AT&T ends automatic throttling for its customers with an unlimited 4G LTE plan


AT&T has been trying to get grandfathered unlimited 4G LTE accounts off of its books. It has tried everything including using a much harsher throttling policy for these customers than it applies to other subscribers. For example, those with a 3G or non-LTE 4G phone who have a grandfathered unlimited data plan are open for throttling after consuming more than 3GB of data in a month. But this slowdown occurs only "at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion." In other words, these accounts are throttled only when the network is congested.

On the other hand, AT&T customers who still use a grandfathered unlimited 4G LTE plan have had their data speeds throttled once they used more than 5GB of data in a month. The slowdown would take place automatically, regardless of whether a specific cell tower was congested with network traffic.

But this policy has apparently been changed. On the carrier's website, it now states that unlimited 4G LTE customers exceeding 5GB of data use in any given month "may experience reduced speeds when using data services at times and in areas that are experiencing network congestion. All such customers can still use unlimited data without incurring overage charges, and their speeds will be restored with the start of the next billing cycle."

Back in December, we told you that AT&T had promised to stop automatically throttling the speeds of its unlimited 4G LTE accounts. It might have taken AT&T a long time to change its policy, but it finally has been done.

source: AT&T via DroidLife

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18 Comments

1. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

The throttling is still a BS policy, since LTE shouldn't experience nearly the congestion that HSPA and CDMA did.

5. Mithan

Posts: 20; Member since: Mar 19, 2015

Sorry, you are incorrect. LTE bandwidth has exploded. How do I know? I work for a carrier.

6. Sniggly

Posts: 7305; Member since: Dec 05, 2009

Working in a contracted call center doesn't mean you know anything about LTE's true capacity.

9. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

I think you gave him a 3rd degree burn with that one.

13. TheRequiem

Posts: 245; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

I engineered base stations and networks for a living - up until the end of last year... and he's right. Why do you think carriers are spending tens of billions of dollars on additional capacity? Carriers have never faced the capacity issues they have up until the last couple of years now that data continues to exponentially grow in multiples.

2. tedkord

Posts: 17357; Member since: Jun 17, 2009

Scumbags required unlimited data initially, then wanted to take it back once the data was fast enough to actually use. Here's a clue, AT&T (and Verizon) , if you're getting network congestion, you've oversold your product. Stop adding more customers and meet your promises.

10. quakan

Posts: 1418; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

I guarantee you, once the carriers recoup the money spent to upgrade their networks plus some extra profit, the networks will magically no longer be congested.

14. TheRequiem

Posts: 245; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

Networks will exponentially continue to be over capacitated until something truly revolutionary changes the way we use spectrum.

3. corporateJP

Posts: 2458; Member since: Nov 28, 2009

At least AT&T let's their unlimited data customers keep it on upgrade. Nothing such can be said for Verizon and their crew of hooks (hello, Sham-o). At least AT&T prepaid is unlimited with a softcap now. Verizon forgot about consumers friendly policies.

4. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

Verizon forgot the people who put them on the top, and thus those very same people, will put them on the bottom. I remember the days where Verizon had sh*tty service. Almost no coverage. You think T-Mobile is bad? Verizon was worse. Dozens of people I knew, went to their network under a referral program they had, where you'd get paid for every person you referred (and if I'm not mistaken, it wasn't a one off deal, but monthly). Every single one, had almost no service. Not at church, not at home, and not on the way to work along major highways. After months of complaining to Verizon and threatening to leave to AT&T, Verizon put up some coverage in the area and slowly improved it. They used to be a decent company, but over the years they became greedier and greedier. They're now at a point where they're squeezing not dimes and nickels, but pennies from their customers. From limiting services, to making you double pay for what you already had, etc. Now they have the gal to say they're not worried about "price conscious consumers". Well here's a newsflash for them.. ALL customers, are price conscious. The only ones that aren't are those who don't know what they're buying or paying for.. exactly the kind of people Verizon likes to jam it up their a**.

7. javy108

Posts: 1004; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

This is bull sh--t from AT&T, their miss respecting their customer's needs. They have to improve their coverage... Congestion= their handling more customers than they're able to.

8. AlikMalix unregistered

Im on AT&T but I believe Verizon is better in my area than AT&T. But I do love those subsidize upgrades and keeping my unlimited. I'm never getting rid of this plan unless forced to or unlimited is back.

11. Knicknevin

Posts: 153; Member since: Mar 18, 2011

Your title says that they are no longer going to throttle data, but the article says that a customer "may experience reduced speeds at times". This sounds exactly like throttling... Can you please clarify?

12. geodude074

Posts: 99; Member since: Mar 05, 2013

The title of this article is completely incorrect. What a stupid click-bait. Title: AT&T NOW GIVING AWAY FREE SERVICE Article: Oh btw that's not true.

15. aahmed215

Posts: 169; Member since: Jun 18, 2012

"AT&T ends automatic throttling for its customers with an unlimited 4G LTE plan" The title makes sense if you know how to read. It's saying that AT&T is ending AUTOMATIC throttling for people with unlimited 4G LTE plans. Instead of automatically throttling it once the data limit is reached, they will only now throttle it if they are experiencing congestion in a certain area, just like they did for the 3G.

16. drazwy

Posts: 355; Member since: Jan 15, 2014

So basically AT&T didn't end anything. They are still throttling. Throttling is throttling, no mater how you twist the words. I also use both T-mobile and AT&T every day and AT&T is always congested. 24/7. You're never going to see it uncongested. Besides, what is their baseline? What determines congestion? Meaningless change.

17. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

I used to have unlimited data until the 5 GB cap took effect years ago. I knew that would not be enough data fro me. So I switched to a limited data plan and now have 30 GB per month with rollover data. The amount of data cell phones use has increased dramatically over the past few years. People need to adjust to this just as carriers have. If you use very little data this should now affect you. If you use allot of data then you need to pay for that.

18. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

How about you also sign up for tiered data on your home wifi?

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