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MacRumors
Jan 17, 2012, 09:00 AM
http://images.macrumors.com/im/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/01/17/a-look-at-atts-throttling-for-high-use-unlimited-iphone-data-customers/)


Late last year, AT&T began throttling (http://www.macrumors.com/2011/09/30/att-begins-warning-high-volume-data-users-of-upcoming-throttling/) the data speeds of its highest-use unlimited data customers, knocking down the ability of the top 5% of its users to consume data for the remainder of a billing period once they hit certain thresholds. While AT&T no longer offers unlimited data plans, it did so for several years with the iPhone, and users who had previously signed up for the unlimited have been able to keep their plans even as they have upgraded to new devices.

http://images.macrumors.com/article-new/2011/09/att_throttle_warning.jpg


AppAdvice takes a look (http://appadvice.com/appnn/2012/01/appadvice-daily-special-report-the-truth-behind-att-throttling-hands-on-investigation) at the effect of AT&T's throttling on a user's web experience on the iPhone, showing how the move can make the device nearly unusable with data speeds well below that of even the carrier's fallback EDGE network.

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AppAdvice conducted a series of side-by-side tests showing data download speeds on both throttled and non-throttled devices, swapping the SIM cards to demonstrate that throttling rather than any other hardware difference was indeed responsible for the significantly slower speed. The testing also included additional real-world comparisons showing the loading of Google Maps and the website of The New York Times on both devices.

Article Link: A Look at AT&T's Throttling for High-Use Unlimited iPhone Data Customers (http://www.macrumors.com/2012/01/17/a-look-at-atts-throttling-for-high-use-unlimited-iphone-data-customers/)



r2fa3l
Jan 17, 2012, 09:14 AM
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In other words, once the iPhone gets throttled we get Sprint 3G speeds!!!!!

I honestly don't know why people fuss about data, most networks sell 1GB for $10 - it's not that bad.

impulse462
Jan 17, 2012, 09:30 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

In other words, once the iPhone gets throttled we get Sprint 3G speeds!!!!!

I honestly don't know why people fuss about data, most networks sell 1GB for $10 - it's not that bad.

Not AT&T.

mkrishnan
Jan 17, 2012, 09:34 AM
Not AT&T.

My AT&T data overage charge is $10/GB as the previous poster stated.

This is to confirm the following feature has been changed to:
Feature2gb datas
Additional Wireless Number(s):xxx
Effective Date: 01/01/2012
Monthly Recurring Charge25.00
Included Data:2gb
Data Overage Cost:2gb 10.00 per gb

Endofinnocence
Jan 17, 2012, 09:35 AM
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I have atnt and yes once I hit 2gb they send me warning that I'm getting close.. Then it happens... My speed get reduced and the phone is worthless... I do nothing different from when I
Had my 3GS.. But my data went up from maybe 500mb a month to over 3000mb.. I would have loved
To know that as the phone got better the data usage was going to be more and now atnt is on my ass slowing down my data... I need a fix to this like now

Hitch08
Jan 17, 2012, 09:38 AM
Is there any idea as to what constitutes the "top 5%"?

EDIT: I didn't see the post above before submitting mine. Are you saying that anything over 2GB's is in the top 5%?

tjb1
Jan 17, 2012, 09:46 AM
When Verizon throttled my phone, the thing wouldnt even load Pandora...really pisses me off that you pay for Unlimited and they throttle the already slow network to where it barely loads the Pandora app, let alone play something.

gLaDiAtOr73
Jan 17, 2012, 09:48 AM
complete BS. ive received the text for 2 straight months. they usually send that out once you hit 2gb. its ridiculous because they offer a 2gb plan so how is hitting 2gb a top 5% user????? i was grandfathered into the unlimited like many of you and dont feel like i abuse the network. internet radio at work is really the only thing that causes my data to go up. i know nothing is ever "unlimited" but if i hit 5gb in a month then i wouldnt mind the throttling, but not for 2gb!!!!

----------

Is there any idea as to what constitutes the "top 5%"?

EDIT: I didn't see the post above before submitting mine. Are you saying that anything over 2GB's is in the top 5%?

yes

JonneyGee
Jan 17, 2012, 09:53 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/9A405)

It seems as though in recent months AT&T has drastically lowered the point at which they begin throttling (perhaps because people using 5 GB+ found a new plan when they began throttling). About a year ago I was hearing 7-8 GB was the threshold for throttling but it seems it's now closer to 2 GB. Definitely pathetic considering they offer a 2 GB/month plan for $5/month less.

bedifferent
Jan 17, 2012, 09:55 AM
There are quite a few threads on this, such as mine below. I documented my recent experiences with AT&T as a grandfathered unlimited data user who has been throttled down to near nothing 3G data speeds (An AT&T store manager and associate could not get Safari to load on my 4S in Chicago at the beginning of the month).

Upon examining my contract, I have not exceeded 3GB/mo., my billing cycle resets on the 11th of every month and AT&T will not allow unlimited data users to purchase more data unless they switch to a tiered plan. Thus AT&T "throttles" the unlimited data user for the remainder of their monthly billing cycle (whereas I learned VZW throttles the user based on tower congestion and will increase 3G speeds when congestion lessens). Speaking with an AT&T rep, I asked why, as an AAPL Corp. employee, am I being "punished" for such small data usage on an unlimited plan. Her response, "This is a reaction to your action." This was stated (unbeknownst to the customer service rep) in front of two AT&T Wireless store employees, one of which was a manager. They were shocked. I have received four "warning" since the Fall. As we are still beta testing "iTunes Match" over 3G data, as well as the need for "Siri" to phone-in 4S verification and functionality and iCloud services, AT&T was ill-prepared. Their solution: push people into tiered plans.

My thread:

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1305467&page=1

In short, AT&T is strong arming grandfathered unlimited data plans into tiered plans. It would be understandable should one be utilizing as much as 50GB's as one MacRumors member demonstrated, however 2-3 GB/mo's data on an unlimited plan should not equate to data throttling.

MarkMS
Jan 17, 2012, 09:55 AM
Is there any idea as to what constitutes the "top 5%"?

EDIT: I didn't see the post above before submitting mine. Are you saying that anything over 2GB's is in the top 5%?

No one really knows, but I'm guessing anything over 4GB. 4GB is their max "DataPro" plan and I'm sure AT&T gets upset when their $30 "unlimited" plan beats out their 4GB $45 plan that includes mobile hotspot.


AT&T's top 5%/normal 95% data caps are utter bullcrap. 200MB for "normal" iPhone users isn't enough.

nottooshabby
Jan 17, 2012, 09:58 AM
No one really knows, but I'm guessing anything over 4GB. 4GB is their max "DataPro" plan and I'm sure AT&T gets upset when their $30 "unlimited" plan beats out their 4GB $45 plan that includes mobile hotspot.


AT&T's top 5%/normal 95% data caps are utter bullcrap. 200MB for "normal" iPhone users isn't enough.

Must be nice to get 1.5 Mb/s. I am lucky to get 300-400kB/sec. I'm basically throttled by the crappy network. I'm up to 958 Megs with 2 weeks to go in my billing cycle. Hopefully I don't get throttled for doing nothing more sinister than internet radio at work which doesn't even work half the time because the network is so slow.

k1121j
Jan 17, 2012, 09:59 AM
Is there any idea as to what constitutes the "top 5%"?

EDIT: I didn't see the post above before submitting mine. Are you saying that anything over 2GB's is in the top 5%?

According to AT&T when they dropped the unlimited plans they said in their press release "98 percent use less than 2 GB" if this were true then the top 5% is less than 2 GB unless they were lying. Furthermore i disagree with them throttling you based on someone else's usage??? does this mean as time goes by and they cut the average data usage of people by throttling them then people will soon find themselves in the top 5% at lower and lower usage rates??????

__Someone sue the crap out of them and Sprint please and throw in that lawsuit the misleading advertising if unlimited data they apparently invented their own definition of the term. there is a limit throttling or not if they just calculate you data speed ( the theoretical top speed) over time time in the billing cycle thats what your limit is or is it HMM

MarkMS
Jan 17, 2012, 10:09 AM
Must be nice to get 1.5 Mb/s. I am lucky to get 300-400kB/sec. I'm basically throttled by the crappy network.

I'm willing to switch to Sprint even with crappy speeds. Hopefully they find/implement a solution to the abnormally slow speeds soon. Just waiting on my contract to run out as I refuse to pay AT&T another dime other than what I owe per month. Must be nice to know that unlimited data actually means truly unlimited data. How would you feel if you were on the road using MotionX Maps trying to find your way and all of a sudden the maps aren't updating fast enough because you got throttled to 100kB/s because you went over their network abuse threshold of 3GB or so on their "unlimited" plan? Well, I guess you kind of know what I went through with Sprint are your current carrier. But it's ridiculous that they do this nonetheless.

bb426
Jan 17, 2012, 10:10 AM
We are the 5%.

