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Verizon Starts Throttling Unlimited Data 3G Customers

Maura

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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
 

jsh1120

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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.
 

jsh1120

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What does Throttling mean? Please advise....

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.
 

Kaykaykay

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Unbelievable. No surprising, but typical Verizon.

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

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.
 

jsh1120

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Unbelievable. No surprising, but typical Verizon.

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

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.

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.
 

Kaykaykay

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

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.

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.)

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.
 

tlbaker

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Kaykaykay said:
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.

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.
 

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.
 

Kaykaykay

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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.

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.
 

Kaykaykay

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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.

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?
 

tlbaker

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Kaykaykay said:
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.

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
 

Kaykaykay

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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

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.
 

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