnest and lightest iPhone ever, completely redesigned to feature a stunning new 4-inch Retina display; an Apple-designed A6 chip for blazing fast performance; and ultrafast wireless technology—all while delivering even better battery life. iPhone 5 comes with iOS 6, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system with over 200 new features including: the all new Maps app with Apple-designed cartography and turn-by-turn navigation; Facebook integration; Passbook organization and even more Siri features and languages.

“iPhone 5 is packed with amazing new features and we are proud to offer Truly Unlimited data to iPhone customers so they can enjoy everything iPhone 5 has to offer on our 4G LTE network,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. “Whether it’s finding a nearby restaurant with Siri, using Passbook to get organized or surfing the web, Sprint’s truly unlimited data plans provide incredible value for iPhone customers, meaning customers can make the most of iOS 6 without worrying about costly overages on their monthly bill.”

The Benefit of Unlimited Data

iPhone 5 requires activation on one of the Sprint Everything Data plans starting at just $79.99 with Truly Unlimited data, text and calling to any mobile. No throttling, no metering and no overages, all while on the Sprint network. With Sprint’s Everything Data and other plans that include Truly Unlimited data, Sprint is continuing its history of data leadership by making it easy for its customers to use data in all the ways that are useful to them, such as news, email, music, TV and GPS navigation, without worrying about data overages on their monthly bill.

Sprint 4G LTE is now available in 19 cities including Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Waco, Texas. Sprint’s build of its 4G LTE network is underway in more than 100 additional cities within its existing nationwide 3G footprint. Major metropolitan areas in which Sprint 4G LTE is expected to be available in the coming months include Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Memphis, Tenn.; Miami; Nashville, Tenn.; New Orleans; New York; Philadelphia; and Washington, D.C.

By the end of 2013, Sprint expects to have largely completed the nationwide build out of its all-new 3G and 4G network, a program known as Network Vision. The project also includes significant improvement in customers’ 3G network experience, including expanded coverage, improved network reliability, better voice quality, and faster 3G data speeds. For the most up-to-date details on Sprint’s 4G LTE rollout, visit www.sprint.com/4GLTE.

Committed to Customer Service

Sprint customers have access to Sprint’s Ready Now service where trained retail associates will work one-on-one with customers to personalize their iPhone and set up features like email, Web and apps before leaving the store. Customers have the choice of sitting down with a Sprint retail associate at the time of purchase or they can schedule an appointment for a later time online.

Sprint is #1 among all national carriers in customer satisfaction and most improved,, across all 47 industries measured, during the last four years, according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI). In addition, Sprint received the highest numerical score among full-service wireless providers in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Wireless Purchase Experience Satisfaction StudySM – Vol. 2.