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Verizon Starts Throttling Unlimited Data 3G Customers

Discussion in 'Apple iPad News' started by Maura, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. Maura
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    Maura iPadForums News Team

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    9to5 Mac is reporting today that Verizon has just posted a “Data Disclosure†page, which sets out its plans to throttle the top 5% of its data users, who are using at least 2GB of data per month. 9to5 Mac notes that this plan, which started on September 15, is probably most likely to affect those people who bought a Verizon iPhone 4 3G unlimited plan when the phone first launched on Verizon earlier this year. According to documents published by 9to5 Mac, Verizon refers to the throttling as “Network Optimizationâ€, and says that only those with 3G Verizon devices with unlimited data plans will be affected, adding that those with 4G LTE devices will not be affected. As 9to5 Mac points out, Apple doesn’t have a 4G LTE device yet, so Verizon could be seen in one way to be giving customers a reason to choose a device other than the iPhone or iPad. It is also advising those affected to use Wi-Fi more often, or to switch to one of its usage-based (tiered) data plans. On the other hand, if they don’t like any of those suggestions, they might choose to ditch Verizon altogether when Sprint gets the new iPhone in a few weeks time and introduces its own, un-throttled, unlimited plans!

    Source: Verizon begins throttling iPhone unlimited 3G customers who use 2GB/month | 9to5Mac | Apple Intelligence
  2. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    My 5gig per month "unthrottled" plan from Verizon for a 4G mobile hotspot looks increasingly advantageous for my wifi only iPad (especially since it's used for my laptop and smartphone.)

    It's a $50 per month two year commitment, of course. But since I need it every month I wouldn't benefit from the turn on/off feature of the iPad data plan anyway. So for an additional $20 per month I get 4G access where available and up to five gigs of unthrottled internet access.

    I usually don't come close to using 5gigs per month. (I've come close only once in the last couple of years.) But it's not unusual for me to use close to 3 gigabytes in a month if I'm traveling a lot and staying in hotels that charge $10-$15 per day for wifi access.
  3. NYC Adam
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    NYC Adam iPF Novice

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    What does Throttling mean? Please advise....
  4. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Throttling involves slowing down your internet connection. It's unclear (purposely) how much the connection is slowed but it can be all the way to EDGE level. In other words, very slow and largely unusable for any sort or audio or video streaming.
  5. NYC Adam
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    NYC Adam iPF Novice

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    Unbelievable. No surprising, but typical Verizon.
  6. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Same is true of all carriers in the US other than Sprint, I believe.
  7. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    Yes, I've had unlimited AT&T for years and recently received notice of throttling on my phone plan, too. I've been expecting to hear likewise on my iPad plan, which is a grandfathered unlimited account, but haven't heard. I'm beyond 9GBs because of travel this month and haven't noticed any slowdown yet on iPad. Maybe next month will tell.
  8. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    How do you travel and watch that many movies simultaneously? :D In general, I think the throttling announcements are meant more as a deterrent than an enforced policy. Carriers are under intense demand pressure as a result of the explosion in smartphones and now tablets (where media consumption is even more prevalent than on phones.)

    The effort involved in identifying heavy users combined with that to throttle their use is significant, especially since the problem is cell site specific. If carriers can discourage heavy use in the aggregate they will have accomplished their objective: reducing demand on heavily used cell sites.

    That's not to say that individual users won't be targeted. But the overall effort is aimed at enabling the carriers to charge on a use basis and in the long term to eliminate any form of "unlimited" data plans.

    Sprint has made some hay by advertising their "unthrottled" policy. But if that works well enough to prevent Sprint from bleeding customers, you can bet that they'll shift to the same approach used by the big two carriers.
  9. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    Good question. I caught a bug while traveling, so I spent two+ days in my hotel room basically streaming video and zonking out. I got my money's worth out of Netflix and AT&T, lol.

    Makes sense about carriers throttling only as needed.
  10. tlbaker
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    I never knew there was an unlimited iPad data account on AT&T. I used to set my bosses' iPads up and the only option was tiered service. WOW!!! How much does the plan cost? I am on Verizon's 2 gig plan which is more than enough as I use my home wifi. Thank goodness.
  11. jmbarker
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    Interesting. I have had an iPhone since version one with unlimited data plan (now on iPhone 4). Do not recall ever receiving notice of throttling nor have I noticed any degradation in performance. I do not use anywhere near 2GB of data in the course of a month so maybe I have not been affected and I access the net via Wi-Fi 90 percent of the which probably helps. Got my iPads after unlimited plans were discontinued. Use them even less.
  12. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    I've had unlimited phone data for years; I don't know whether AT&T still offers that (outside of grandfathered plans). AT&T discontinued unlimited iPad data, but I started subscribing before then. I pay 30 bucks, a steal for my uses.
  13. Kaykaykay
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    I doubt I use my phone data enough to matter, because nearly all my use shifted to iPad more than a year ago. There was no separate notice of throttling. Notice appeared on a line or two on my last bill. It seemed like a generic heads-up to all customers. Maybe you didn't see it because of that?
  14. tlbaker
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    Yes!!! Hold on to it as long as you can. These were company plans so the $$$ weren't coming out of the execs pockets anyway so they don't care... Well the company might. Verizon never had an unlimited plan for iPads. I do have an u limited data plan for my iPhone.

    Sent from my Verizon 64GB Black iPad using iPF
  15. Kaykaykay
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    Yes, I plan to hang onto unlimited indefinitely. I pay the 30 bucks even when I'm out of the U.S. for months and not using it, because unlimited is still a better deal for me overall.
  16. tlbaker
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    I think they are throttling me. I am in my office with my Verizon network extender is only inches away from my iPhone with all the bars and the 3G symbol present and it is spinning away when I want to upload something to my Facebook page. When I switched to wifi / unlimited Internet on my dime it miraculously speeded up and posted smh. This would never happen on the iPad as I only have a 2GB month to month plan. I think the iPad burns through data faster due it's size and probably because Verizon is hoping for me to have overage charges. UGGHHH. I always use wifi when I am at home as I can be on this thing the entire day. Big fun, big fun lmao.

    Sent from my Verizon 64GB Black iPad2 using iPF
  17. info
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  18. tlbaker
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    hehe. That 8" looks interesting to me; but, I'm not going to be in the market for a while yet either. :)
  20. Kaykaykay
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    Kaykaykay iPad Wizard

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    Seems like the 4G transition is going to be relatively slow in the U.S. for various reasons. Many Americans are tied to 3G contracts and are ineligible for device upgrades (unless they pay penalties). Plus, U.S. carriers have been mis-advertising services as 4G when they're not in some cases, which probably will make some consumers skeptical. For people with grandfathered unlimited plans, switching to 4G also probably will mean giving up unlimited data in the U.S.

    Then there's battery life to consider. I can afford to upgrade and am used to paying out of pocket for devices, but I'm probably like many consumers -- if it comes down to giving up battery life to gain speed, no thanks.

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