AT&T offers more info on throttling "unlimited" customers

You may remember that last week, we reported that a man was successful in taking AT&T to small claims court over the wireless carrier's policy of throttling the data of users who still had an "unlimited" data plan. Now AT&T has come out with some more information about its throttling data policies, including word that 3G smartphone users will reach their cap at 3 GB per month before AT&T cuts down on their data speed. 4G LTE users have a limit of 5 GB per month.

First, AT&T defends its right to cut down the data speed on unlimited users who go over the cap, stating that their wireless data traffic has gone up a whopping 20,000 percent (no, that's not a typo) in the past five years as more and more mobile phone users switch to smartphones.

AT&T still insists that these changes will only affect 5 percent of their smartphone customers. It adds that when a user is about to approach their data limit in a month, AT&T will send out a text message alerting them to that fact. If the cap is exceeded for unlimited users, they will experience slower data speeds until the end of their billing cycle.

AT&T says that unlimited users on their network have three options. One is simply to do nothing and stick with their current plan and deal with the threat of slower data speeds every month when they reach their limit. The second is to use WiFi connections for data usage. Finally, customers can switch over to the company's tiered data plan, which doesn't cut down their data speeds but simply charges them more for every GB they go over the limit.

Image via AT&T

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This is pretty cool. When I go a few days without driving, and have some days off from getting screwed at the gas pump, I've been wanting another way to be screwed.

I then remember that I can always count on my cellphone provider to screw me when I have a break from the gas pumps. When I feel like being triple screwed, I can always count on credit card companies to be waiting to give me some DP with a nice un-lubed cucumber.

Thank you.

so my 6gb plan "not unlimited" ends up being better than the unlimited from ATT...I guess it was a good move from Rogers in canada to put that out at 30$!

I would love to be in a courtroom arging what unlimited means.
If I asked a bank to give me an unlimited amount of money, that means they need to keep giving me money FOREVER. Unlimted has NO LIMITS on ANYTHING. That means I can use my conneion to view whatever I want, and it should be as fast as possible. If you throttl down my speed, that means you are "limiting" what I can do. Thus it isn't unlimited.

If I was with ATT I would be suing the crap out of them. All th frikkin money they have and they simply refuse to upgrade their **** to handle the traffic.

They went and advertised all these fancy ass phones to get people to buy them, not that people are, they don't want to provide the service needed to have them.

I would haul their @$$ to court toight now and tell them they are breaking the terms of the contract I signed and I want to immediately be released from it at no cost or I sue you until you do.

All you people who use ATT need to get up off your @$$' and stand up. One thing I can say, if Verizon ever tries such I will haul their @$$ to court and get off their network. Or I will just switch to a cheap phone and not worry about it.

If you can't produce the service, then stop selling the products that require a service you are failing to provide. It is that simple and people need to wake up.

Now I will purposely try to go over the limit and use as much data as I can.

I've been paying $30 a month for unlimited data since 2008. That's alot of money. And I was under 2GB most of those months.

It comes down to greed. AT&T promised unlimited data to get people to sign-up with them and now just wants more money. They are trying to get people to switch to the tiered plans.

YouTube has plenty of Bollywood movies that exceed 2 hours. I will play them non-stop now.

Just amazing at all of the B***ching about AT&T yet. If you don't like it dump them. It is really that simple.

Just curious, what are you guys downloading on your phones that gets you up to 5gb a month, where are you when you are downloading (work, home, etc.), and do you not have wifi?

Enron said,
Just curious, what are you guys downloading on your phones that gets you up to 5gb a month, where are you when you are downloading (work, home, etc.), and do you not have wifi?

Netflix alone can easily go over 5 gb a month. And if you tether your phone you could easily go over that way too.

Vote with your wallets. In the UK is similar, except one company, Giffgaff, a user-run company using the O2 network, really does offer unlimited data (but no tethering). For £10/month. Same with Three, 15 gets you truly unlimited data. If people saw past the initial glee of cheap contracts for iPhones and looked at their tariff they'd choose differently.

Well in Australia, we have the ACCC and anybody does advertsing like AT & T will be in serious trouble if they advertise "Unlimited" and have a "throttle" point as well.
In Australia "unlimited" means just that.....UNLIMITED (no throttle point).

I got unlimited usb mobile broadband thru alltel, at&t bought alltel in my area. Then was grandfathered in and upgraded to shockwave 4g with unlimited data for $60 a month. But haven't been throttled yet.

Limiting bandwidth is wrong...they need to expand, do what it takes with profits now than wait for the next 5 years to do something when there is nothing left to do in order to fix the issue. I'm getting ready to sub to Verizon's bandwidth package for a new smart phone in a few months cause I haven't needed it before but be nice to have. They have 2G for $30... but give 4G to new customers - I'll argue that as I'm a customer of 10 years+ so I should be that 4 or unlimited.

Verizon has something similar. Brother goes over his 10 gb limit on his unlimited plan very easy on streaming movies and news. Hence why do we offer smart phones?? zzzz false advertising. So far my pre paid Straight Talk phone is very unliimited at $49 a month after taxes.

Temuulen Battumur said,
I guess it's for the best.

Made my day.
Thank you!

Next time include a "/s" though... You might get a sh*tstorm of rage from people who need their sarcasm detectors fixed.

GS:mac

THe ONLY point that should be taken in this instance is that AT&T call their service "Unlimited" and that is just what it should be. Anything less than that is FALSE ADVERTISING !!

