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  • AT&T Scheduled to Implement Data Throttling Just In Time For iPhone 5



    All of the iPhone Unlimited Data Subscribers grandfathered into their current data plan take notice, AT&T is going to start messing with your golden goose.

    AT&T has already implemented data caps for new customers and killed the unlimited data plan as we know it, but now they're going to throttle down grandfathered unlimited data subscribers' speeds based on how much bandwidth they use, according to 9to5Mac's sources. This shouldn't come as a surprise, Verizon and Virgin have started doing the same to their top data users, and cable telecoms like Time Warner and Comcast have done the same as well.

    While AT&T may be planning to implement data throttling in October to help offset the rise in data usage associated with a new product launch (iPhone 5), the merit behind data throttling is questionable at best. The throttling will function much like efforts by Verizon and Virgin with users' speeds being neutered once a certain amount of data has been used. The exact numbers AT&T will use for their cap aren't clear yet, but the usual PR spin of the policy only affecting 5% of AT&T subscribers is likely to be thrown around.

    Source: 9to5Mac
    This article was originally published in forum thread: AT&T Scheduled to Implement Data Throttling Just In Time For iPhone 5 started by Phillip Swanson View original post
    Comments 81 Comments
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      I bet the throttling will start at 2GB...

      If that's the case, they should offer a 2GB plan to everyone where they are given the option to be throttled, or pay $10 per GB thereafter.

      I'd also love to see rollover data, even if they did something like 1/4-1/2 of your leftover data at the end of the month is added to your rollover. This would be enough padding for those heavier months where users travel, go on vacation, etc.

      I think I would also be relatively happy with $20 for 2GB and $10 per GB thereafter.

      I keep the unlimited plan on my account in case there is the odd month where I go a bit over. I average about 1.5GB and on the months I go over it is generally barely so.

      To the data hogs that said "It's my data, I can download 50 gigs a month if I want!", did you really think this day wouldn't come?
    1. RICO_'s Avatar
      RICO_ -
      Damn. How many people are grandfathered in? Even after implementing their data caps they're still having trouble keeping up with data users?

      Let me guess.....the magic number for them choking out the data speed will probably be.......2GB. The same as their implemented plan. And they'll probably throttle it back to the point where it's useless to use data beyond that point from how slow it will become.....essentially forcing customers to just switch to the 2GB plan.

      What a crock!
    1. Tylus's Avatar
      Tylus -
      this is utter crap. Some months I might use a mere 500 mb

      some months I'm 2-10 gb's

      It just depends on my work schedule and access to my laptop.



      Maybe if AT&T would actually spend some money and upgrade their network, bandwith issues wouldn't be such a problem. From 7 AM to 5 PM, I can see my 3G/Edge slow down to 1/4 it's normal speed. After 6 PM at night the speeds triple if not qualdrouple.
    1. z28kid's Avatar
      z28kid -
      What about small business owners like myself? I have some months where I use more data than others. I'd like to see a more all around plan made for everyone.

      interesting...
    1. kadernal's Avatar
      kadernal -
      jesus. its not like verizon is any better with this stuff, but this kind of news makes me want to switch for reliability. after this there really will be nothing keeping me on AT&T.
    1. buttrr76's Avatar
      buttrr76 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tylus View Post
      this is utter crap. Some months I might use a mere 500 mb

      some months I'm 2-10 gb's

      It just depends on my work schedule and access to my laptop.



      Maybe if AT&T would actually spend some money and upgrade their network, bandwith issues wouldn't be such a problem. From 7 AM to 5 PM, I can see my 3G/Edge slow down to 1/4 it's normal speed. After 6 PM at night the speeds triple if not qualdrouple.
      I'm with you... there are some months that i only use 500 mb but then there are month i have used a total of 23gb... no joke..... this will be a sad day!!
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by buttrr76 View Post
      I'm with you... there are some months that i only use 500 mb but then there are month i have used a total of 23gb... no joke..... this will be a sad day!!
      I think we can all agree that 23GB on a phone is a bit excessive. Rollover data, as I had mentioned, would help alleviate people going slightly over every now and then. But 23GB... that's nearly the year's quota for new customers.
    1. cmwade77's Avatar
      cmwade77 -
      I still maintain that unlimited should indeed mean just that, unlimited, or in other words without restrictions (aside from the obvious do not break the law by pirating stuff and such things of course).

      Reality is data is cheap and they are charging an arm and a leg for it, for no real reason, other than they don't want to invest in upgrading their network.

      In the U.S. we are totally getting ripped off on our data charges, don't believe me? checkout:
      The Cost of Mobile Internet Around the World [Infographic] | Android Tablet Fanatic
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by cmwade77 View Post
      I still maintain that unlimited should indeed mean just that, unlimited, or in other words without restrictions (aside from the obvious do not break the law by pirating stuff and such things of course).

      Reality is data is cheap and they are charging an arm and a leg for it, for no real reason, other than they don't want to invest in upgrading their network.

