Jump to content

Validas: AT&T Throttling of Unlimited Plans Makes No Practical Sense


jpkjeff
 Share

Recommended Posts

Interesting study by Validas that essentially says AT&T's policy of throttling "top" data users has no benefit to their network (other than lining their pockes, of course):

 

Source: http://blog.validas.com/blog/2012/02/17/why_throttle/

 

As the national news media has reported, three of the Big Four wireless carriers are engaging in Unlimited Data Plan throttling, ostensibly as an effort to free up network bandwidth. Going from lightest to harshest, T-Mobile is very transparently throttling over 5GB of data used, which corresponds to a very small portion of users. Verizon Wireless and AT&T, on the other hand, are utilizing active throttling techniques aimed at the top 5% (in terms of the amount of data used) of unlimited customers. Verizon Wireless will reduce speeds as minimally as possible, for as little time as possible based on geographic network load. AT&T will heavily throttle back for the remainder of a billing cycle based, similarly, on geographic network load.

The question remains, however, why throttling is necessary at all. In other words, are the carriers throttling because of wild and crazy unlimited users hogging enormous bandwidth or are the carriers throttling as essentially a tactic to get grandfathered unlimited users to hurry up and sw

itch to tiered data plans?

As you can see from the graph below, extracted from a sample of over 55,000 2011 cell bills, this does not appear to be an issue of data hogging. When we look at the Top 5% of data users, there is virtually no difference in data consumption between those on unlimited and those on tiered plans—and yet the unlimited consumers are the ones at risk of getting their service turned off. So it’s curious that anyone would think the throttling here represents a serious effort at alleviating network bandwidth issues. After all, Sprint gets by fine maintaining non-throttled unlimited data to its customers.

S2011-data-consumption.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't believe Verizon is staying true to the "Verizon Wireless will reduce speeds as minimally as possible, for as little time as possible based on geographic network load."

First they said that they only throttle on 3G then they said as minimally as possible, but I know someone on the grandfathered unlimited plan and once he hits 5 GB on LTE he is throttled the rest of the billing cycle. I forget what he is throttled to, but as soon as the first day of his billing cycle rolls around, he is back to around 30 mbps.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've heard similar stories from people on Verizon, despite the fact Verizon claims their throttling is much less intrusive than AT&T's and will only be used if the tower being used by a "heavy" user is currently congested (however, like AT&T they still refuse to give any concrete specifics on what, exactly, constitutes a "heavy" or "top" user of data nor what the throttled speeds will be reduced to.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's all about trying to get overages back on peoples bills.

 

Carriers miss the days of going over minutes or texts... so now they are turning to data.

 

They count on people being stupid opting for a cheaper upfront data package and then going over those limits. It's annoying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's all about trying to get overages back on peoples bills.

 

Carriers miss the days of going over minutes or texts... so now they are turning to data.

 

They count on people being stupid opting for a cheaper upfront data package and then going over those limits. It's annoying.

 

Exactly. Overages are pretty much free money to the carriers. The tiers are the best way to limit usage(and abuse)/make extra money/create (percieved) better customer service when they refund overage charges.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

  • large.unreadcontent.png.6ef00db54e758d06

  • gallery_1_23_9202.png

  • Posts

    • I am using Starry for my home internet. I hope it doesn't collapse and make me go to cable.
    • Some of the other plans have been throttled, like the ED1500.  Fixes ultimately came, but it took several years iirc.  I moved on to the Sprint Max.  One of my hopes was I would get the billing transition sooner. Nope.  Wonder if they are going after the static IP.  Likely work around is VPN, especially with a smaller more obscure service.  Rumor has been T-Mobile would start transitioning Sprint Billing customers in earnest next quarter  -- wait, isn't that always the promise?
    • I've been using Samsung devices for a couple years and I've never been able to mirror without wifi? I'm not sure what exactly you're talking about.
    • Is there a way to mirror this thing to my smart tv without having to have wifi, the way I've always done with Samsung phones both at home and at work? Samsung phones do it with TCL and other smart TVs as well, not just Samsung TVs.  Samsung has saved me a ton of money over the years in this regard.  If I can't do this then it will absolutely be a deal breaker for me.  I still have the Samsung phone and can use it to mirror but I shouldn't have to default to a three year old phone for this.  
    • So, I've now gone to a legacy Sprint store and talked with various agents on chat, and I keep getting redirected to scripts, with folks throwing solutions at the wall that I know won't work. I have the Sprint Unlimited Plus business plan, which includes 1080p streaming (8 Mbps throttle). But since going TNX I've been throttled to 2.5 Mbps or less for video. Who do I contact and how do I ask them to fix this? 'cuz it sounds like someone has gotten this fixed before?
  • Recently Browsing

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...