Caveman-ugh said,
THe ONLY point that should be taken in this instance is that AT&T call their service "Unlimited" and that is just what it should be. Anything less than that is FALSE ADVERTISING !!

This.

If you can't/don't want to live up to your offer, don't offer it.
Simples.

GS:mac

Caveman-ugh said,
THe ONLY point that should be taken in this instance is that AT&T call their service "Unlimited" and that is just what it should be. Anything less than that is FALSE ADVERTISING !!

Good luck with that one considering every carrier claims to have unlimited data but reading the fine print on their unlimited plans clearly states otherwise. Sort of an industry standard at this point as much as we don't like it

Except that it is still unlimited. All they're doing is reducing your speed. They aren't capping the amount of data you can download, just capping how fast you can download it at.

I don't like throttling anymore than the next guy but oh well, most carriers have that as their policy now so nothing much you can really do about it =(

Razorfolds said,
Except that it is still unlimited. All they're doing is reducing your speed. They aren't capping the amount of data you can download, just capping how fast you can download it at.

I don't like throttling anymore than the next guy but oh well, most carriers have that as their policy now so nothing much you can really do about it =(


Except since your speed is limited you implicitly aren't able to download as much. If I'm downloading less than I was before, how is it unlimited?

no, every carrier doesn't offer unlimited data plans.

ILikeTobacco said,

Good luck with that one considering every carrier claims to have unlimited data but reading the fine print on their unlimited plans clearly states otherwise. Sort of an industry standard at this point as much as we don't like it

Memnochxx said,

Except since your speed is limited you implicitly aren't able to download as much. If I'm downloading less than I was before, how is it unlimited?

Because you're still able to download once you go over your "soft-limit".

Limited data would mean once you hit 3-5gb you can no longer download anything without having to pay extra.

Razorfolds said,

Because you're still able to download once you go over your "soft-limit".

Limited data would mean once you hit 3-5gb you can no longer download anything without having to pay extra.


There's really no such thing as unlimited. With made up numbers, let's say downloading at full speed for the entire month I would able to download 500 GB. But since they limit my speed, I am only able to download 20 GB. How can you defend any of this as unlimited?

Memnochxx said,

There's really no such thing as unlimited. With made up numbers, let's say downloading at full speed for the entire month I would able to download 500 GB. But since they limit my speed, I am only able to download 20 GB. How can you defend any of this as unlimited?

This.
Also consider that the throttling is nothing like a small annoyance or "balancing".

It makes surfing almost unbearable, let alone any media use (want to share that picture you just took via twitter? Forget it... Takes AAAAAGES)

HERE there is no BIG difference between factually unusable and unbearable or a halt of service.

GS:mac

Memnochxx said,

There's really no such thing as unlimited. With made up numbers, let's say downloading at full speed for the entire month I would able to download 500 GB. But since they limit my speed, I am only able to download 20 GB. How can you defend any of this as unlimited?

I'm not defending anything. I'm just pointing out that it is STILL TECHNICALLY unlimited.

There are no hard caps, and hence AT&T and other carriers can still call it unlimited. They have limited data plans that are hard capped to 100mb / 1gb / 2gb etc and those are different.

Razorfolds said,

I'm not defending anything. I'm just pointing out that it is STILL TECHNICALLY unlimited.

There are no hard caps, and hence AT&T and other carriers can still call it unlimited. They have limited data plans that are hard capped to 100mb / 1gb / 2gb etc and those are different.


Throttling down speed so much that you practically cannot (without unbearable time consumption to load) use all of a service's functions (such as media streaming, or even non-mobile websites) this IS a limitation.

Mind you, limits are not just about will it run? Yes? -> Not limited.

A limit could also be if your dad found out that you're watching porn and now only gives you half the money pocket money as punishment.
That IS a limit.

GS:mac

Throttling down speed so much that you practically cannot (without unbearable time consumption to load) use all of a service's functions (such as media streaming, or even non-mobile websites) this IS a limitation.

Eh that's dependent on your carrier though.

I have T-Mobile USA, 5gb softlimit. If I go over that, my speeds drop to EDGE speeds. Not great or anything but I can browse fine, email syncs fine, chat clients (msn / fb) work fine. Hell I can even use it to stream SD netflix just fine lol, HD is a different story.

Maybe things are different in Germany?

Razorfolds said,

Eh that's dependent on your carrier though.

I have T-Mobile USA, 5gb softlimit. If I go over that, my speeds drop to EDGE speeds. Not great or anything but I can browse fine, email syncs fine, chat clients (msn / fb) work fine. Hell I can even use it to stream SD netflix just fine lol, HD is a different story.

Maybe things are different in Germany?


Depends on your carrier, yes.

At least with T-Mo I have a plan that allows for 5GB soft, too and get a shi*load of T-Mo hot spots (unlimited). (really, they are quite common)

I'm doing fine, but if I went beyond 5GB I'd be throttled down to below Edge speed. (Don't know the exact speed atm)

I like my plan, but I'd like it more if it were a true unlimited data plan.
At least here in Germany coverage is awesome and I generally feel way better served around here than I'd feel in the US.

Even if you still can stream in SD, it's limited.
You can't deny it. Not the actual possibilities are limited then, but their quality.
We shouldn't just swallow that stuff.

GS:mac

I see your point, if the top 5% switch carriers we all could take a price reduction.

streetw0lf said,
So if the 5% all switched to tiered plans then at&t has no issues? Show me the money.