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  • WSJ: iPad 4G LTE is a 'Speed Trap'


    If you haven't yet personally tinkered with a new iPad and its 4G LTE connectivity, you are probably unaware of just how blazing fast the third-generation tablet streams video and performs in general when connected. When Apple said the tablet delivers speeds 10x faster than what we experienced on 3G, the tech giant wasn't fibbing.

    And that's all fine and good... except for how quickly users are now capable of blowing past their data caps. According to the Wall Street Journal today, the new iPad is nothing short of a veritable "speed trap." Just look at the example of Brandon Wells, a young man who acquired his new iPad last Friday and by Saturday night, streaming March Madness games "had burned through his monthly wireless data allotment of two gigabytes."

    "It's kind of a Catch-22," Wells admits to the venerable financial publication. "It streams really fast video, but by streaming really fast video you tend to watch more video, and that's not always best."

    Of course, it didn't take the WSJ to tell us that which we have already come to realize. The new iPad is going to be very costly to the data hogs of the tablet world. And as a result, pressure could mount on wireless carriers to do something about it, specifically by revising their pricing models.

    Source: WSJ
    This article was originally published in forum thread: WSJ: iPad 4G LTE is a 'Speed Trap' started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 44 Comments
    1. Greatbiguns's Avatar
      Greatbiguns -
      Can anyone say TRUE "UNLIMITED", "FAST" - DATA PLAN?
      Anyone?
    1. Tony1979's Avatar
      Tony1979 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Greatbiguns View Post
      Can anyone say TRUE "UNLIMITED", "FAST" - DATA PLAN?
      Anyone?
      I second that statement.
    1. KraXik's Avatar
      KraXik -
      Remember all the crap Apple got for not making the 4S LTE? Now they have an iPad LTE, let's give them more hate for making it too fast.

      Pathetic.

      Quote Originally Posted by Greatbiguns View Post
      Can anyone say TRUE "UNLIMITED", "FAST" - DATA PLAN?
      Anyone?
      You can get that in the UK but you can't get LTE. Bahahahaha.
    1. stylin's Avatar
      stylin -
      I am very thankful for having bought the original ipad when it came out and have the ability to experience unlimited data. With that being said, I empathize for those that are on the new iPad without an unlimited plan. It feels good not to worry. As a friend of mine at AT&T said to me, "AT&T will slow down the unlimited plans after 3GB if you are the original and iPad 2 and after 4GB if you are on the new iPad. It's a shame.
    1. Roadw3's Avatar
      Roadw3 -
      Now AT&T can raise the cost of the data plans or mess with the data allotments. Can I see 200, 500, 1gig, 1.5 gig, 2 gig, 2.5 gig, 3 gig, 3.5gig and so on in 10 dollar increments. Think of the money AT&T could make then.
    1. icedming's Avatar
      icedming -
      Unlimited will not happen, This is America land of the GREED. More for me less for you principle, its why we are so great. Lets face it unlimited is gone and Sprint unlimited on Iphone averages about .52 MB per second. That's a little better than throttled Att, I usually get around .32 since the case. The amount of data that it takes to stream HD is astronomical. If everyone was to stream at high rates, who knows it might or might not bog down any one particular network. Lets face it would you take a pay cut once you got to the top just so that you could keep jobs in America that nobody wants anyways because we are lazy. Tim Cook sure would not do that, so why would cellular companies cut their profits so that you could stream unlimited. HAHA your hilarious.
    1. daytonaviolet's Avatar
      daytonaviolet -
      nope

      unlimited - AT&T is telling the subscribers who were grandfathered into $30-a-month unlimited plans that their Internet download speeds will be cut back if they use more than three gigabytes of data a month—enough to stream about 10 hours of high-definition video, the carrier says.

