Should the 4 major phone companies have a 2G 3G LTE optional plan ? For iPhone

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by DBZmusicboy01, Mar 29, 2014.

  1. DBZmusicboy01 macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2011
    Meaning lets say if we want unlimited data...
    $35 for LTE
    $25 For 3G
    $15 for 2G/EDGE
    So people can save money based on their speed needs. If someone is only lightly going to check their Facebook and the weather and articles then 2G should be fine but if someone is a heavy user who watches lots of YouTube videos then LTE is for them.
    But we should have a choice on how we want the spend the money on. Like being able to have unlimited data but priced based on the speed. So things can be more fair for people who are in a tight budget. Because it's ridiculous how expensive the prices.
  2. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Sprint is the only one offering unlimited, so if you want unlimited data then you should go with them. I think it was a VZW exec who said unlimited data plan was unsustainable and I have to agree with them.

    As for the slower access speeds, do any of the carriers even sell 2G or 3G phones at this point?
  3. DBZmusicboy01 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2011
    Like being able to be slowed down to those kinds of speed since I am sure all the LTE phone has the 3G chip on them. Maybe even the EDGE one too so if the companies did update they can still limit the speed of the devices so not only the network doesn't have to take a heavy load at the moment. It can make people from using so much data in so little time.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    What you're advocating is to go backwards. The market is simply not going that way. Faster is what sells phones, not cheaper slower service. Just look at how the carriers are advertising. They're saying how much faster their service is then the competitors.

    Like it or not, what you're recommending will never occur and doesn't fit within the usage patterns of many people.
  5. DBZmusicboy01 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Sep 30, 2011
    Like internet speeds...people can have the same amount but with slower speeds based on their budget. There's nothing wrong with having 2G speeds if we are allowed to save money. If only the person is not a heavy outside user. Most just use the data to check on facebook or light browsing with just using youtube on wifi
  6. Breaking Good macrumors 6502a

    Sep 28, 2012
    I pay $27/mo for UTnT with 500MB of 3G data on H2O Wireless.

    AIO Wireless offers the same thing for $35/mo, but throttles you down to 2G EDGE speed after you hit 500MB.
  7. CEmajr macrumors 601

    Dec 18, 2012
    Charlotte, NC
    Won't happen. AT&T/VZW make too much from overages to offer something that flexible.

    And while the smaller carriers Sprint and T-Mobile do still offer unlimited data, they would stand to lose money if they offered a cheaper unlimited data plan such as 3G only for a lower cost. It's more profitable to charge everyone the same rate if they want unlimited data (technically T-Mobile already offers unlimited 2G data with their $50 and $60 plans).
  8. T5BRICK macrumors G3


    Aug 3, 2006
    I can't imagine the carriers doing this. It doesn't fit what the majority of the market wants.
  9. PDFierro macrumors 68040

    Sep 8, 2009
    Mobile networks work quite differently from home internet. It would never happen.
  10. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Here's the deal...

    On AT&T 3G versus LTE I could certainly rack up the same amount of data. High data users are generally those that stream. One does not have to be capping out their down/up rates to be using the same amount of data on average.

    I can see giving a cheaper price for edge, since there can be virtually zero streaming there and it would be hard to even rack up a gig of data usage.

    The bottom line is, while I would love to pay less for 3G only data (since LTE really isn't that much of a boon for me) I could never see a company doing this. TMO comes close with their data caps down to 2G. In essence, they are already doing what you want, just giving you a "free" amount of 4G/LTE along with your 2G/EDGE package.

    What would make MORE sense, especially since they no longer require contracts and subsidies, is to just stop forcing people into data packages, period. AT&T already gives me the option to turn off data on a given line. Why can;t I just have a plan and pay less overall with NO data? Not that I personally would want this, but I am sure there are people that want smartphones for the multitude of capabilities they provide outside of mobile data.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Its tough to market to consumers to state you actually get less not more.
  12. yg17, Mar 30, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014

    yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    The carriers eventually want to shut off their 2G networks to re-use the spectrum for 4G/LTE. In 10 years, maybe less, we'll be talking about shutting off 3G networks to reuse the spectrum for 5G. The carriers can't shut down the networks until people are no longer using them, so this is not going to happen. Ever.

    Also, mobile speeds are not guaranteed and are dependent on a lot more factors than your internet at home. If you're paying extra for LTE speeds, there's no way to guarantee you get LTE speeds if the network is congested or you're far away from the nearest tower, or in a building that's acting as a faraday cage. Or maybe you've traveled to the middle of nowhere where there is no LTE. So then you get customers calling up and bitching that they're not getting the LTE speeds they're paying for. Whereas with your cable connection at home, an ISP can sell you a certain speed at a certain price with a guarantee you will get those speeds or be reasonably close.
  13. scaredpoet, Mar 30, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014

    scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    The problem is that the economics don't work out for the carrier, for two reasons. First, deploying the newer networks cost a lot of money, and to recoup that cost, as many users as possible must be paying to use that network.

    Second, as the newer networks are built out, the oldest networks become liabilities, money-losers. 2G/EDGE networks in particular use up a lot of spectrum for very low capacity and speeds. Right now, AT&T is already shutting down EDGE in some areas, and will be shutting it down completely at the start of 2017. So it makes zero sense for them to do anything to encourage people to keep using it.

    Unfortunately, unlimited flew the coup the moment carriers like AT&T realized they could make more money off heavy data users by eliminating it.

    It is pretty ridiculous, but there are alternatives. Aio is one (which is basically AT&T using prepaid plans). And in a way, it's sort of what you're asking for: in exchange for reduced pricing you get lower-speed LTE data (around 8 Mbps) And once you use the allotted data on your plan you're down to "unlimited" HSPA+ speeds at about 4Mbps. So, it might be worth looking into.
  14. japanime, Mar 30, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2014

    japanime macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2006
    Here in Japan, it's possible to get unlimited 3G data (with throttled speeds) for about $15 a month.
  15. JOSE891 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 15, 2012
    Las Vegas
    I pay $35/mo for Unlimited Text and 3G/4G data with 500Min on Go Phone on my iPhone 5S.
  16. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    Thats one of the big differences behind it all--it's not like using the same copper or cable or fiber and just providing more or less bandwidth through it for faster or slower speeds at different prices. "2G" uses essentially different technology and hardware than 3G and that is different than LTE, so it's about upkeeping all the different infrastructures just to provide different speeds.
  17. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Great on paper but how much demand is there for this?

    There are varying services and prices offered. Are you only considering postpaid?
  18. alent1234 macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    with wireless the limit is people per tower not really the speed
    they don't want too many people per tower at the same time streaming video 24x7
  19. 869639 macrumors 6502

    Jan 2, 2014
    They do, however it will create lots of confusion...I don't think carrier's can force "3G" or "2G" or even "LTE" without constantly updating carrier profiles for users each time they want to switch between plans....Also giving "2G" speeds while showing the "3G" or "LTE" icon will create a huge headache/confusion for the it will never happen.

    Basically, doing what you are asking will cause huge amount of headache for the carriers to implement because lets jus face it....there are too many "confused" people out there who will not be able to comprehend such a thing.

    Also Carrier's won't give Unlimited data given that 3G is really good even now...getting 3Mbps or above = MORE People will opt for it over LTE leading to congestion.

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