:rolleyes:

iClique.com
Jan 17, 2012, 10:12 AM
This needs to be reported as a complaint to the FCC. I've also recieved a notice over the last two months, and when I called the AT&T rep said they used to send out the notice at 10gb a month and now they send it at 2gb. The Top 5% usage is not a FiXED number!!! It looks as though they are just lowering it to get people to use less. If more people are using their phones more that would drive the Top 5% number higher not LOWER!!!!

Joshwawilson
Jan 17, 2012, 10:20 AM
Im sure glad I have sprint:) everyone says it sucks but I've had good experiences with sprint 3G recently. And it's the most unlimited network there is. Idk why they decided to follow with the throttling trend though, at least it's only top 1%

Consultant
Jan 17, 2012, 10:25 AM
Considering $25 = 2GB, throttling for the $30 plan should NOT start at 2GB.

$30 should equal to 2.4GB, but AT&T should not punish long term customers who are paying more per month than the $25 per month plan.

Perhaps EDGE speed after 3 or 4GB, and announce a clear policy.


No one really knows, but I'm guessing anything over 4GB. 4GB is their max "DataPro" plan and I'm sure AT&T gets upset when their $30 "unlimited" plan beats out their 4GB $45 plan that includes mobile hotspot.


AT&T's top 5%/normal 95% data caps are utter bullcrap. 200MB for "normal" iPhone users isn't enough.

I know some people with 200MB plans. They do nothing but email, light browsing, and texting.

I don't go over 2GB even with tethering, but I don't stream stuff all the time.

zigzagg321
Jan 17, 2012, 10:25 AM
ATT should be fined billions for doing this. Then they will stop.

blue22
Jan 17, 2012, 10:26 AM
It seems to me most of these wireless carriers try to scare customers into compliance/non-usage by deliberately not specifying what qualifies as "excessive" data usage so as to not allow more customers to manage data usage up to the closest possible point before being throttled. Yet, what the hell are customers paying all this money for if they can't maximize their data usage within the service plans limits that they signed up for?! Talk about shady.

BladesOfSteel
Jan 17, 2012, 10:29 AM
Not to totally jinx myself, but I hit about 2GBs of data every month. In recent months, I went over 2GB a few times - never have I received a text from ATT.

MarkMS
Jan 17, 2012, 10:35 AM
I know some people with 200MB plans. They do nothing but email, light browsing, and texting.

I don't go over 2GB even with tethering, but I don't stream stuff all the time.

I have no doubt you know some that get by with 200MB. I know a few, but each one I know is an older person who doesn't use their iPhone to its full potential.

I don't go over 2GB most of the time, but I do use my iPhone as intended. I get a couple hundred emails a month, some with attachments. MotionX Maps for those business/vacation trips. Streaming Pandora and iTunes Match only in the car. Rarely any Youtube. No Netflix/Hulu unless on WiFi. A few app updates and bam, I'm getting a text saying I've hitting the top 5% because of the holiday traveling.

I don't mind if they throttle to EDGE speeds for excessive use (e.g. over 5GB), but make it obvious. Don't say it's "unlimited" just because I'm not going to get hit with a $10/GB fee if I hit over 2GB.

pfarfour
Jan 17, 2012, 10:46 AM
Is there a written definition of "top 5% of users"? I bet they are only throttling the top 5% of unlimited data plan users and not the top 5% of their customer base. I'm sure they don't want that person who pays for extra data and uses it to skew their numbers. Or those customers who are constantly paying an overage of $10.

As throttling chases away the abusers the only ones left are the people who likely keep unlimited data because it makes them feel better. I have only gone over 2GB twice in four years and now with the 4s I find myself coming very close to 2GB each month and continue to find new uses for my phone which consumes data. I am sure by the end of this year my average use will be at around 3GB, unless i get throttled. It shouldn't constitute abuse and it should be well within the confines of what I pay for and have been paying for since the original iphone.

Rodimus Prime
Jan 17, 2012, 10:57 AM
Considering $25 = 2GB, throttling for the $30 plan should NOT start at 2GB.

$30 should equal to 2.4GB, but AT&T should not punish long term customers who are paying more per month than the $25 per month plan.

Perhaps EDGE speed after 3 or 4GB, and announce a clear policy.




I know some people with 200MB plans. They do nothing but email, light browsing, and texting.

I don't go over 2GB even with tethering, but I don't stream stuff all the time.

but remember the $30 a month people also can never be charged overage. Compare that to the $25 month crew that would get charged $10 per gig for going over 2 gigs a month.

Also AT&T seems to be choosing to based its throttling on locations and the cut off point is different for each location and all reports have shown that it is somewhere north of 2gigs. Just where the cut off is different depending on where you are located. I have busted 3 gigs several months in a row and no issue but then again I live in an area that is not having bandwidth issues and they have room to spare so not throttling. In other areas they could be much more limited so the throttling happens much earlier.

Xenomorph
Jan 17, 2012, 11:20 AM
Must be nice to get 1.5 Mb/s. I am lucky to get 300-400kB/sec. I'm basically throttled by the crappy network. I'm up to 958 Megs with 2 weeks to go in my billing cycle. Hopefully I don't get throttled for doing nothing more sinister than internet radio at work which doesn't even work half the time because the network is so slow.

Am I reading your post wrong? 300-400 kB/sec is around 3 Mb/s, which is more than the 1.5 Mb/s you said "must be nice" to get.

1.5 Mb/s would get you less than 187 kB/sec.

nylonsteel
Jan 17, 2012, 11:25 AM
re original article

data throttling and data caps are for the birds

wireless industry need to build larger data pipes

AustinIllini
Jan 17, 2012, 11:35 AM
Thus ends any potential usefulness of tethering your phone. ridiculous

ls1dreams
Jan 17, 2012, 11:40 AM
I love that HSPA+ is supposed to be 14Mbit theoretical, and these unthrottled phones are only getting 1Mbit.

How the hell can they justify throttling it down to 1% of the possible bandwidth?

At very best I've seen 5Mbit on my 4s, but rarely break 1Mbit.

maverikv
Jan 17, 2012, 11:47 AM
It's fine really. All you people who signed up for unlimited- you must have known that by "unlimited" they meant "unlimited to an arbitrary data cap and then we throttle you down to unusable speeds"

I know that's what I thought. It's not a limit, after all. They aren't capping your data. You can still download at 1 bit per second after you cross the threshhold.

afd
Jan 17, 2012, 11:54 AM
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/1218910/IMG_1270.jpg

In the UK, O2 take a different approach, they throttle speeds before you download anything. the above screenshot shows speedtest struggling to even get a ping from it's servers. when my contact is up in june I won't be sticking with o2.

kinderdm
Jan 17, 2012, 11:55 AM
Since September when i started listening to podcasts as work I have been consistently over 2 mb every month and even in November after the IOS 5 backup error I was up to 5gb for that month. I still have yet to receive a single text warning me of excessive usage. That being said though there are times when my data is almost non existent. Ive run the speedtest app and gotten very poor readings like .06Mbps down and 0 up. This seems to happen every few days for a few hours. Guess I'm just hesitant to complain because I do use so much data on a normal basis.

http://img515.imageshack.us/img515/5981/photoid.png

seinman
Jan 17, 2012, 11:58 AM
re original article

data throttling and data caps are for the birds

wireless industry need to build larger data pipes

Building "larger data pipes" is only an option when the wireless spectrum itself isn't saturated like it is in many areas. It's physically impossible to create more spectrum, and the FCC decides who gets to use which portions of it in which areas. It's not like they can just say "yay more bandwidth!" and have it magically happen.

ArtOfWarfare
Jan 17, 2012, 12:00 PM
I've never received this text before, but I've noticed AT&T's 3G speeds are periodically pathetic... I think it's mostly just during busy times (around noon... lunch? Might have something to do with the cafe where I often have lunch is in the basement of a building...)

milo
Jan 17, 2012, 12:08 PM
If they're going to make the "unlimited" plan so unappealing, why not just discontinue it and make those people switch to the regular plans?

Of course that wouldn't be great press for them, but probably no worse than putting on a charade of "unlimited" then crippling service at such a low threshold.

aneftp
Jan 17, 2012, 12:36 PM
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"I honestly don't know why people fuss about data, most networks sell 1GB for $10 - it's not that bad."


If AT$T offered the $10/1GB data plans, I am sure over 75% of people would jump to that plan.

Of course they won't offer the $10/1GB data plan. Instead have a huge gap between the 200MB data plan for $15 and the 2GB/$25 data plans.

It's like the whole text messenging plans. 200 text/$5. But they never offered a 500-1000 text plan. Instead you would have to jump to the 1500/$15 text plan. When ATT finally offered the $10/1000 text plan, it only lasted for months before they just abandoned that plan.

