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How much data do "top 5% users" consume?

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by Bingoldsby, Feb 18, 2012.

  1. Bingoldsby
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    Bingoldsby iPad Fan

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    Once again I have found and read an article about users of unlimited data plans who are in the top 5% usage category. This time it is naming ATT and also gives an iPhone 4s user as an example. However I have yet to be able to determine what quantity of data a person in the top 5% might use in a month, nor have I ever been able to find any numbers by searching for such kind of information (gotta get the terms formed up just right, and I guess I haven't).

    Anyone have any ideas how many GBs a "heavy user" chews through?

    (Only once did I ever go over 5 gb in a month, and that was when I still had my Verizon data card plan and had just purchased an iPhone. Downloading the upgrade .ipsw file took me over. But, I convinced Verizon that I should not be charged extra because of the circumstances of the new phone and contract.)

    Thanks for the discussion.
  2. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    I just googled "at&t top 5 data users" and this was the first result:

    The problem with AT&T's policy is that it hasn't made it clear how much data is too much. It simply states in its e-mails, text messages, and letters to consumers that they are in the top 5 percent of data users. AT&T explains that customers in this category use up to 12 times more data than the average customer.

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-30686_3-5...n-at-ts-top-5-percent-of-heaviest-data-users/
  3. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    The strategy appears to be to annoy the hell out of people with unlimited data plans until they give up and switched to tiered plans. "Statistics" like using "up to 12 times more data than the average consumer" are, of course, meaningless, especially when "up to" can mean the highest consuming single consumer and the data use of the "average consumer" is undefined. Furthermore, since the ToS one agrees to when you purchase a phone puts all the cards in the hands of the carrier there is literally nothing one can do to fight this sort of practice.

    All in all, I'd say that if you typically use more data than the maximum allowed in the standard tiered plan (usually around 2 gigs per month) you're likely to hear from AT&T sooner or later.
  4. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    I have grandfathered unlimited with AT&T and regularly go over 2GB a month, but haven't noticed throttling despite receiving a notice of possible throttling months ago. I figure they sold me something, I'm going to use it as normal and if I hear from them again, OK.
  5. Bingoldsby
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    Bingoldsby iPad Fan

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    On my Verizon "Unlimited" data plan (the iPhone4), with the addition of 2Gb data allowance when tethering a device by the paid tethering service option, I always go over 2Gb overall, but never near 5Gb, which I presume is their level of noticing my usage. I'm not at all worried about it, nor am I desiring more than I normally use. I haven't any urges to stream videos, music, or try to download and watch any movies or shows. It is all just a passing curiosity when I read these news blips.

    Thanks.
  6. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    I'd guess that throttling depends on not only how much data you use, but also when you use it.

    If you're streaming loads of data when there's little strain on the system, it's probably not going to matter. If you're streaming loads during peak hours, I think they'd be quicker to throttle.
  7. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    According to AT&T:


    Typical monthly data usage for someone in the top 5% of smartphone data users
    Data consumption by all customers, including the top five percent of smartphone data customers, varies by month and by market. As of August 2011, the average data use across the country by the top five percent of AT&T smartphone customers was 2GB per month.

    AT&T Wireless- How much monthly data usage is typical for someone in the top five percent of smartphone customers?


    Note that this says "smartphone."
  8. Bingoldsby
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    Bingoldsby iPad Fan

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    I must say that I'm quite dubious of the 2 Gb figure. Maybe that's what ATT says, but I don't believe it. I wouldn't even believe that figure for the low end of the top 5 let alone the median. And is the iPhone or iPad with 3g not considered a "smart phone?"

    Perhaps my whole sense about all this is skewed by the fact that I have no other means of connecting to the Internet than through my phone. I suppose the vast majority of ATT and/or other provider's customers also have other means of connecting at home and work.

    Otherwise, thanks for finding that and for posting the link. (Now I better go read it after having blindly asserted the above.)

    Brian - Sent from my iPad using iPF
  9. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    I doubt most people use much data, because many people have wifi. I use 3G only away from home, and I'm away from home more than most people because of travel. I use 3G because I don't use public wifi.

    It should be easy to cross check the AT&T claim with other carriers' figures, unless you think they're all in cahoots.
  10. Gabriel1
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    Gabriel1 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I tend to agree with this, I bought a mifi unit for my wifi only iPads thinking that I would use a ton of data but despite what I thought were some heavy usage periods I haven't used more than 1GB in any month yet despite three of the four months of use where I use it all day long, 5 days a week, at work (my general usage is email, safari, app updating, and some apps that connect to the Internet to do their stuff). Everything else is done on my home wifi network.

    The Archangel
  11. Fid
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    Fid iPad Junkie

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    I received a text and an email from AT&T about this last month so I called to find out what it is about. The assistant said that they were sending out this message once you hit the threshold of a certain data cap for the area from which you originally set up your account. I am still in my area. The cap for unlimited accounts is 2.3 gigs. She is in Tennessee but her plan was from Florida originally. So, her data cap is based on her area in Florida. I took notes while I was talking to her so I could ask questions to make sure I understood during our conversation.

    The top 5% is based per month. It is determined by some computer program. If it were truly based on everybody in your area's usage you could be in the top 5% on day 1 in terms of usage. If you were truly throttled back on data bandwidth because of being in the top 5% you would not get the bandwidth back until the beginning if your next pay cycle. It is possible that you get throttled and then drop out of the top 5%.

    I read one blog about what the speed is after being throttled down to the lower speed. I don't remember if it is EDGE or slower. Then the blogger did some math and showed what the total data usage could be. The point was to show that you might be paying for unlimited data but you could only get this much on an unlimited account.

    Some of the replies were using a comparison with that of an all you can eat buffet. You really can't eat all you want. They will cut you off and ask you to leave. I think it is more like paying for unlimited quantity of water at my house. The water company decides to change the rules and after I use a hundred gallons in the month limit my flow to a gallon per hour. That's not even enough to shower with.

    Supposedly the unlimited texting includes pictures. These pictures don't count toward the data used on the data plan. If they throttle back the bandwidth you can't send pictures in your texts. I can't send texts with pictures when on EDGE unless I resize them with an app.

    They haven't thought this one completely through.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF - Peace
  12. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Video is the killer. Everything else is practically a "blip." The only time I've EVER come close to max'ing out my 5 gig limit was a two week period in which I was traveling and watching movies via 4G/LTE. (The "free" wifi at my hotel was worth exactly what I was paying for it.) Otherwise, I seldom come close to using even 2 gigs per month.
  13. tlbaker
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    tlbaker iPad Ninja

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    There isn't they much annoyance in the world lol!!!

    Sent from my Verizon Black 64GB iPad 2 With IOS 5.01 Update From NYC using iPF
  14. tlbaker
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    tlbaker iPad Ninja

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    Yup, you pay for unlimited data every month so use it as you choose. They must be hating you right now as you have unlimited data on both iPhone and iPad lmao!!

    Sent from my Verizon Black 64GB iPad 2 With IOS 5.01 Update From NYC using iPF

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