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Verizon plans "Turbo" network speed mode for apps, takes tiered data to the micro level

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Verizon plans
Remember those hints that carriers might start slicing and dicing their data output, even going to the level of you paying based on the sites you visit? Well, Verizon is planning to introduce a much more elegant way to do a similar thing. It is developing a network optimization API that can be used in apps to add a "Turbo" network mode when needed, and hopes to finish it by mid-year 2012. 

The idea is to dynamically allocate more bandwidth to an app, which would be a welcome boost while you are streaming video over a congested network in peak hours, for example. And here comes the kicker - this "Turbo" mode will be available for a small fee via a microtransaction API the carrier is developing, that will pile a small charge onto your monthly bill. While demonstrating the "network optimization API" at the open house demo in San Francisco, Verizon's Hugh Fletcher said:

I think one of the things that you could do is guaranteed quality of service. One of the things that we are right now is very democratic in terms of allocating spectrum and bandwidth to users. And just because you request a high quality of service doesn't mean you're gonna get it. [The network] will try to give it to you, but if there's a lot of congestion, a lot of people using it, it won't kick people off.

The network optimization API will likely expose attributes like jitter, latency, bandwidth, and priority to app developers. I think you could anticipate that maybe you'll have a Skype call that starts going bad. Wouldn't you like to be able to hit the turbo button and have that come back up to be a good call?"

The technology for the carriers to charge you according to usage patterns is already out there

The technology for the carriers to charge you according to usage patterns is already out there

The technology for slicing your data consumption is out there, supplied by companies like Allot, which can analyze if you are visiting Facebook, YouTube, and so on, and tailor your data charges accordingly. The telcos even wanted to make popular sites pay for the traffic they generate in Europe, since the networks they have weren't planned for intense Facebook-ing or watching YouTube videos all day long, but that Tony Soprano idea fell apart.

Verizon's solution is way more elegant, so kudos to its marketing team - only if you want "turbo" mode, you pay for it. The carrier says that the mere mortals who don't use this mode on a congested network are not going to be elbowed out by the guys that use and pay for the "network optimization API", but we can't imagine any other way, unless it's straight out of Hogwarts.

via PCMag

33 Comments
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posted on 03 Nov 2011, 05:57 14

1. mctcm (Posts: 204; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)


Nickel and dimed takes on new meaning.

posted on 04 Nov 2011, 04:03

33. HockeyDood (Posts: 60; Member since: 14 May 2010)


That's exactly what I thought when I read this.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 06:16 1

2. ayephoner (Posts: 833; Member since: 09 Jun 2009)


im glad i dont really use services that this applies to.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 06:55 12

3. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


wow.. umm.. NO.

You are already paying a super premium tag to be on VZWs network as it is. Not going to pay an extra PENNY to make what I'd be paying for, work the way I expected it to work when i signed the contract.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 07:11 4

4. Knicknevin (Posts: 135; Member since: 18 Mar 2011)


yeah, I agree. V's Network is at a premium price already. It's BS if they think that they can start charging more, just to get the speed that I get right now (or will be getting with LTE).
This is why the FCC's ruling that didn't pertain to any wireless carriers/data transmission was screwed up. If they were going to make such a ruling, it should have applied to all Data Transmission, not just wired.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 08:39 3

10. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3515; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Verizon does have the best coverage, I do concede that to them. BUT to nickel & dime for almost everything is now getting out of hand. Not only are their phones more upfront, (HTC Rezound, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, & Motorola Droid Rarz) but now you have to pay more on top of their already steep monthly prices. Verizon is playing Russian roulette in a very sh*tty economy & I believe people will get fed up. I mean when is enough? When will it end? I think Verizon is taking this too far, it's like they can invent any fee & make people pay it.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 09:17 1

12. Schmao (Posts: 302; Member since: 05 Jul 2009)


Well, most Verizon customers won't downgrade to the inferior coverage of other carriers; thus, Verizon gets to increase prices without significant uproar.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 09:31 6

14. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


oh.. there is uproar, but yea, most vzw customers are convinced that they could never be on another carrier.. much like apple users think that there is nothing but apple.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 18:10 1