All about bottom line for corporations.

funnyent
Jan 17, 2012, 12:45 PM
When AT&T changed their data plans they said that less than 2% of their subscribers were using over 2 GB of data a month. Therefore the top 5% of throttling would be effecting those who are using less than 2 GB of data. Also, that means it would fluctuate per month. So if all unlimited users were using 10 GB of data per month then they would not be in the top 5 and would not be throttled. This whole idea of a % is annoying. I wish it could just be a set number until throttled, like the capped plans but no charges when going over, just slowing.

scott911
Jan 17, 2012, 12:50 PM
I LOVE the fact that one can be on the unlimited plan - and find themselves to fall in the top 5%. And, then finding themselves crippled (not thoddled) these people are seek to buy extra data from AT&T - and they are not allowed to.

really AT&T? sounds pretty stupid - on all sorts of levels - doesn't it?

blitzspear
Jan 17, 2012, 12:54 PM
Move to the UK, use Three......... :)

And get truly unlimited downloads and decent speeds.

Even after 125GB in a month I was still getting 4Mb-8Mb/sec...

Three says unlimited really means unlimited......

Blitz

COBRASVT
Jan 17, 2012, 01:00 PM
Class action time!!!

Tapdawg
Jan 17, 2012, 01:18 PM
I've found something that has helped me reduce my total amount of data used... I don't know why we should even need to do this, but at least you can save about 30% of your data each month. The free app is called Onavo (http://www.onavo.com/) and I'd recommend all grandfathered iPhone users to download it.

I do not work for the company or anything, but I had the IT guy at our company research into my throttling and this was the solution he found for me. I haven't had any issues with rendering websites, but if you are a user of hulu and netflix, this might not be the solution for you as it does not appear to work with those apps unless you are on wifi.

I hope this helps those of you in the 2-3gb range that are getting this message. I installed the app roughly 1 month ago and it's saved me about 200mb of 500.

starops777
Jan 17, 2012, 01:29 PM
I received the message from AT&T the other day. I was 28 days into my 31 day billing cycle and used 2.05GB. I asked what the threshold for throttling was and was told by the "supervisor" that its not about "how much data you use" but "how you use it". She proceeded to tell me that its because I use pandora etc. So i asked her that if i just downloaded other types of files that weren't music or videos I would be fine? She had no answer. When I asked how they can call it unlimited she said it is unlimited data we are just limiting your speeds. I answered by asking "how can I use a unlimited amount of data if I am slowed down this much?'" Once again she had no answer. I've been with ATT since '05 and am seriously considering leaving. The whole interaction was atrocious.

bedifferent
Jan 17, 2012, 01:37 PM
I received the message from AT&T the other day. I was 28 days into my 31 day billing cycle and used 2.05GB. I asked what the threshold for throttling was and was told by the "supervisor" that its not about "how much data you use" but "how you use it"... I've been with ATT since '05 and am seriously considering leaving. The whole interaction was atrocious.

HA I love it. The rep I spoke with stated (after having asked why I'm being punished at 2.888MB's on my unlimited plan with three days left on my monthly billing cycle), "It's a reaction to your action."


I've found something that has helped me reduce my total amount of data used... I don't know why we should even need to do this, but at least you can save about 30% of your data each month. The free app is called Onavo (http://www.onavo.com/) and I'd recommend all grandfathered iPhone users to download it.

Great recommendation! I checked it out, the reviews have been fantastic. Installed it already. Thank you!

KdParker
Jan 17, 2012, 01:38 PM
I received the message from AT&T the other day. I was 28 days into my 31 day billing cycle and used 2.05GB. I asked what the threshold for throttling was and was told by the "supervisor" that its not about "how much data you use" but "how you use it". She proceeded to tell me that its because I use pandora etc. So i asked her that if i just downloaded other types of files that weren't music or videos I would be fine? She had no answer. When I asked how they can call it unlimited she said it is unlimited data we are just limiting your speeds. I answered by asking "how can I use a unlimited amount of data if I am slowed down this much?'" Once again she had no answer. I've been with ATT since '05 and am seriously considering leaving. The whole interaction was atrocious.

The only thing keeping me with ATT is the unlimited data plan and if the iphone 5 (whatever it is called) is indeed a 4G phone, I don't see a reason to stick with ATT if I am throttled back at 2gigs.

ironpony
Jan 17, 2012, 01:38 PM
Would Apple help with this lack of being able to use their device or are they just fine with it?

I would prefer to buy A certain amount then use till it is gone. I don't use much but am also paying for the iPad data as well. Again I don't use all of it.

Rollover Bytes!

How could we get MacRumours to give more attention to this?

This is something that will not just blow over for the providers.

Didn't Steve Jobs have a plan for something like this.

nottooshabby
Jan 17, 2012, 02:09 PM
Am I reading your post wrong? 300-400 kB/sec is around 3 Mb/s, which is more than the 1.5 Mb/s you said "must be nice" to get.

1.5 Mb/s would get you less than 187 kB/sec.

I think I was sloppy with by capitals. 300-400 Kbits/sec is what I typically get, not the 1.5Mb/s that they were showing in the vid.

k1121j
Jan 17, 2012, 02:15 PM
This needs to be reported as a complaint to the FCC. I've also recieved a notice over the last two months, and when I called the AT&T rep said they used to send out the notice at 10gb a month and now they send it at 2gb. The Top 5% usage is not a FiXED number!!! It looks as though they are just lowering it to get people to use less. If more people are using their phones more that would drive the Top 5% number higher not LOWER!!!!

incorrect
has nothing to do with the number of people the way AT&T is doing this will put the top 5% at lower and lower numbers do the math. hence the started slowing people down at 10 GB month and now down to 2GB don't know how accurate that is but no matter how you look at it and no matter how much data you use the top 5% will always be the top 5% if 100 people were using ATT and 95 of those people used 100MB a month and 5 used 200 MB a month those using the 200MB would be the ones slowed down to those almost 56K speeds then over time that top 5% would be less than 200MB and be throttled.

also another possible reason that t 2GB people are being throttled back when att publicly announced that they were dropping the unlimited plans they said then "98% of people use less than 2GB per month" there for 2.1 GB according to there own words would put you in the top 5%

momiller
Jan 17, 2012, 02:20 PM
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I just got throttled on my 4S, and instead of getting my usual 4-7 MBPS I am now getting 0.11 (according the SpeedTest.net app). It is virtually impossible to use any site except for mobile ones.

k1121j
Jan 17, 2012, 02:25 PM
ok so I'm one of those ones they are trying to squeeze out of the unlimited plans.. can some one do the math and figure out if its even possible to use the 5 GB of unlimited data (LOL) un supposed to get if they throttle me at 2GB down to .01 MBPs lets be nice and day i hit 2 Gb 5 days in to my cycle

srxtr
Jan 17, 2012, 02:26 PM
If they're going to make the "unlimited" plan so unappealing, why not just discontinue it and make those people switch to the regular plans?

Of course that wouldn't be great press for them, but probably no worse than putting on a charade of "unlimited" then crippling service at such a low threshold.

They don't want to lose those customers.

Tapdawg
Jan 17, 2012, 02:30 PM
They don't want to lose those customers.

Actually they can't because of the grandfather clause in contracts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grandfather_clause

momiller
Jan 17, 2012, 02:36 PM
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A405 Safari/7534.48.3)

I just got throttled on my 4S, and instead of getting my usual 4-7 MBPS I am now getting 0.11 (according the SpeedTest.net app). It is virtually impossible to use any site except for mobile ones.

To clarify: At the time when I got throttled I was slightly over 2 GB.

A friend suggested me an idea that data should only be counted against when using it in peaked hours, and when you do get throttled it should only be during those peak hours. For instance: if your using your data at 2am on a Tuesday night you should have regular speed irrelevant of your current usage. Since the throttling is just because of over usage on the network I think this makes a lot of sense.

glutenenvy
Jan 17, 2012, 02:48 PM
Data package add ons are junk. Most phones can live with wi-fi and get by fine. I would estimate that only the top 5% of smartphone data plan hostages (users) actually need any over the air data plans.

My iPod Touch and iPad work fine for everything but on the road directions, email, and calendars. There is no reason for the iPhone to be anything different. Visual voice mail is not an important enough reason to have a required data add on.

The FCC should target an investigation as to why many smartphones work perfectly fine without data but still require a data plan. As soon as most people drop unnecessary data plans, capacity is no longer an issue and the top 5% when recalculated will be closer to a real use number.

There is something wrong about forcing purchase of a useless product.

Dookieman
Jan 17, 2012, 04:09 PM
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I disagree completely. I don't know what you do or where you live where you have consistent wifi, but I use my data plan to the fullest. My office doesn't provide wifi, so email, Pandora, and occasional news checking are all done on 3G. Plus, I use my phone as a radio for my car, as I can access tons of different radio stations. Not to mention road trips and the need for quick directions or information while out and about. Data packages are essential for the iPhone and I'm sure more than the 5% you refer too use it just as often, if not more than I do.

srxtr
Jan 17, 2012, 04:56 PM
Data package add ons are junk. Most phones can live with wi-fi and get by fine. I would estimate that only the top 5% of smartphone data plan hostages (users) actually need any over the air data plans.

My iPod Touch and iPad work fine for everything but on the road directions, email, and calendars. There is no reason for the iPhone to be anything different. Visual voice mail is not an important enough reason to have a required data add on.