      In the U.S. we are totally getting ripped off on our data charges, don't believe me? checkout:
      The Cost of Mobile Internet Around the World [Infographic] | Android Tablet Fanatic

      I don't disagree. Your new plan probably won't be called an unlimited plan. The next problem is your are comparing US to all of those other countries. Really, the closest comparison in terms of landmass is China. All the other countries are so much smaller than the US that it simply is not a fair comparison. Even then, landmass isn't enough, because one must compare what percentage of each of those landmasses has coverage. Smaller landmass = less hardware to implement a cellular network = way less money invested by the provider.
    1. DSR500cr's Avatar
      DSR500cr -
      As far as I'm concerned this has already begun.
      I am one of the " Grandfathered Data users " on 5 lines and the 3G data speeds used to be " close " to my WiFi speeds using My3g app but that is ancient history..
      Fortunately there is WiFi almost everywhere now...
    1. Nest's Avatar
      Nest -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      I bet the throttling will start at 2GB...

      If that's the case, they should offer a 2GB plan to everyone where they are given the option to be throttled, or pay $10 per GB thereafter.

      I'd also love to see rollover data, even if they did something like 1/4-1/2 of your leftover data at the end of the month is added to your rollover. This would be enough padding for those heavier months where users travel, go on vacation, etc.

      I think I would also be relatively happy with $20 for 2GB and $10 per GB thereafter.

      I keep the unlimited plan on my account in case there is the odd month where I go a bit over. I average about 1.5GB and on the months I go over it is generally barely so.

      To the data hogs that said "It's my data, I can download 50 gigs a month if I want!", did you really think this day wouldn't come?
      No I didn't think this day would come because it's my data and I can download 50 gigs a month if I want!
    1. 14u2nv's Avatar
      14u2nv -
      I suspected something the other day when I got a message wanting me to change to a new plan allowing free mobile to mobile any network. Guess they are trying it on several fronts huh.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by 14u2nv View Post
      I suspected something the other day when I got a message wanting me to change to a new plan allowing free mobile to mobile any network. Guess they are trying it on several fronts huh.
      AFAIK that is just a $20 add-on which gives your entire family plan unlimited mobile to mobile and texting, any network.

      Quote Originally Posted by Nest View Post
      No I didn't think this day would come because it's my data and I can download 50 gigs a month if I want!
      Well, they day is clearly coming, my friend!
    1. CarbonCrew's Avatar
      CarbonCrew -
      Wow. Big news. I know in the past when contract changes of this magnitude are made, this leaves the door open for someone to end their contract. Hopefully this will be the same.
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by CarbonCrew View Post
      Wow. Big news. I know in the past when contract changes of this magnitude are made, this leaves the door open for someone to end their contract. Hopefully this will be the same.
      If I had to guess, these will only be put into effect for those signing a new contract (ie getting a new iPhone). If you stick with what you have currently you should be able to ride out the current length of your contract (which by the time the new phone hits should be 8-10 months).
    1. raduga's Avatar
      raduga -
      Quote Originally Posted by sziklassy View Post
      I don't disagree. Your new plan probably won't be called an unlimited plan. The next problem is your are comparing US to all of those other countries. Really, the closest comparison in terms of landmass is China. All the other countries are so much smaller than the US that it simply is not a fair comparison. Even then, landmass isn't enough, because one must compare what percentage of each of those landmasses has coverage. Smaller landmass = less hardware to implement a cellular network = way less money invested by the provider.
      hrm. actually,

      #5 on the list is just about the same size as the "continental US" - excluding alaska and hawaii.
      And it has pretty much all the same issues of enormous wide-open space without much infrastructure,
      plus a really horrible evil telecom monopoly - about as bad as AT&T before the breakup.

      They're near the top of the list, but still only 3/4 the cost here in the states!

      #2 and #3 are the "biggest" states in Africa;
      most populous, and wealthiest, respectively.
      No real surprise that cell technology there would be expensive and in great demand.

      What's interesting about this chart?
      Cell data costs in the US resemble cell data costs in Nigeria,
      more than they do China, Australia, and the "little countries" you speak of.
    1. luvmytj's Avatar
      luvmytj -
      So they want to change my old contract (I was a Cingular customer) and throttle my data back...
      Maybe I want to throttle back how much I pay them... will that work?
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by raduga View Post
      hrm. actually,

      #5 on the list is just about the same size as the "continental US" - excluding alaska and hawaii.
      And it has pretty much all the same issues of enormous wide-open space without much infrastructure,
      plus a really horrible evil telecom monopoly - about as bad as AT&T before the breakup.
      Australia? Are you kidding? Practically the entire center of Australia is uninhabited. Again, we are comparing landmass here WITH coverage, not simply population and wealth.

      Some stats...

      USA has a landmass of 9,629,091sqkm and a population density of 31.6/sqkm
      Australia has a landmass of 7,686,850 sqkm and a population density of 2.7/sqkm

      The differences are glaring IMO...

      Note: I have not excluded AK and HI because we have likewise not excluded the giant mass of uninhabited land in the dead center of Australia.
    1. politicalslug's Avatar
      politicalslug -
      Seriously AT&T? You won't even give us LTE first? Sheesh!
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by luvmytj View Post
      So they want to change my old contract (I was a Cingular customer) and throttle my data back...
      Maybe I want to throttle back how much I pay them... will that work?
      No. They will tell you that you are free to leave though.

      I am sure these are similar issues that TMO users will have if the proposed merger goes through.