      other options is:
      Data/Monthly/Overage Fee
      250MB/ $14.99/ $14.99/250 MB
      3GB/$30.00/ $10/GB
      5GB/$50.00/ $10/GB
    1. Norb's Avatar
      Norb -
      ...and that's why I never even considered an iPad with more than just WiFi. I really don't want to sit there and worry about how much data I'm using. For $30 a month it really should be unlimited... most people are already paying that on their phones.
    1. i.Annie's Avatar
      i.Annie -
      Kind of a given isn't it? The faster the data speeds, the more you'll be able to do in less time. It's down to self control now.
    1. kadinh's Avatar
      kadinh -
      Quote Originally Posted by icedming View Post
      Unlimited will not happen, This is America land of the GREED
      I agree 100% with this statement. IMO AT&T bit off more than they could handle offering unlimited data in the first place to attract customers to get a (at the time) "high priced smartphone".

      When apple lowered the price, everyone and their grandma got an iPhone, bogging up the network even more. NOW they are punishing and trying to force those with unlimited plans to change by threatening to throttle speed. That way, users will be more mindful and perhaps think twice about the data usage in fear of going over the limit they pay for.

      I was talking with my friend last night and we agreed AT&T will not offer unlimited 4G for the iPhone 5 (or "the new iPhone") and users will probably have to lose their unlimited 3G to be able to upgrade.
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      There's no one to blame except the user, they have control of how much they watch and when/where they watch it. Obviously watching it on wi-fi would be the best solution, but if you can't connect to it for some reason then just control how much you watch while on LTE. It's not that difficult. Soon it'll be like when ppl were suing McDonalds because they were getting fat from eating there. People will want to sue AT&T because they keep watching more videos on LTE because its so fast. SELF CONTROL!!
    1. lfecefl's Avatar
      lfecefl -
      Oh, the troubles and the hardships we must endure! Move to a third world country and then come back and thank God for what you have. America is full of unthankful, greedy cry-babies who think they deserve everything. Shame.
    1. Pyro2008's Avatar
      Pyro2008 -
      Yeah, I am completely confused why anyone purchases the 3g or now in this case the 4g models. Let's just skim over the fact that rarely are people in a situation without Wi-Fi and needing internet connectivity on a tablet, taking into consideration most of us already on phones with data connectivity. My main confusion is why pay these prices for these data caps? Honestly, the caps are working because people are stupid enough to pay for them.

      If companies like Comcast can extend 250GB, why can't cellular companies? The infrastructure isn't there? Well, don't release the technology till you can handle the load. Otherwise, continue with the 2GB caps but charge closer to the actual value!

      It's all garbage and I am not buying into it.
    1. hitman10's Avatar
      hitman10 -
      I know this is crazy but if i seriously need my ipad 2 3g to run quick i just switch the sim card from my 4s to the ipad and the data works. Lol. Rogers wants me to get a hole another data plan for my device even though i have 2gb included with my already high priced plan.
    1. Norb's Avatar
      Norb -
      Quote Originally Posted by lfecefl View Post
      Oh, the troubles and the hardships we must endure! Move to a third world country and then come back and thank God for what you have.
      So we have to move to a Third-World country in order to appreciate America... damn we set high standards.

      Quote Originally Posted by lfecefl View Post
      America is full of unthankful, greedy cry-babies who think they deserve everything. Shame.
      I agree about everything you just said about AT&T.
    1. GenesisDH's Avatar
      GenesisDH -
      Quote Originally Posted by kadinh View Post
      I agree 100% with this statement. IMO AT&T bit off more than they could handle offering unlimited data in the first place to attract customers to get a (at the time) "high priced smartphone".

      When apple lowered the price, everyone and their grandma got an iPhone, bogging up the network even more. NOW they are punishing and trying to force those with unlimited plans to change by threatening to throttle speed. That way, users will be more mindful and perhaps think twice about the data usage in fear of going over the limit they pay for.