The FCC should target an investigation as to why many smartphones work perfectly fine without data but still require a data plan. As soon as most people drop unnecessary data plans, capacity is no longer an issue and the top 5% when recalculated will be closer to a real use number.

There is something wrong about forcing purchase of a useless product.

Because the entire world lives in the same block as you.

I use WIFI 95% of the time and the throttling issue still erks me.

nickrinaldi
Jan 17, 2012, 04:59 PM
I don't have an issue with throttling because I have wifi at home, wifi at work, wifi at most my relatives houses when I visit family. so the times i'm not on wifi i'm just checking twitter or listening to pandora a few car trips a month for about an hour. my data usually hits 2gb or less every month.

my g/f however gets screwed, she has been throttled since october every month and at an earlier date each month. this past month she started getting throttled only 6 days into her new billing cycle.

basically its because she doesnt have wifi at work and she listens to pandora most the day and checks emails on her phone. the same thing she has done for 2 years on her phone but now she is being throttled for it. so for most of the month now when she is not on wifi the phone is so slow its almost unusable.

WatchTheThrone
Jan 17, 2012, 06:13 PM
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So as people get throttled means the next month they will use less which therefore means the top 5% will now be even lower than 2GB?? So unlimited data users will start getting throttled at 1 Gb if that means your in the top 5%??
That's some serious bull.
I did 4.4 GB on sprint this past month and no throttling and speeds averaging about 1.2mb/sec with occasional spikes up to 2.25 according to speedtest app.
I thought about getting an AT&T 4S but they no longer had unlimited and their plans were way too expensive for what I was getting!! Good luck to all you att'ers

Darreners
Jan 17, 2012, 06:28 PM
Those speeds on the throttled device look very similar, if not, even higher than the speeds on my Sprint iPhone 4S.

marksman
Jan 17, 2012, 06:33 PM
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In other words, once the iPhone gets throttled we get Sprint 3G speeds!!!!!

I honestly don't know why people fuss about data, most networks sell 1GB for $10 - it's not that bad.

Not AT&T.

Yes they do. It is 25 for 2 gigs and 10 for each additional gig. AT&T was first with that kind of pricing.

The solution is easy, pay for the data you use and there is no throttling

j-dubya
Jan 17, 2012, 07:21 PM
I've now gotten my 2nd throttle notice in as many months. Last month when it happened, I immediately looked at my "cellular usage" counter in the iPhone. It registered only 1.3 gigs. AT&T was accusing me of 2.4 gigs of use. This sparked a trip to the Apple store, a chat with a Genius, and several other Geniuses. Then it got the Business Manager involved and finally resulted in a call to Applecare while in the store.

The Genius took note of the date my usage counter was reset (I reset it on the first day of billing). I do that to track what data the iPhone sees. With it that far off in usage (AT&T stating nearly double the data), there was cause for concern. The Genius checked the iPhone and everything was determined to be working perfectly. Another Genius took a quick look at the phone and accused me of jailbreaking it - I nearly went ballistic on him for being an ignorant ass. The other Genius who checked the phone told him it wasn't jailbroken.

In talking to Applecare it was an exercise in futility with the first representative who then put a manager on. The manager said there is nothing wrong with the iPhone 4s. Then he got AT&T on the phone. When Jeremy, from Apple, came back on the line he said the AT&T rep claimed there was an issue with their service and it was their fault. When I actually spoke to the AT&T rep, Antone, he said he never said that. Thus Apple's rep lied flat out.

I've spoken to AT&T at length to several managers and "executives", none of whom can answer a simple question - how does the network count it's data. The most common answer - "The network tells us what you use." It's like talking to a brick wall. The specialist - Antone & his manager Peter, never returned my call as promised. In fact no actual executive has ever returned a call from the AT&T side.

Apple decided to replace my iPhone with another. In an effort to see if that changed anything. It hasn't. However, I've now found out 2 things that are disconcerting and worthy of a class action suit. One against Apple. One against AT&T. At this point, I can verify problems on both ends and I've found 4 others in different states doing the same thing.

Apparently if the same issue occurs across state lines it becomes a Federal Court matter. While I'm not litigious, I'm collecting data to spearhead both class action suits.

1. With Apple, they're not clean in that the iPhone actually erases data use on the cellular usage counter. It happens under a repeatable circumstance in that if you sync your iPhone to iTunes and then do a hard reset of the phone... Poof - the Cellular Usage counter will revert to an older smaller amount of data.

2. AT&T actually nearly doubles data usage with phantom data. I tracked streaming a single song that was 3.8 meg in data. I chose a time a night when I knew I wouldn't be using any other data and nothing would need to be tracked otherwise. The iPhone tracked the amount of data at 3.9 megs. So that's close enough to be correct. AT&T tracked that same stream at 7 megs of data. That's nearly double the amount of data than what it really was.

Thus the problem is two fold. Apple's device actually has a bug in the system software. AT&T is verifiably creating phantom data to inflate use to then throttle an unlimited data user.

Chances are you're not using as much data as you think you are if you're going by AT&T's network and it's magical data numbers. If you're willing to track your data to verify it's happening to you as well, let me know because the more we have, the stronger the case.

bit density
Jan 17, 2012, 07:49 PM
Building "larger data pipes" is only an option when the wireless spectrum itself isn't saturated like it is in many areas. It's physically impossible to create more spectrum, and the FCC decides who gets to use which portions of it in which areas. It's not like they can just say "yay more bandwidth!" and have it magically happen.

This is not quite true, and misunderstands how "cell" phones work. There has always been a limit on bandwidth. The miracle of the cell phone has been two fold. One, decrease the amount of bandwidth each phone needs. This was the core of the digital revolution in phones. But the primary one, was that as phone density went up (saturation), cells are supposed to get smaller, this allows ever more phones and bandwidth.

And sure enough, in places like Seattle, this is what AT&T did. Now it may be that the number of cells was very small in Seattle when the iPhone came out, and there were also network inconsistency issues that caused IP failures when moving from tower to tower (Montlake on 520 was famous for that), ATT has dramatically improved cell capacity in the area. There are still some bizarre behaviors (like no voice mail for a day, and then they all show up when you drive to a different part of town), but the density issue has been largely solve.

The solution described is somewhat odd, as it will not improve overall density. Just during certain times of the month, at certain times of the day, after certain caps have been met.

I personally think that there are some good answers in certain types of data shaping, and some of this ought to be done in coordination with the carrier. For instance, Pandora. There are ought to be a way to negotiate x amount of bandwidth in a certain amount of time, so the song gets there when it needs to be, at the best amount that the entire network needs. There are also other types of apps that could behave much better over a network. And there are also some certain other apps, that should be much better behaved in a congested network and are just horrible. Facebook is one, and OKC is particularly horrible, even the with friends apps are pretty bad, and mail is sort of bizarre and doesn't retrieve mails for hours at a time for some reason.

blairwillis
Jan 17, 2012, 08:53 PM
Unlimited = Unlimited

From Dictionary.com:

unĚlimĚitĚed   [uhn-lim-i-tid]
adjective
1. not limited; unrestricted; unconfined: unlimited trade.
2. boundless; infinite; vast: the unlimited skies.
3. without any qualification or exception; unconditional.

That's pretty clear to me.

If I received some limitation on my UNLIMITED data plan, I'd take that all the way to the bank. No class action, just me vs. AT&T, and while I'd hire an attorney, I'd instruct him to keep the defense simple: Define "unlimited," and show that it is not "unlimited."

Stand up for yourselves.

Spectrum Abuser
Jan 17, 2012, 09:05 PM
Absolute bull feces that they are allowed to do this. The technology certainly exists for ISPers to provide seamless unlimited usage for EVERYONE. Just look at South Korea. Unfortunately now you bring in the word 'capital' and 'investment' and the American companies start coming up with reasons as to why they cannot do it.

Look at Youtube/Google. 24-32 hours of video uploaded every MINUTE. The quality doesn't matter as majority of the videos these days are 720P+. Thats Petabytes worth of data every single day. Does Google throttle the server bandwidth to allow more uploads at slower speeds? No. They continuously buy more overhead to support and cushion the demand.

iMikeT
Jan 17, 2012, 09:17 PM
I called AT&T today regarding this very issue and could not get a straight answer from them about 3G data throttling.

I explained that I had unlimited iPhone data since first owning my original iPhone and was grandfathered in after upgrading to my iPhone 4. Since owning my iPhone 4, I would normally and easily use between 6-10GB of 3G data per billing cycle.

The main reason why I called is the fact that I received a message from AT&T while I was out of town, which was also within the first five days of my current billing cycle, to tell me that I was among the top 5% of users. I did not have WiFi readily available to me and I had to rely on 3G for all of my data uses.

During the call, I inquired as to what number AT&T considers "high 3G data usage" and separates users into the 5% pile. I initially did not get a straight answer and after asking the question in as many ways I could think of the best answer I received is

"That exact number is unknown but once someone on an unlimited plan is deemed to be using a high amount of data, that is when they are considered a top 5% user and could see a reduction in speed."