28. doubleD (Posts: 78; Member since: 13 Dec 2010)


I think the biggest problem for switching, at least for me, is that it would be more expensive. Literally everyone I know has a Verizon cellphone so I am on a very low minute plan since all my minutes are Verizon to Verizon. Unless we all switch, the "cheaper" plans on other carriers will still be more expensive due to the needed higher minute package.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 09:45 6

16. SuperAndroidEvo (Posts: 3515; Member since: 15 Apr 2011)


Dude once you start to mess with people’s money, you would be surprised what people will do. Verizon has a great product, but if people can't afford it, you best believe they will go to cheaper alternatives. Nothing is worth not having food on the table or gas in your car. If Verizon keeps this up, their network won't even matter because most folks won't be able to afford them. People won’t ever give up their phones, but they will give up Verizon if this keeps up.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 16:21 3

26. Das70 (Posts: 124; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)


B.S. There wil come a time when people who pay these outrageous prices start to go elsewhere for phone service. It may not be the fastest connection smartphone service but it will be better than paying triple the price with only limited minutes and text.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 13:20 2

20. downphoenix (Posts: 2230; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


if they get fed up, they need to cancel, oh wait, $350 ETF, ouch!

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 16:05

21. firelightx (Posts: 71; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


Everyone has that now. Just saying...

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 16:18 1

25. Das70 (Posts: 124; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)


Yeah for all the contract providers maybe. Go to non contract. Buy a $100 android phone and cancel a couple months later. No ETF. Its very liberating actually not to have to worry about being stuck for two years or the higher fees.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 07:15 6

5. DROIDX0430 (Posts: 409; Member since: 24 Nov 2010)


Verizon want be getting another penny out of me...Including the $299.00 phones that come out and reduced in less than two months to $249.00 (Bionic for example).. Charge for example, TB for example and the list continues...Also, if I am on a LTE phone, which is supposed to be fast, then why would I even attempt to pay for a turbo boost app to boost my speed, when in theory I am on a LTE network--another nickel and diming scheme. We should all ban together and boycott this non sense--something just like when the banks wanted to charge for using your debit card...These carriers are out of control..and it want stop if we all keep feeding the gravy train!

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 16:13 1

23. firelightx (Posts: 71; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


I agree with you with a couple things. The 300 price is outragous especially when other companies are offering similar phones for 100 less! Charging for a turbo services really sucks too but I do see the selling point on it.

Don't think of it as a turbo but as a garauntee(sp?) /warranty. Then it makes sense but still a rip off.

The price drops are for the new devices coming in. Remember the Bionic was supposed to be out a lot sooner so the wait time was supposed to be longer. The Charge was another product of bad timing. If you look at the revolution and t-bolt, they had a steady price for a while.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 07:20 5

6. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Lol, and this is why I wonder why people bother staying with Verizon.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 07:40 6

7. willardcw4 (Posts: 169; Member since: 01 Oct 2011)


Probably something to do with VZW being the fastest network and having awesome phones...

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 08:53 3

11. iamcc (Posts: 1319; Member since: 07 Oct 2011)


That's what does it for me... I'll be with Verizon until someone else has better service. I don't mind paying a premium price for a premium product.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 09:28 3

13. MikeG77 (Posts: 348; Member since: 24 Nov 2008)


Yes Verizon can be expensive but my piece of mind is worth way more then the $25
per month i would save by switching to another carrier. i also like having coverage everywhere plus grandfathered unlimited data.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 09:38 3

15. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


miz, arent you on ATT?

They charge the same prices.. at least with verizon you actually GET COVERAGE.. lol.

Nope, if its not VZW, then its either Tmo or Sprint depending on where you live. There is zero reason to be on ATT's over priced crap tastic network now that the iphone is everywhere else.