      I was talking with my friend last night and we agreed AT&T will not offer unlimited 4G for the iPhone 5 (or "the new iPhone") and users will probably have to lose their unlimited 3G to be able to upgrade.
      Actually, AT&T dropped the ball long before the iPhone. I had a PDA plan on a WM device (with unlimited data) for at a year prior to the iPhone's release. Many of at&t's non-touchscreen PDA/smartphones were already cheap (Samsung BJ1 was under 200 on contract in late 2006!), but the iPhone only tipped the scales a bit more towards touchscreen devices. Now requiring said plan was probably a bigger mistake IMHO, since that certainly gave people a false sense of entitlement with the nature of the word 'unlimited.'

      Mobile data use was already expected to skyrocket before the first iPhone debuted, just due to smartphones, Blackberry, feature phones with video streaming, and Laptop tethering/USB sticks started becoming commonplace.

      That said, I wasn't shocked that unlimited plans are being punished. Just pray AT&T doesn't kill your entire plan out of the blue like they did with old ATTWS mMode or Dobson customers (under the guise of migrating customers to newer, cheap devices).
    1. kadinh's Avatar
      kadinh -
      Quote Originally Posted by lfecefl View Post
      America is full of unthankful, greedy cry-babies who think they deserve everything.
      AGREED 100% also, but really it's the whole world that's greedy and think they deserve everything for free.
    1. GranDaddyPurp's Avatar
      GranDaddyPurp -
      I just got my iPad today from the Apple Store and chose the 5GB plan (Had to choose this in order to use my discount) We'll see how this goes.
    1. GmAz's Avatar
      GmAz -
      I'm sorry, but why would LTE make you eat through your data faster? Its not like having a faster speed downloads more data from the same webpage you viewed on 3G. Its just going to load faster. If you think you suddenly have to start looking at 20 times more webpages because you're on LTE...thats your own problem. If you view the same webpages the same number of times as you did before, you'll use the same amount of data. You just won't have to wait that extra 5-10 seconds for the page to load.

      It also doesn't mean you can stop using wifi either.
    1. jamesgunaca's Avatar
      jamesgunaca -
      I'm hoping that the next iPhone will have LTE and that AT&T won't make me change plans to upgrade. I recently bought a Samsung Skyrocket on 4G LTE in the Bay Area - they let me keep unlimited data even though I was switching to their 4G LTE network (which is insanely fast here in the Bay Area right now). I'll never get an iPad with a LTE chip because I carry one around in my pocket all day as it is. Looking forward to tethering my next gen iPhone on LTE with my iPad so AT&T doesn't get double $$.

      As for everyone pointing out how Americans are "whiny" or telling us to "go to a 3rd world country", please stop. America is a 1st world country and is full of people who donate a **** ton of money to poor countries around the world; in excess of what our Government already forks over to countries around the world. Just because there isn't progress everywhere in the world doesn't mean we can't enjoy the freedom to set expectations for companies we hand over our hard earned money to. Get off your high horse already. That there are people in the world who have trouble getting water isn't an excuse to let some American corporations manipulate consumers for their own profit. The two are completely unrelated.

      Quote Originally Posted by GmAz View Post
      I'm sorry, but why would LTE make you eat through your data faster? Its not like having a faster speed downloads more data from the same webpage you viewed on 3G. Its just going to load faster. If you think you suddenly have to start looking at 20 times more webpages because you're on LTE...thats your own problem. If you view the same webpages the same number of times as you did before, you'll use the same amount of data. You just won't have to wait that extra 5-10 seconds for the page to load.

      It also doesn't mean you can stop using wifi either.
      It's really a matter of streaming video, to be honest. A lot of apps have been designed to optimize quality based on bandwidth. On 3G you may have been served a standard definition video (480p) instead of high-def (720p-1080p) because of your bandwidth. On LTE it will serve up the HD quality because bandwidth is so fast.

      Plus, if it takes 10 seconds to load a page on 3G and 2 seconds on LTE, that's an 80% cut in time. That time to download content is re-spent consuming content. So, your argument is somewhat accurate but doesn't take in to account all variables.