After seeing this report and watching the video showing the example of data throttling, I am even more upset at AT&T for doing this. Seriously, why call it "unlimited data" if it truly isn't? And since they are throttling, why not give users the exact number that they begin throttling?

iMaconApple
Jan 17, 2012, 09:48 PM
Not sure if 4G will solve this problem...AT&T has the iPhone 4S as a 4G phone :rolleyes: why only the iPhone how come they don't target androids theres so many of them:rolleyes: we need to let FCC take care of this..I have unlimited data I been using about 3/5 GB a month and nothing..I'm going to push my 3G usage and see..I been using wifi at work the past month so i can save battery time to bring my charger..:D after the cycle bill I'm going to abuse it like no other.. bring it AT&T ;)

When iPhone 5/4GS let's see if they play this game again

joeshmo2010
Jan 17, 2012, 10:48 PM
I still use over 5gb a month.. like usually 10. Never throttles. Its honestly all dependent upon location. areas that have less backhaul and are more easily congested are the ones where throttling will occur.

hakuin
Jan 18, 2012, 12:03 AM
If this is only about people on unlimited plans, then AT&T's idea may be:

(1) Make unlimited plan annoying for people in "top 5% data usage group" (by throttling)
so
(2) Some people in "top 5% data usage group" change from the unlimited plan, or reduce data use
so
(3) The "top 5% data usage group" now uses less data than in the past
so
(4) Throttling occurs earlier, and earlier, and earlier
so
(5) More people are motivated away from the unlimited plan

Does that make sense?

iClique.com
Jan 18, 2012, 12:42 AM
incorrect
has nothing to do with the number of people the way AT&T is doing this will put the top 5% at lower and lower numbers do the math. hence the started slowing people down at 10 GB month and now down to 2GB don't know how accurate that is but no matter how you look at it and no matter how much data you use the top 5% will always be the top 5% if 100 people were using ATT and 95 of those people used 100MB a month and 5 used 200 MB a month those using the 200MB would be the ones slowed down to those almost 56K speeds then over time that top 5% would be less than 200MB and be throttled.

also another possible reason that t 2GB people are being throttled back when att publicly announced that they were dropping the unlimited plans they said then "98% of people use less than 2GB per month" there for 2.1 GB according to there own words would put you in the top 5%

You've got it all wrong!!!! The Top 5% is NOT a fixed number. The numbers vary and it wouldn't be the Top 5% use twice as much data as the 95%. There are many who use over 10gb. The AT&T reps would get calls from those people up to two months ago. Now they said they are getting calls at 2gb. It's impossible that 2gb would put you in the Top 5%. If everyone over 2gb is throttled they they are manipulating the numbers to create an artificial Top 5%, but in fact they end up throttling 95% so that they change their plans.

davidgrimm
Jan 18, 2012, 01:08 AM
Its just like these lying cell phone companies to sell you an "unlimited" data plan and then really limit it.

unlimitedx
Jan 18, 2012, 01:37 AM
i envision that some day cellular data would replace home internet. i think at&t smelled this a mile away and didn't want cellular data to cannibalize their other stream of income

Vesian
Jan 18, 2012, 01:51 AM
It looks like a bunch of you are finally starting to see the issue that AT&T is forcing upon us. Hopefully this trend continues so we can put some pressure on AT&T to correct these "questionable" business practices instead of them putting pressure on us...

seamer
Jan 18, 2012, 02:09 AM
The FCC really should investigate.

What we have here is a user buying a VW car through a local dealer, and then the dealer and maker getting paid commission whenever you get fined for hitting the advertised speed limit(s).

mijail
Jan 18, 2012, 02:17 AM
...However, I've now found out 2 things that are disconcerting and worthy of a class action suit. One against Apple.
...

1. With Apple, they're not clean in that the iPhone actually erases data use on the cellular usage counter. It happens under a repeatable circumstance in that if you sync your iPhone to iTunes and then do a hard reset of the phone... Poof - the Cellular Usage counter will revert to an older smaller amount of data.


So, you're wanting to start a class action suit because if you do a fricking hard reset, some data counter doesn't get restored exactly as it was.

Sounds like fun. I'll go get some popcorn.

SpaceKitty
Jan 18, 2012, 08:50 AM
Not to totally jinx myself, but I hit about 2GBs of data every month. In recent months, I went over 2GB a few times - never have I received a text from ATT.
They likely throttle people who live in highly congested areas. This would explain why some people get throttled at 2GB and some don't.

gLaDiAtOr73
Jan 18, 2012, 09:06 AM
ive been throttled the last 2 months and have never hit 3gb. i average about 2.5gb per month. for those of you that havent been throttled YET, whats the most data you have used in a month?

----------

also, has anyone been able to call and get the reduction removed?

Big Dawg 23
Jan 18, 2012, 09:17 AM
I just moved back to an iPhone 4s yesterday. I had been using a Skyrocket. My usage has been this below with NO Throttle. From Oct 17-Jan 17 it was with an Android device.

July 9-Aug 9
DATA ACCESS 3,165,177
Aug 8-Sept 9
DATA ACCESS 1,494,639
Sept 9-Oct 8
DATA ACCESS 1,471,418
Oct 9-Nov 8
DATA ACCESS 2,521,220
Nov 9-Dec 8
Data Access 1,278,020
Dec 9-Jan 8
DATA ACCESS-2,353,283

Average usage is 2,047,292 per month. I wonder if they are taking averages and then throttling.

smoothisfast
Jan 18, 2012, 09:28 AM
I called AT&T customer support in December about throttling my account. The lady I spoke to told me the follow.

She just can back from an att seminar regarding throttling. AT&T is throttling ppl in high usage areas as they are updating their towers to 4G. They would like for me to help in keeping the congestion down as towers are taken offline for the upgrade. When they are finish with the 4G upgrades they will stop throttling.

She ended by saying that AT&T will again offer unlimited data plans once they are running 4G.

She did not sound like she was reading a script. I'll cross my fingers and see what happens.

deannnnn
Jan 18, 2012, 09:50 AM
I get those throttled speeds all the time in New York City.
And I get those unthrottled speeds (or better) all the time in Miami.
...no matter how much data I use.

bedifferent
Jan 18, 2012, 11:53 AM
I called AT&T customer support in December about throttling my account. The lady I spoke to told me the follow.

She just can back from an att seminar regarding throttling. AT&T is throttling ppl in high usage areas as they are updating their towers to 4G. They would like for me to help in keeping the congestion down as towers are taken offline for the upgrade. When they are finish with the 4G upgrades they will stop throttling.

She ended by saying that AT&T will again offer unlimited data plans once they are running 4G.

She did not sound like she was reading a script. I'll cross my fingers and see what happens.

This would be the best news, I hope it's true. Thanks for the info. :)

I went to VZW and opened another iPhone 4S account to test against my (throttled) unlimited data AT&T iPhone 4S. Even throttled, my AT&T iPhone beat VZW at home, on the road, in NYC and rural area's. This disappoints me as I was hoping to "vote with my dollars" regarding AT&T's current throttling of unlimited data users.

I'm returning my VZW iPhone and canceling the account. I'll wait until the iPhone 5 with LTE/GSM/CDMA support is released this Autumn. I know VZW has a stronger LTE network at the moment, let's see what AT&T does with their LTE rollout this year. :)

If this is only about people on unlimited plans, then AT&T's idea may be:

(1) Make unlimited plan annoying for people in "top 5% data usage group" (by throttling)
so
(2) Some people in "top 5% data usage group" change from the unlimited plan, or reduce data use
so
(3) The "top 5% data usage group" now uses less data than in the past
so
(4) Throttling occurs earlier, and earlier, and earlier
so
(5) More people are motivated away from the unlimited plan

Does that make sense?

^This. Exactly what I believe is occurring. I have been on this issue for months and the majority of us have determined it's not geo-specific nor is it specific to actual data usage. If anything, there is a randomness to what accounts are throttled, almost to instill panic for the general unlimited data plan population. It seems AT&T is hoping the general consumer is ill-informed with regards to cellular data and usage, and as such using these scare tactics of text warnings and slower speeds will scare/force consumers out of their unlimited plans and into a tiered plan. I don't mind paying more, I wish I could buy more data with my $30/mo plan, but you cannot unless you switch. AT&T can also claim they are not breaking their contractual agreements by slowing down data, but when that speed is throttled so harshly that Safari doesn't load it is simply a game of semantics.

Tiger8
Jan 18, 2012, 12:13 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/9A405)

It seems as though in recent months AT&T has drastically lowered the point at which they begin throttling (perhaps because people using 5 GB+ found a new plan when they began throttling). About a year ago I was hearing 7-8 GB was the threshold for throttling but it seems it's now closer to 2 GB. Definitely pathetic considering they offer a 2 GB/month plan for $5/month less.

That's because they are coy and evil in their contract. Notice that 'top 5%' is a shifting concept; so yes, last year it was 7-8, this year, with more people being in the limited capped data, the 'top 5%' definitely shifted down, and as more and more users use less of their data, the 'top 5%' keeps on slipping down.

