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For some AT&T unlimited users, throttling is just 2GB away

Posted: , by Alan F.

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For some AT&T unlimited users, throttling is just 2GB away
For some AT&T unlimited plan users, life is not fair. Take John Cozen, for example. With his unlimited plan and his Apple iPhone 4S, he thought life was grand, until AT&T threatened to throttle his data speeds. After Cozen received that notice, he checked his data usage on the AT&T iOS app he uses, and was stunned to find he had used just 2.1GB of data for the month. He was amazed that this put him in the top 5% of data users in his region. The message from AT&T said that if he hit that level of data use again, his data would be coming to him at 2G speeds.

Cozen was threatened with throttling when he used 2.1GB of data in a month

Cozen was threatened with throttling when he used 2.1GB of data in a month

AT&T in October started throttling the top 5% of data users each month so as to keep data use manageable while the latest Apple iPhone model was being launched. But customers like Cozen, allowed to be grandfathered in with his unlimited plan, are actually worse off in some ways than those who selected a tiered data plan. AT&T would rather customers sign up for a tiered plan. For every GB over the cap, customers on a tiered plan are charged a $10 overage, but they are not throttled. On the other hand, unlimited plan customers who are throttled for being in the top 5% of data users in their region are given a notice that strongly suggests that they switch to a tiered plan.

Now it is possible that Cozen actually used more than 2.1GB of data for the month and the up to date figures did not yet reach his AT&T iOS app, which he used to measure his data use. But if it is correct, consider the irony of AT&T's new $30 3GB monthly tiered plan. Those unlimited plan users like Cozen could end up throttled using less data than someone who paid the same monthly rate for a tiered plan. Back in October, AT&T computed that to make the top 5%, an AT&T customer would have to use 12 times the amount of data as the carrier's average customer. Once a customer's account is throttled, it remains at the lower speed until the start of the next billing cycle.

source: MacRumors

76 Comments
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posted on 04 Feb 2012, 22:43 7

1. eman99 (Posts: 380; Member since: 03 Aug 2010)


now days who doesnt throttle selfish f***ks

posted on 04 Feb 2012, 23:19 2

2. christianqwerty (Posts: 467; Member since: 05 May 2011)


I get throttled at 2.0 gb of data on my iPhone 4s, it really sucks because my wifi is super slow, so basically I have to savor the 5-7 Mbps until I'm throttled by att

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 01:05 4

7. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


i get throttled too on mine… i am going to try and find my contract cause idk if it is even legal for them to do this… it really pisses me off but nobody else has unlimitd anymore

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 11:10 1

28. TKFox007 (Posts: 303; Member since: 02 Nov 2010)


T-Mobile and Sprint

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 11:36 3

32. deathyyy (Posts: 101; Member since: 20 Dec 2011)


T-Mobile is also throttled after 2GB, I believe.

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 11:50 2

38. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


I've got 5gb of 4g speed on tmo included in my $30/mo monthly4g plan

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 21:54 1

62. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


sprint is just terrible where i am and tmobile throttles as well

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 12:21 1

42. Socalvenom (unregistered)


I've had download speeds of up to 8 megs down and 2.5 megs up here in LA with the average speeds of 5megs down and 1.5 up around town Im currently using an imported Nokia N9 and loving it

posted on 06 Feb 2012, 13:35 1

70. kcombs (Posts: 275; Member since: 15 Dec 2010)


they can it's in your contract.

posted on 07 Feb 2012, 12:14 2

75. ZayZay (Posts: 571; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


I used 37 GB's on my Sprint phone last month and noticed no throttling.

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 12:17

41. Socalvenom (unregistered)


I switched from AT&T to T-mobile monthly 4g and Im paying $70 for 5gb of 4g data unlimited talk and text it's way cheaper then AT&T I would of got Sprint but I didn't want to be stuck on another 2 year contract. So far with my new plan I've never reached the 5gb mark just yet but my average is 3.5gb to 4gb a month and that's assuring to know that I'll never pay any overage fees ever again

posted on 06 Feb 2012, 17:35

74. Jon.916 (Posts: 6; Member since: 06 Jun 2011)


T-Mobile doesn't advertise this, but if you don't talk that much, there is a 500 minute plan that lowers your bill $10 a month. $69.99 gives you 500 minutes, unlimited text, and 2 gb of 4G, unlimited 2G. If you get throttled, turn 3G off, and work off EDGE. It's about 5k faster, believe it or not.

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 20:06 1

61. Tarkio (Posts: 30; Member since: 17 Jan 2012)


You pick a shady company to do business with, this is what happens. You sound surprised.

posted on 04 Feb 2012, 23:28 1

3. stowe528 (Posts: 7; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Same thing happened to my friend on his iPhone 4. AT&T sent him a warning text after he hit 1GB and throttled him after the next 500 MB, and they've been doing so for the past couple of months.

posted on 04 Feb 2012, 23:58

4. Carlitos (Posts: 520; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)


To be honest either the new data has not reached the app yet. Which likely because I have the myATT app and I think its like updated every 24 hours. Or he prob used allot of data before. I used about 3500 mb every month. And have never received such message.

