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01-17-2012, 11:42 AM #1
Throttled iPhone Versus Non-Throttled iPhone: You Might As Well Be Using Edge
AppAdvice Daily does an interesting test on a throttled iPhone 4S versus a non-throttled iPhone 4S to compare speeds.
Today we are looking at two identical iPhone 4S's. They are both on the AT&T network using the same 3G network. The only difference is that one device is throttled and the other is not. Throttling is the process where a cellular provider punishes you for using too much data by slowing down your data speeds tremendously. The video above, filmed by AppAdvice Daily, shows us the major difference between the data speeds of bring both throttled and non-throttled.
The throttling causes not just a speed decrease, but a major one. AT&T throttles the top 5% of data users to help persuade them that using extreme amounts of data is not recommended so that the bandwidth isn't decreased. The ones that use the most data are the ones who are grandfathered into the unlimited data plans. Yes, if you're a grandfathered unlimited data user, AT&T hates you. They want to make sure that they can persuade you to use their capped data plans. Throttling is one way that they do this. If you're capped and you go over their caps, they make money off of you, where being unlimited, they do not.
While people will argue that throttling isn't that big of a difference from regular data, that's completely false. The throttling actually makes your download speeds almost equivalent to 2G/E (Edge) speeds. The upload speeds don't seem to be affected as much, although the numbers do show that the upload speed is limited just a little bit. Upload speeds were never high to begin with, so limiting them wouldn't really make too much sense. In case you were wondering how 2G speeds compare with the throttled 3G speeds, here is an image of a speed test done on my iPhone with AT&T's 2G network with a full signal:
Your data speeds are going to be heavily affected if you're throttling; so much so that I would even recommend turning off 3G to use the 2G radio until your throttle is up. It will save battery and your applications will probably load more effectively. When you have the 3G radio on, applications such as YouTube assume that you're on 3G and load videos in medium quality. That will take forever on throttled 3G. If you're on 2G, YouTube will load the video in low quality, so it will load faster. So if you're throttled, you might as well use 2G. Applications are optimized to run on whatever radio they are working off of.
As you can see in the video above, the Maps application takes forever to render images on the throttled 3G network. The speed difference isn't just a slight peck off of your speeds, it's a tremendous drop that will aggravate you if you're trying to load something. At this point in time, both AT&T and Verizon throttle their users, but Sprint does not (unless you are using data roaming). If you want to avoid throttling altogether, Sprint is the way to go. You shouldn't be throttled though, if you're not using unheard of amounts of cellular data.
Have you been throttled or know someone who has been throttled before? Tell us about it in the comments.
Sources: AppAdvice via 9to5Mac
01-17-2012, 11:49 AM #2
Soo I'm grandfathered in to unlimited data and I'm not sure what numbers to look at to tell if I'm capped or not...?
Removed for being inappropriate. This is your sixth and final warning -
01-17-2012, 11:51 AM #3
Any idea on what sort of data usage is needed to get capped? I normally use about 4gb a month and I have yet to get any warnings....what is needed to be in the top 5%????
01-17-2012, 11:52 AM #4
01-17-2012, 11:52 AM #5
If AT&T throttles your account. You should be given the option to drop your data plan altogether. no point in even having internet at those speeds.
01-17-2012, 11:53 AM #6
01-17-2012, 11:53 AM #7
For those who have been throttled, how much data did you use before being throttled? So far I haven't been and I use 3+gb a month typically.
01-17-2012, 12:00 PM #8
01-17-2012, 12:00 PM #9
This is total garbage. I can't even stream my favorite radio station without it buffering over and over. What's the use of even having unlimited data at all at this point??????????
01-17-2012, 12:03 PM #10
01-17-2012, 12:11 PM #11
01-17-2012, 12:15 PM #12
01-17-2012, 12:18 PM #13
I have AT&T and i have unlimited data. Just last month I got stuck getting throttled for half the month. I barely hit 2GB of data usage before they started to slow down my speed. They don't do this for the regular data plans just the unlimited data users. They didn't want to admit it but I know they just want their unlimited data users to go to a regular 2GB plan. They know this offenders that are using unlimited data and go over 2GB mean extra cash flow for them so they can charge them for going over 2GB of data if they have a capped plan. Total BS by AT&T....I'm already thinking of not renewing with them and go give my money to verizon instead.
01-17-2012, 12:27 PM #14
01-17-2012, 12:36 PM #15
I just ran the test and got 4-5mb/ps download and 1mb/ps download on 3G running iOS5.0.1 ip4s
AT&T unlimited plan
01-17-2012, 12:39 PM #16
Basically. AT&T is punishing everyone that has an unlimited data plan. Even though we are long term, loyal customers... You'd think with as much completion in the industry, a company like AT&T would treat there customers better...
01-17-2012, 12:40 PM #17
01-17-2012, 12:40 PM #18
AT&T throttled me at 2gb! They say it depends where you live and I'm in NYC. I can't even watch a YouTube video. If I wanted to watch 2 movies on net flix I would b over my 2gb. That's how easy it is to go over. There is no way 2gb is in the top 5% of users. I told AT&T that I wanted to cancel and that I did not sign up for this throttling s*** and the said I still had to pay the cancel fee
01-17-2012, 12:43 PM #19
What AT&T told me is that more than 5% of high bandwidth users are being throttled once they surpass the mid-billing period average. I'd throw some assumptive numbers out there, but suffice it to say, the numbered of throttled unlimited data users far exceeds 5% and in my opinion, may be as high as 35% to 50% of all unlimited data users. Even those using much less than 4GB of bandwidth per billing period.
This is a complete assumption and IMHO (In My Humble Opinion).
Assuming any of this turns out to be true, I, for one, apologize for being a person who uses an undisclosed large amount of bandwidth.
01-17-2012, 12:43 PM #20
Ok so for those of you asking when can you be throttled I will tell you. First AT&T will send you a text saying you are approaching the top 5% of AT&T users and that your data speeds may be reduced. Then if you kept up your usage you will get a text saying that you have been slowed down until your next billing cycle. An what I have found is they start to throttle around 10gb a month. I am usually right aroun that and have been throttled for the past 5 months in a row.