T-Mobile seems to be more fair; they put a number (2 GB) and stick to it.

On a related note, I left AT&T and it was the best decision ever. Sprint is slower, yes, I am not deulsional, but it is very useful and I get consistent 1.3 Mnps... very happy (but still haven't forgiven AT&T for stealing money from me, theives!)

ghettochris
Jan 18, 2012, 12:48 PM
Throttling doesn't bother me, I'd rather pay $10/gig past a data cap for high speed than have unlimited but slow data, but the fact that I can't tether on the 2 gb plan pisses me off. I paid for 2 gigs, what do they care what I do with it. that's like saying they charge you extra to put a call on speakerphone, should be illegal.

Dinorawkflcityb
Jan 18, 2012, 01:30 PM
If you are in PAC or MNY market you will have your data speeds reduces at 2gbs. The more congested the market the quicker you will see your speeds reduced. The markets make up more than one state so just because you dont live in California or New York if your market is either one of those your speeds will be reduced at 2gbs.

aidensocal
Jan 18, 2012, 02:17 PM
So the interesting thing here is that for the past few years, there has been no "unlimited plan" available. That means that every new (millions) of customer being added to AT&T is pegged at 2gb plan. As the number of people on the 2gb plan continues to increase, virtually every unlimited plan holder that uses more than 2gb will end up in the "top 5%" so effectively, AT&T has let people keep an unlimited plan that they signed up for, but has this slow but ingenious way of keeping them from actually using it. Class Action Lawsuit anyone? I have been with AT&T for 15 years, and let me say I think I have probably gotten about 2500$ in checks from class action suits they have settled, I have a strong feeling this is going to be another one.

starops777
Jan 18, 2012, 02:46 PM
The thing that really gets me is that I can go into AT&T today and order 2,000 new lines in the busiest market and they will happily accept the order. If congestion is such an issue why don't they stop adding new customers?!?

aidensocal
Jan 18, 2012, 05:42 PM
So the interesting thing here is that for the past few years, there has been no "unlimited plan" available. That means that every new (millions) of customer being added to AT&T is pegged at 2gb plan. As the number of people on the 2gb plan continues to increase, virtually every unlimited plan holder that uses more than 2gb will end up in the "top 5%" so effectively, AT&T has let people keep an unlimited plan that they signed up for, but has this slow but ingenious way of keeping them from actually using it. Class Action Lawsuit anyone? I have been with AT&T for 15 years, and let me say I think I have probably gotten about 2500$ in checks from class action suits they have settled, I have a strong feeling this is going to be another one.

FYI my monthly usage is at "2088.98 MB of Unlimited" so in theory if I was paying 50$ for the 5GB plan, I would only be able to use half of it before being throttled?

corncakes
Jan 18, 2012, 06:04 PM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/9A405)

WHY is a lawsuit taking so long?

Dinorawkflcityb
Jan 18, 2012, 06:14 PM
Starting january 22nd at&t will be offering 3gb for $30

bmstrong
Jan 19, 2012, 06:51 AM
Got my first message this morning. I used a pretty good chuck on data through this week so I'm not shocked. Grandfathered into the unlimited. I'll have to watch and wait. Once you get the text how long before the throttle begins?

gobsofrob
Jan 19, 2012, 07:53 AM
I'm hoping a lawyer who is an owner of an iPhone with an unlimited data plan will file a class action suit against AT&T for breach of contract. If anyone know's how to begin this process please comment on it so we can get the ball rolling against AT&T.

8ate8
Jan 19, 2012, 04:21 PM
FYI my monthly usage is at "2088.98 MB of Unlimited" so in theory if I was paying 50$ for the 5GB plan, I would only be able to use half of it before being throttled?

They're only throttling users that are still on the unlimited plan. If you were paying $50/month for 5GB, then you'd have unrestricted bandwidth to those 5GB. Once you surpassed the 5GB, they'd charge you an additional fee to use more data.

Poindexter333
Jan 19, 2012, 06:00 PM
AT&T are a bunch of lying, conniving mofos. For the past 2 months they have started throttling me (to a max of 30kbps) within the first week of a new billing period telling me I had used 6GB worth of data- when I never used more than 5GB in any prior month in total!! iPhone stats told me I had used less than 600MB, so I spent over an hour with a higher-level tech support guy- who told me this was due to "a 3-day lag" between what my phone tells me, and the "real data usage".

Meanwhile, I'm almost at the end of my cycle and I have still only used 2.2GB after an entire month, NOT the 6GB they told me I used over 2 weeks ago for only that one week.

Liars. This stinks. SOMEBODY has to hold them accountable. How can they prove their data throughputs are right when they're obviously not, and just doing everything in their power to get rid of the grandfathered unlimited plans??

I can't switch providers, as I need to browse and talk at the same time, and sometimes use GPS too.

dkgee
Jan 20, 2012, 02:00 PM
The video comparing load speeds on Throttled vs. Non-Throttled look very much like the difference I have experienced between my AT&T 3GS and my new VZW 4S. Although I have no indication that my usage has triggered throttling on either account, my 3G download with Verizon is irritatingly slow.

I have seen little discussion of this subject when people compare the carriers. I chose to move to Verizon to improve telephone and data geographical coverage (home is rural Utah), and that may have improved slightly, but data speeds are so much slower that I wish I had canceled the account early on and returned to AT&T.

Moof1904
Jan 20, 2012, 05:34 PM
Gee, where are all the past AT&T apologists who argued so stridently that throttling was still unlimited and we who were complaining about throttling where just whiners?

Throttling is not about preserving bandwidth for the bulk of the users. That's the pretty face they put on it. Throttling is just a money grab by AT&T, one of the slimiest companies out there (next to Monsanto, of course).

acarney
Jan 20, 2012, 11:12 PM
Just got a message from AT&T warning of the top 5%!!! I'm at 2,088mb! I totally think this should only apply when you go above their top data plan, the 3gig or 5gig. At this rate in a few months the unlimited plan users will hit the top 5% before users in the 2 or 3gig plans!

I'm in Richland, WA; not a large city (35,000 probably) so I'm not sure if this is just being enforced in big cities or heavy markets or what....

I hope 4G will open up data more. I stream music mainly in the car.... If that's hitting the top 5 I hate to think of video on Netflix and stuff...

SpaceKitty
Jan 20, 2012, 11:19 PM
At&ts 3GB plan is better than Verizon. I have 2GB for $30 on Verizon right now so AT&T is the better value.

acarney
Jan 20, 2012, 11:32 PM
At&ts 3GB plan is better than Verizon. I have 2GB for $30 on Verizon right now so AT&T is the better value.

It seems that it's going to be the "sweet" spot for unlimited users too. Currently pay $30 for the old unlimited plan & am being warned around 2gigs, if I switch to the limited I would get an extra gig for the same price; but they could just tack on extra fees as soon as I go over... Which with 15 days left in my cycle, would seem likely.

mgipe
Jan 20, 2012, 11:36 PM
Download one iBooks textbook and your "unlimited" data plan is toast for the rest of the month.

acarney
Jan 20, 2012, 11:43 PM
Yep, I'm going to hold off and use wifi more to preload some radio and podcast stuff before I jump in the car with hopes that we will get grandfathered in still with unlimited on LTE & maybe that it will have a higher cap, or just throttle down to like 150kb or something more manageable.

Poindexter333
Jan 21, 2012, 05:56 AM
The BIGGEST problem is the one that people are skirting around.

How can we possibly trust their data records?

I proved to them, from my bills over several months, they they are at LEAST DOUBLING the accurate I/O data count that the iPhone keeps. I used 5-6gb per month, for several years, and now-- with MUCH LESS audio streaming, they told me I did 6GB in one week last month??? When my phone had it clearly under 1GB??? I got their text and was throttled on the 6th day of the cycle!

For months there never was any disparity between their records and mine. Now, all of a sudden they are "seeing" data throughput at double or triple the true rate? Bull puckey.

This is going to come back and haunt them. I can only pray for their big comeuppance. Some lawyer is finally going to have enough of these liars and hand their hats to them, and it's going to cost them billions!

mkrishnan
Jan 21, 2012, 08:34 AM
Download one iBooks textbook and your "unlimited" data plan is toast for the rest of the month.

Have things changed? To date, iOS prevents downloads >20mb OTA even if you want to.

JimDeGuz
Jan 21, 2012, 10:07 AM
I just got the text this morning from AT&T. I am 6 days into my billing cycle and I am at 1.66gb of data usage.

I've explained to AT&T, ad nauseam, that I do use wifi when I can but when I'm at work, in the car, or in the gym, I can't.

I use Netflix, iTunes Match, ESPN Radio, Pandora, Maps, etc...Which can all be data intensive.

I told them that the phone is utterly and completely useless when it's being throttled and not letting me use services that I PAY FOR like Netflix and iTunes Match!

Why don't they get that I don't use Netflix on my phone when I'm in my house?

Like many of you have said, this is just probably a money-grab tactic from AT&T to get us all to switch to the tiered plans.

