Verizon Wireless to Kill Unlimited LTE Data, Even for Grandfathered Users
May 16, 2012 4:25 PM
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Verizon won't make any new friends with its latest attack on unlimited data
It appears that the unlimited wireless data "gravy train" is fast coming to an end. No matter which wireless network you use in the United States, they all are looking for ways to cripple "unlimited" data either by cutting off the plans altogether or
throttling data after a certain gigabyte threshold is crossed
Verizon Wireless is the latest U.S. carrier to punch customers right between the eyes when it comes to unlimited data. The company is ending the practice of allowing customers on grandfathered, unlimited 3G plans to move to an unlimited 4G data plan when upgrading to a new LTE phone. Instead, those long-time Verizon Wireless customers will have to sign up for a new plan with data caps according to
Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo explained the move at the 40th J.P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom conference, stating, "LTE is our anchor point for data share, so as you come through an upgrade cycle and you upgrade in the future, you will have to go onto the data share plan, moving away from the unlimited world."
Shammo is hoping that customers won't mind being kicked off unlimited data plans once Verizon Wireless' family shared data plans launch this summer.
"Everyone will be on data share," Shammo added.
Unfortunately, the company has yet to announce pricing for the shared data plans. However, we have the feeling that customers will be getting a lot less for their money with a family shared data plan than they do with the current grandfathered, unlimited 3G/4G plans.
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RE: And then there was one
5/18/2012 2:52:27 AM
then maybe they shouldn't have advertised it as "Unlimited"
RE: And then there was one
5/18/2012 6:08:58 AM
A lot of this goes back to early implementations and general networking basics. In the days of dial-up, in small towns, a single T1 connection(1.5Mbps) was actually enough to handle the demand. Most people didn't know the Internet existed, so it was fine. As more people got online, a single T1 was not enough, so more bandwidth to each location was needed. The key is that in those days, dial-up users maxed out at 28.8Kbps, so having 1.5Mbps worked. In order to provide service for "broadband" would imply that the amount of bandwidth the ISP would have MUST be at least 100 times the speeds each individual customer would be allocated if you assume there are only 200 customers trying to use that bandwidth. The key is that the AVERAGE use, with some using less, and some pushing the maximum should let the provider avoid being "over subscribed".
The only reason the above would work would be if the service provider keeps the speed to all users at a reasonable level for the demand. If there is an increase in the number of customers that pushes demand, the provider SHOULD have the common sense to limit bandwidth a bit to everyone, just so no customer feels that things are going too slow. If 10Mbps would be the advertised speed, it would be better for the provider to cut the speed to 8Mbps for EVERYONE in an over subscribed area, just to keep the data to EVERYONE flowing. If the provider kept trying to give everyone 10Mbps, that WOULD cause the amount of bandwidth to hit the proverbial wall, and EVERYONE would complain about spontaneous problems with speeds.
For cellular, you have an added complexity where people can move from tower to tower, so the carriers would need to be prepared for more surges in the use of a service. From that perspective then, the approach where "known data hogs" get slower service is almost needed, just to keep these users from hurting service for others.
The problem here is that you don't have it where in a high usage area, even 4G users would find speeds no better than 3G, and you have the problems AT&T had with "slow service" due to iPhone users using more bandwidth. A part of this is also about spectrum, and how cell phone towers can allocate bandwidth. If AT&T could have put area caps on how fast the service was to everyone, then a steady 2G service beats 3G service that unexpectedly drops down to 0.01Mbps for a minute before going back to normal again.
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