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Verizon Wireless won't make any new friends with this latest move to swat down heavy downloaders

When Verizon Wireless announced that the iPhone 4 would be coming to its network, the company made sure to make everyone know that its network was prepared to handle the onslaught of new devices. After all, Verizon Wireless is home to numerous Android devices which themselves tend to be data hungry.

Today, however, we're getting news that Verizon Wireless has plans to keep its network "in check" to ensure that it doesn't run into the same roadblocks as AT&T. Boy Genius Report noticed that the company has posted a new notice on its site [PDF] that targets heavy downloaders: 

Verizon Wireless strives to provide customers the best experience when using our network, a shared resource among tens of millions of customers. To help achieve this, if you use an extraordinary amount of data and fall within the top 5% of Verizon Wireless data users we may reduce your data throughput speeds periodically for the remainder of your then current and immediately following billing cycle to ensure high quality network performance for other users at locations and times of peak demand. Our proactive management of the Verizon Wireless network is designed to ensure that the remaining 95% of data customers aren't negatively affected by the inordinate data consumption of just a few users. 

Unfortunately, there is no indication of what threshold has to be crossed before Verizon Wireless will start throttling your speeds; and there is no indication of how slow your data speeds will be after getting busted by the company.

This new measure is effective starting today for those that sign a new contract or renew a contract.

The data throttling isn't the only change coming to Verizon Wireless. The company also announced that it is incorporating new transcoding technology into its network to help streamline data transfers. You can read more info about this technology here. 

Yesterday, AT&T announced that it would be expanding its tethering data allowance from 2GB to 4GB. This was seen as a move to better align the company with Verizon Wireless' data plans for the iPhone 4.



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RE: nice article picture...
By mcnabney on 2/3/2011 1:18:01 PM , Rating: 5
You do understand that BY LAW a carrier can only own so much spectrum in any given market.

And you do know that wireless spectrum can only be used to transmit so much data.

So if a wireless company owns as much spectrum as they legally can and that spectrum is completely utilized by consumers somebody is going to get throttled.

So it only makes sense that the heavy users get throttled FIRST.

/another way is to throttle based upon data plan cost with whoever pays the least for data gets throttled first when capacity fills-up


RE: nice article picture...
By omnicronx on 2/3/2011 1:40:35 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You do understand that BY LAW a carrier can only own so much spectrum in any given market.

And you do know that wireless spectrum can only be used to transmit so much data.
To further your point, there is a reason the laws you speak of are in place, unfortunately we must obey the laws of physics, i.e there is only so much usable spectrum.

That said, that does not mean that throttling is the only solution, it just means that the idea that wireless is going to replace our land-line infrastructure is a pipe-dream as it currently stands.

Right now spectrum is not really the issue, but most likely a lack of infrastructure. Do you think AT&T bought more spectrum to enhance their network?

Not that this is an easy task either, having a network spread out over a vast space is not an easy thing to do, and there is really no other place in the world that has to deal with the technical limitations as in the US. (right now at least).


RE: nice article picture...
By mcnabney on 2/3/2011 2:06:55 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think you understand telecom.

Wireless carriers always want more spectrum. Especially in urban markets. When Verizon bought Alltel they had to sell (divest) a lot of spectrum in the overlapping markets, like Chicago, because Verizon already controlled the legal limit and divestiture was a requirement of the acquisition. They also had to give up customers in markets that they were already dominant. That is why a lot of Alltel customers were really confused when Verizon bought them out and they found out that they were going to AT&T because Verizon already owned over 70% of the market.

And technically, wireless carriers could support much more spectrum and provide a lot more service if the cap was lifted. The towers might not even need to change if the antennas are appropriate to the frequencies, the controllers can handle the data, and there is already fiber/microwave service directly to the tower. The modern switches won't have any problems with even quadrupling capacity.


RE: nice article picture...
By omnicronx on 2/3/2011 3:53:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't think you understand telecom.

Wireless carriers always want more spectrum. Especially in urban markets. When Verizon bought Alltel they had to sell (divest) a lot of spectrum in the overlapping markets, like Chicago, because Verizon already controlled the legal limit and divestiture was a requirement of the acquisition. They also had to give up customers in markets that they were already dominant. That is why a lot of Alltel customers were really confused when Verizon bought them out and they found out that they were going to AT&T because Verizon already owned over 70% of the market.
I don't think you understand what we are talking about here. There is only so much usuable spectrum, and we are quickly approaching capacity of usable spectrum for wireless needs (regardless of what is bought/claimed etc). Any spectrum being bought was previously occupied by something else, and we are pretty much at the point where there are no large chunks left. So I'm not sure why you are comparing the wireless industry of yesterday when this was not an issue. It will be completely irrelevant what carriers want if there is nothing left to be had.

I also don't think you understand how wireless communications work as your last paragraph makes little sense. What do high speed switches/fibre already in towers have to do with anything when each tower is limited to its own 20MHZ chunk of bandwidth? The way in which towers are connected is not the bottleneck.


RE: nice article picture...
By mcnabney on 2/3/2011 4:23:32 PM , Rating: 2
There is scads of it. But it has to be leaked out at high prices.

In New York, Verizon has 85mhz and AT&T has around 70mhz. That is right now.

Verizon recently paid about $10B for 20mhz in the 700mhz range - coast to coast. It ain't cheap.

There is plenty more available, just being held in reserve or not being used by TV broadcasters. Even the largest wireless company is barely using more than 2 TV stations worth in a large market. If a business isn't using it, give it back.


By overlandpark4me on 2/5/2011 10:08:57 PM , Rating: 2
Then they shouldn't be signing up new customers. I look at this as the equivalent to overbooking a plane. People are kicked off, but get compensated for their troubles. "Phone carriers only have so much bandwidth"? When do they stop signing up new customers? Your argument has no merit. Service will continue to decline until no one has any speed after half their billing cycle has elapsed. The providers are the problem. "Download movies, connect to your computer at home, video chat, blah,blah,blah."


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