Oh and by the way, if you have the 5gb plan and are using data at the same rate as someone with the unlimited plan, will you be throttled? I don't think so...That has to be illegal in some shape, way, or form.

This has to stop now!

acarney
Jan 21, 2012, 12:33 PM
So we have figured out that the top 5% has closed down to 1.6 to 2Gb. This is worrying as the cheaper plans may now actually become "better" deals...

I wonder if I can get them to let me out of my contract over this....

famoussasjohn
Jan 21, 2012, 12:36 PM
Just got my letter today Dear JOHN ,

Like other wireless companies, AT&T is taking steps to manage exploding demand for mobile data. We're responding on many levels, including investing billions in our wireless network this year and working to acquire more network capacity.

As mentioned on a previous bill, we're also taking additional, more immediate steps to help address network congestion and improve reliability. One of these steps involves a change for some customers who use extraordinarily large amounts of data in a single billing period - about 12 times more data than the average smartphone user.

For the current billing cycle, your data usage indicates you could be affected by this change. Here's how it works:

Smartphone customers with unlimited data plans may experience reduced speeds once their usage in a billing cycle reaches the level that puts them among the top 5 percent of heaviest data users. These customers can still use unlimited data and their speeds will be restored with the start of the next billing cycle.

We're writing because you are in the top 5 percent of heaviest data users for this billing cycle. Because we recognize that data usage can change from month to month, you will not see reduced speeds this billing cycle.

Beginning with your next billing cycle, we'll send you a text message if you are approaching the top 5 percent of heaviest data users. We'll also send you a second text message if you cross into the top 5 percent of heaviest users, at which point you may see reduced speeds for the rest of the month.

Customers have several ways to manage extremely high data usage.

Wi-Fi offers great speeds and doesn't add to your wireless data usage. Consider using Wi-Fi when possible for applications that use the highest amounts of data, such as streaming video apps, remote web camera apps, large data-file transfers (like video) and some online gaming.

You may also consider switching to a tiered data plan if speed is more important to you than having an unlimited data plan. Customers on tiered plans can pay for more data if they need it, and will not see reduced speeds.

To estimate how much data different activities use, and find out more about Wi-Fi or tiered data plans, visit https://www.att.com/dataplans or call Customer Care at 800-331-0500.

Unlimited - 2081.51 used

:rolleyes: I'm barely even over the 2gig mark.

Funny because about 6 months ago I had 3.3GB used for the month, nothing from them about me being over the limit.

brentblack24
Jan 21, 2012, 03:45 PM
If there was a donation fund to start a lawsuit proceedings, I'd rather donate to that instead of giving any money to At&t.

My phone throttled (crippled) is utterly useless, and there is no way I've used as much data as they say I have....

soym
Jan 22, 2012, 08:14 AM
I've had iPhones for the last several years with the unlimited data. Just received the top 5% message for the first time ever, so I decided to check my usage...2068.93 MB of unlimited . I am day 14 of 31 days in the billing cycle.

Just a matter of time...and the unlimited plans will go away one way or another.

matherman
Jan 22, 2012, 09:26 AM
AT&T pissed me off with the throttling. I was doing a east coast drive and got throttled around 2gb, pandora was skipping. Since my phone is basically unusable after it is throttled I stream ever night when I go to bed just to run up the bandwidth. It seems if enough people did this it would push the top 5% up a little bit.

famoussasjohn
Jan 22, 2012, 01:04 PM
I've had iPhones for the last several years with the unlimited data. Just received the top 5% message for the first time ever, so I decided to check my usage...2068.93 MB of unlimited . I am day 14 of 31 days in the billing cycle.

Just a matter of time...and the unlimited plans will go away one way or another.

They particularly won't remove the unlimited plan from grandfathered users, but they will send the "Top 5%" messages and throttle you. They would lose A LOT of customers if they forced people to one of their new plans. If they force people to their new plans, that is breaking their original agreement and would give the option to the customer to cancel service free of charge I believe. I don't think it would apply to me as I'm out of my agreement that I signed and have been eligible for an upgrade since I started with AT&T.

----------

AT&T pissed me off with the throttling. I was doing a east coast drive and got throttled around 2gb, pandora was skipping. Since my phone is basically unusable after it is throttled I stream ever night when I go to bed just to run up the bandwidth. It seems if enough people did this it would push the top 5% up a little bit.

I don't think they will change the limit if people started doing that, it's more than likely a set amount that AT&T has put, but won't state what the limit is, 2GB is a joke, I agree, it should be what their highest GB offered in the Data plan which is 3GB without being throttled, if not more. What happens with people who have the 3GB plan? Do they get throttled at around 2GB?


The way I have gotten most of my usage was from an app called "TuneIn Radio" and stream something, usually Kevin and Bean is 100MB-150MB per episode to stream entirely. I could go through 1GB in less than an hour.

einmusiker
Jan 22, 2012, 01:22 PM
so glad i dropped att this summer for verizon lte. and i'm not paying the etf **** you att

SpaceKitty
Jan 22, 2012, 05:13 PM
so glad i dropped att this summer for verizon lte. and i'm not paying the etf **** you att

You don't have to pay it but just remember, it will affect your credit rating.

Mochi Hana
Jan 22, 2012, 05:38 PM
If this is only about people on unlimited plans, then AT&T's idea may be:

(1) Make unlimited plan annoying for people in "top 5% data usage group" (by throttling)
so
(2) Some people in "top 5% data usage group" change from the unlimited plan, or reduce data use
so
(3) The "top 5% data usage group" now uses less data than in the past
so
(4) Throttling occurs earlier, and earlier, and earlier
so
(5) More people are motivated away from the unlimited plan

Does that make sense?

This is the exact underhanded method this company is using. I'm seriously considering switching to a competitor soon.

jmyknight
Jan 24, 2012, 12:55 PM
Just got a text message from them this morning saying that my data usage it approaching the top 5%. My data usage was 1.5 gig. REALLY. I have 10 days left in my billing cycle and I am in the top 5% of users. I called to complain and was told it's a computer generated message and it's done by users/market/time of the month. Since when was market a part of this, the message says "OF USERS" be more specific. They are trying to get us "UNLIMITED" users off the plans. They just SUCK. What they are going to do is get us "UNLIMITED" users of AT&T.

LIARS.

Vaughn Logan
Jan 24, 2012, 01:13 PM
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I believe that AT&T has already safe-guarded themselves by disallowing law suits as a condition of contract subscription. Instead, an independent arbitrator will likely hear the case. The best resolve for now is to file a complaint with the FCC. See the thread on this forum entitled "AT&T Bandwidth Throttling" for information on this issue.

drummingcraig
Jan 24, 2012, 01:24 PM
Out of curiosity I checked my monthly data usage last night. I am up to 1.5GB with two weeks left in my billing cycle. I never gave a second thought to how much data I used until I started reading through this thread. However lately I have been stareaming Pandora fairly frequently in the car while driving.

Going to be very interesting if I get the message. However as a longtime AT&T customer (10+ years), iPhone user since day one (unlimited plan of course) and being almost out of contract...if they pull this crap on me I will happily tell them to pound sand and take my $150/month family plan to another carrier.

soonersean
Jan 24, 2012, 03:48 PM
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I got the text on Sunday with just over 2gb. I'm now being throttled and testmyiphone shows I'm getting 31 kB/s. Very few pages load before they timeout and forget watching any videos. I'm posting constantly on AT&T FB page. May not do any good - but helps me vent. I have 10 days left in this cycle and my phone is a paperweight.

shanerockey
Jan 25, 2012, 11:28 AM
my last billing cycle was 26.3 GB

wow!

----------

unlimited = unlimited right?

unĚlimĚitĚed   /ʌnˈlɪmɪtɪd/ Show Spelled[uhn-lim-i-tid] Show IPA
adjective
1. not limited; unrestricted; unconfined: unlimited trade.
2. boundless; infinite; vast: the unlimited skies.
3. without any qualification or exception; unconditional.

soonersean
Jan 25, 2012, 02:59 PM
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Just spoke to Lakeisha at AT&T and was told that this is how it will now be. They have to throttle unlimited plans to help manage network congestion.

She had no answer for how they plan to support the new 3-5GB tiers if they can't handle 5% of their users hitting more than 2.

soonersean
Jan 25, 2012, 03:02 PM
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Lakeisha at AT&T just told me to basically get used to throttling. She also thanked me for being a loyal customer and told me they appreciated my business. Bwahahahahaha.

drummingcraig
Jan 25, 2012, 03:58 PM
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Just spoke to Lakeisha at AT&T and was told that this is how it will now be. They have to throttle unlimited plans to help manage network congestion.

She had no answer for how they plan to support the new 3-5GB tiers if they can't handle 5% of their users hitting more than 2.