I'll take my super fast and cheap 4g from Tmobile. Where I'm at i have zero connection issues and high speed 3g and 4g everywhere.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 18:47

29. gdbw (Posts: 15; Member since: 18 Dec 2009)


att and verizon do not charge the same prices. verizon charges more for their data. At&t has a $15 & a $25 package, where as verizon is $20 & $30

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 20:39

31. bolaG (Posts: 468; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


I just wish all the brainiac network engineers would figure out a way to talk and use data on cdma networks :((( I would pay a "turbo" fee for that...maybe...

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 07:47 1

8. ckdb4 (Posts: 2; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


I don't mind paying more for my service as long as I can see the value. I work all over the south east, my work phone is att its about as good a paper weight as it is a phone. Sprint doesn't work outside the city limits. So yeah I'll pay a premium for the quality of service, I'll definitely pay the fee for turbo when I'm on Skype with a client or my wife and kids.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 07:51 6

9. Sniggly (Posts: 6473; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)


The good news is that when Verizon tried bulls**t of this magnitude before, it took less than a year for them to retract it. Remember the ten buck data charge for non smartphones that were worth a damn? Doesn't happen anymore. Of course, Verizon also got rid of non smartphones that are worth a damn, but hey.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 10:47 3

17. Jobes (Posts: 364; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


Hopefully grandfathered plans are not affected.. I wouldnt mind if they were doing it to new sign ups lol I been with Big Red for over 5 years... if they f**k me like that I would be quite sad :(.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 16:17 1

24. firelightx (Posts: 71; Member since: 13 Oct 2011)


From what I've read it'll be an added feature not a plan change.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 11:53 3

18. DF334 (Posts: 36; Member since: 23 Feb 2009)


For everyone complaining, go to At&t and then you will see. Umm...go to Cricket, Metro PCS or Boost and see. People always want the best, but don't want to pay for it. Its the same for anything else. As far as pricing goes.. AT&T does the same pricing, so scratch that one and Tmobile exist just because they have awesome phones, that's about it. Sprint.... well they will be broke really soon. The Value of the network is what matters and that's it!

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 13:12 1

19. Das70 (Posts: 124; Member since: 05 Jan 2011)


Yeah but how much is too much. I had verizon and the service while great just wasnt worth the extra I was paying. I now have metro pcs and while I do have a few spots where I get weak signal, its been pretty solid so far. When it concerns phone calls that is. The internet connection is slow but dooable. Now I dont spend all day fiddling with the internet on my phone so slower internet is fine for me. I only use it to look quick stuff up and a few sites and email. The crux of the increase in Verizons service has nothing to do with quality phone calls but all to do with internet speed. If thats an important thing to you (to play with the ineternet all day on your phone) Verizon will get the cash from you. If not there are cheaper and good alternatives out there. I pay $50 total a month for unlimited minutes, texts and internet (albeit slow internet) Rarely get dropped calls.(heck I would pay $50 a month just for the unlimted minutes and text) Its worth it. I had Verizon and while the strong internet connection was nice it just wasnt worth $30 a month. Thats what I pay for unlimited internet service on a fully operational computer.LOL BUT to each there own. If you want to spend a $100 a month on phone service, go for it.

Oh and if I want blazing fast internet on my phone I just hook up to wifi.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 16:08 2

22. corporateJP (Posts: 1282; Member since: 28 Nov 2009)


I love Verizon's service, but honestly, this is rediculous.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 16:23 1

27. darth8ball (Posts: 519; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)


While others are 'throttling' speeds, VZW seems to have found an option for 'pay as you go' downloads or streams. If you want my opinion they want more money more money more money. I am appalled at their greed.

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 19:31 1

30. xmusicianguy (Posts: 96; Member since: 13 Jul 2011)


The only upside. If you are in a 3g or 4G non congested area you shouldn't see a hit when this goes live. However, most are in very big cities. So basically it will be if you want to watch Slingbox on your Razr or Bionic then you will have to pay a "usage tax" for lack of a better word. On top of tiered data that is capped. Yeah that sounds good!

posted on 03 Nov 2011, 23:00

32. Zorin (Posts: 152; Member since: 26 Jul 2010)


I really am sick of getting my pie hole opened up and slaughtered, raw dog style by Big Red. Man, I am done with them. I almost got to 10 years of loyalty, but enough is enough!

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