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 00:17 2

5. biophone (Posts: 1969; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


"The message from AT&T said that if he that level of data use again, his data would be coming to him at 2G speeds." (Fix this pa)

Wow harsh move by at&t I'm glad I have verizon. Hopefully they are a little more fair to those grandfathered in. Like me. However I don't abuse the system.

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 15:02

55. itiswhatitis (Posts: 423; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


@biophone- hey i've read your old comment which says if I install skydrive flash would work on ipad ??? Is it true?? Cuz i'm planning to a galaxy tab because it has flash player but if you are sure that ipad can play flash videos, i'm considering to get one....please let me know...

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 23:32

64. biophone (Posts: 1969; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)


First of all its skyfire and not skydrive. To be clear it does have flash and it is a paid app but it doesn't work all that great. Its ok sometimes its works sometimes not really. But in my opinion flash doesn't work that well on any mobile device since its made for a pc. So to answer your question yes it does have flash don't be mad if it doesn't work so well.

posted on 06 Feb 2012, 13:35

69. itiswhatitis (Posts: 423; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


okay...i get it that flash is made for pc n not for mobile.. but does it work as good as android devices??

posted on 06 Feb 2012, 13:35

71. itiswhatitis (Posts: 423; Member since: 23 Jan 2012)


i mean does it play videos straight out of websites?

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 00:28 6

6. ickyob (Posts: 24; Member since: 19 Mar 2010)


Used over 7 GB of data on my Thunderbolt last month, no throttling or threats from Verizon! Win.

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 01:10 1

8. theBankRobber (Posts: 681; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


Sprint is still unlimited BUT for how long before they start doing this crap. I think it would be hard to say that after the $10 extra is for unlimited data campaign, they would have one hell of a class action lawsuit against them for false advertising and miss leading customers into contracts at a rate of an extra $240 over a 2 year contract period. Could it happen, who knows. All I know is wimax was a complete waste and a failure and the customers who have already spent millions of dollors total already for the extra $10 charge should not have to spend even more money to fix their problem.

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 11:56

39. squallz506 (banned) (Posts: 1075; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Why does everyone hate on wimax? In my area sprint has the fastest 4g. Verizons lte is available in my area but only downs 15-20mbps. I down 8-12 on tmo, and my brother downs 25+mbps on sprint every time. Wimax is definitely not a failure in my area.

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 12:09

40. theBankRobber (Posts: 681; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


Its garbage, how about having 3 bars, walk into your house and have no signal unless your by a window.

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 01:35 1

9. Bluesky02 (Posts: 1439; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


We all know smartphones nowadays make browsing almost like a daily tasks. For small research or check mails, people won't turn on their laptop for that. Just need to hit their smartphone browser and the job is done.
Things like Video Streaming, Huge downloads, Heavy content websites will break your bank, but that's common nowadays.
Lets say you use 200MB Per day, one month would be nearly 6GB.
That's why i believe carriers should introduce cheap package data plan.

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 04:11

10. ljruble (Posts: 16; Member since: 07 Dec 2010)


If he's paying 30 a month for unlimited there is no reason to even threaten to throttle until he gets to 3gb of data since that's how much he would get on a tier plan for that price. I don't guess I'll ever have an issue. I used to have the unlimited but they took it away when I got an lte phone. I'm 10 days in this month and have only used 61 mb. Most places I go have wifi and rarely have to use my data connection

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 05:45 2

11. longhairbilly (Posts: 66; Member since: 23 Aug 2010)


That's what drives me crazy. Someone like you that uses wifi more then your data connection still has to pay for a data plan. If the network is as congested as they say, why not give us the option to drop our data plan and use wifi exclusively? That should help free up your network shouldn't it?

Oh, but you are all blood-sucking vampires aren't you? So that option will never happen will it?

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 09:20 2

14. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


you want the subsidy + no data plan? fat chance. that data plan mostly goes towards paying off the massive difference between the $200 price you paid for the phone and the $600 price the carrier pays for the phone. If you want no subsidy, you are always welcome to buy the phone full retail or from another source and have it activated on your number. It takes about 20 months for a carrier to make up that subsidy on a high end smart phone.

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 09:56 1

15. iirundis05 (Posts: 8; Member since: 05 Feb 2012)


I don't think any carrier besides T-Mobile give's you the choice of not having a DATA PLAN wether you buy the phones Full Price or w/ contract. I can definitely speak for both Verizon and At&t because I was a customer. I am under no contract with
Verizon now and have a Galaxy Nexus and the data plan is still required. This is what longhairbilly was talking about and I agree "Blood-sucking vampires"... lol :)

posted on 05 Feb 2012, 10:02

17. remixfa (Posts: 14255; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


if you buy the phone from another source they dont force you on to a data plan. At least they didnt when i worked there. ATT CANT because its a GSM service. You just pop your sim card into an att capable phone and it will work, data plan or not. VZW gets a little more control since its CDMA but like i said, if its from another source, its not normally forced apon you. You should be able to go online and change your IMEI number in the account and be done with it.

Tmobile does not give you a choice. If you accept a discount on a phone, you get the data plan. The only time you get a choice is.. again.. when you buy the phone full retail or from another source.

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