While I won't deny that network congestion is an issue, the claim of Unlimited users being the sole blame is complete horse crap, especially at the 2GB threshold. This is nothing more than a BS fix to a BS problem, and the only reason it exists is to try to push unlimited customers onto a more profitable plan.

my last billing cycle was 26.3 GB

wow![COLOR="#808080"]



No offense and I am not trying to flame you, but YOU are the type of customer that should be getting throttled...not the folks only using 2-3GB's. Not saying I condone the throttling for anyone on the unlimited plan, but if they're going to do it they should at least be fair about it.

soonersean
Jan 26, 2012, 10:54 AM
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They shouldn't worry about throttling until someone is north of 5GB. If you're going to offer 3-5GB tiers then an unlimited plan should be allowed to exceed both. Hence the use of the term "unlimited".

I said yesterday that AT&T might be the only ones who could actually define a limit for the concept of "infinity". "At AT&T infinity means SIX!!!"

For some reason I always picture the boss in the Dilbert cartoons when I think of AT&T.

shanerockey
Jan 26, 2012, 02:57 PM
Just ran a speed test Columbus, Ohio

Download 0.24 Mbps
Upload 0.71 Mbps

kreilly
Feb 2, 2012, 11:19 AM
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I got throttled last night as I crossed the 2gb mark.

mattesonb
Feb 2, 2012, 02:16 PM
my story is like all the rest, starting this past november i have been received 2 warning texts a month about being in the "top 5%" of data users, and finally on january 30th i got the 3rd message telling me i am now being throttled. i found this strange as i received the first message in november after using only 1.24GB with the second warning coming 10 days later at 1.89GB of use. the same pattern followed in december with slightly lower numbers. and finally this january i began being throttled after using 2.24GB.

for those who are being throttled, they take your data speed down below 0.25MB which renders the phone virtually useless when not on WIFI.

i spent 2 hours on the phone last night with a customer service representative who offered no resolution other than to switch to the 3GB/month for $30 plan and forever losing my "unlimited data plan" forever.

the representative did let slip a few bits of information on accident;
1. the 5% is calculated based on usage of other "unlimited iphone data users" by your regional market (though she would not say what area that covered)
2. the warnings, and actual throttling is handled by an automated system based on the parameters they have given it
3. she has seen warning go out to users for as little as 300MB 4 days into a billing cycle


I feel this is a blatant underhanded tactic by ATT to force "unlimited" data users onto tiered plans, and by being intentionally extremely vague on how they come up with the "5%" numbers they are getting away with it.

c0ry138
Feb 6, 2012, 11:02 AM
Get this gents and ladies AT&T is throttling everybody with unlimited plans and this is how. After you hit the top 5% they slow your data so much it's pretty much impossible to use it right. Giving the person right behind you to hit 5% the next day. Eventually everyone hits it and everyone gets throttled because they dot release you until the end of your billing cycle. This is outrageous and they are braking terms of service if they are throttling more than the top 5% not to mention its not even national. They brake it up to your town to your day of cycle. So your are competing with very few people which makes it easy as hell to hit top 5 percent if you have no one in your small group using data. And if you all are using data you will all get throttled. And when you ask AT&T to show you the avg. usage in your town they have no idea because te network decides. So they can't tell me how it works I can't look at it all I can do is read there terms. Where the **** is the legal team so we can sue this company and get what's rightfully ours unlimited data with no throttling.

aross99
Feb 6, 2012, 03:10 PM
Obviously they want to get rid of the unlimited accounts, but what I don't get is why they don't treat them the same as the other people who pay $30/mo.

If they start throttling unlimited users at 2GB, but I could switch to 3GB for the same price, why do they care if I am unlimited or 3GB for $30?

It would have saved them a ton of bad PR to just throttle people at the same level as the $30 tier.

I still think that stinks for some people (5GB seems more reasonable limit to me, but whatever). Most of the comments seem to come from the fact that some people are now effectively getting less data on unlimited than the people paying the same amount for $3GB...

it doesn't make sense that $30 UNLIMITED gets less data then $30 for 3GB...

THAT is where they screwed up...

HazyCloud
Feb 6, 2012, 03:50 PM
....it doesn't make sense that $30 UNLIMITED gets less data then $30 for 3GB...

THAT is where they screwed up...

The last AT&T rep I spoke with actually agreed with me when I said the same thing. I said, "How can Joe Blow walk in today and pay the same amount a 4+ year customer can and get better service? To me it sounds like you are treating your loyal customers worse than your new ones."

I've been getting throttled anywhere from 2-3 GBs without even getting a notice. Today I can't even open a link from within Mail without Safari timing out.

Where the **** is the legal team so we can sue this company and get what's rightfully ours unlimited data with no throttling.

Section 6.2 or your contract says hello.

JDVough
Feb 7, 2012, 06:37 PM
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Since there is no outside oversight, and since there seems to be far more than 5 percent of users getting notices, it appears, as many experts have said, that there is no "top 5 percent." AT&T is throttling up to 50% of its "unlimited" customers in order to force them onto tiered plans. There is no Top 5 percent.

aross99
Feb 8, 2012, 07:38 PM
...since there seems to be far more than 5 percent of users getting notices, it appears, as many experts have said, that there is no "top 5 percent." AT&T is throttling up to 50% of its "unlimited" customers in order to force them onto tiered plans.

I don't think you can say this for sure. There may be way more than 5% of the MacRumors audience who are getting these notices, but I don't believe more than 5% of the AT&T users are.

There are plenty of people who use their iPhones more in WiFi than on 3G, and have way less than 2GB of data. Even people who consider themselves heavy iPhone users.

I'm just as disappointed about the throttling as everyone else, but I don't think AT&T is faking the numbers - they just picked way to high a percentage.

Remember when they said 98% of their users used less than 2GB of data? Wouldn't that mean that 2% of the people use more than 2GB, so the top 5% should have been people using less than 2GB from the beginning. I think they have just gotten more aggressive about enforcement.

What doesn't make sense is why they throttle you for using less data than the $30 tier. If everyone who was throttled at 2GB switched to the $30 3GB plan, they would be using MORE data for the same price.

Just makes no sense...

FelixDerKater
Feb 18, 2012, 07:48 AM
The warning came at 1.5 GB this month in the Washington, DC area.

Speeds were reduced to .05Mbps at the exact moment 2.0GB was reached.

corncakes
Feb 19, 2012, 04:08 AM
CROSS POSTED

Called AT&T 7 times to complain about extremely slow speeds. This happened for 3 days following billing date. AT&T did everything to avoid addressing throttling. They insisted it was an Apple issue. Finally they said "a file" would have to be opened on my problem. They connected me to a "special tech" for this purpose. The tech played ignorant until I detailed AT&T's actions re: throttling unlimited users. The tech ACTUALLY ADMITTED that my phone had not been reset upon my billing date on 02/13. She also claimed that AT&T was having difficulty with resetting cycles! Surely there's a lawyer/firm out there interested in this?!

class77
Feb 19, 2012, 07:15 AM
I know Shepard Smith was raising hell on his Fox news show last week.

Eviltwin
Feb 19, 2012, 09:04 AM
Third month in a row I got the warning message. Im in NYC and got it after half way throught my billing cycle at 1.58GB. Its toally pointless to call them they cant/wont do anything.

I founded a petition on change.org

http://www.change.org/petitions/att-data-throttle

Please sign it maybe it will do some good. Tell your friends, post it on facebook,twitter, and other forums.

I also complained to FCC here is the link

http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm


I really hope CDMA iPhone 5 wont have Voice/Data issue and hopefully Tmobile will get the phone too.

Cant wait to dump ATT and I encourage to do the same

Tec972
Feb 19, 2012, 03:16 PM
CROSS POSTED

Called AT&T 7 times to complain about extremely slow speeds. This happened for 3 days following billing date. AT&T did everything to avoid addressing throttling. They insisted it was an Apple issue. Finally they said "a file" would have to be opened on my problem. They connected me to a "special tech" for this purpose. The tech played ignorant until I detailed AT&T's actions re: throttling unlimited users. The tech ACTUALLY ADMITTED that my phone had not been reset upon my billing date on 02/13. She also claimed that AT&T was having difficulty with resetting cycles! Surely there's a lawyer/firm out there interested in this?!

Funny how their system has such a hard time resetting cycles yet their throttling system seems to be running flawlessly. Don't be fooled, this is a ploy to exterminate all UNLIMITED data plans. This has absolutely nothing to do with protecting bandwidth or their infrastructure. If that were the case you would be only throttled during peak demand periods, not constantly. When people are on an unlimited data plan and being throttled before people on the $25 2GB plan there is a cause for serious alarm. You are paying more money and being throttled when the limited plans are not. I really hope someone can bring a class action on this.

I am willing to bet that the grounds they are using and their supposed 5% is BS!! People in the same metro areas are being throttled at 1.5 -2GB while others on the same plan and in the same area are over 5GB? I would not have a problem with throttling IF it were to protect their network but we all know that is not the real reason. Otherwise you wouldn't be throttled in the middle of the night when network traffic is next to nothing. They are actively trying to purge the unlimited data subscribers.

I find it disgusting that they are having record quarters and signing a record number of customers if their system can't handle it, then don't take any more customers. I hope they ********** burn in hell for this and get their asses handed to them by the court or by the customers.