Newsletters
Business News for Technology Decision-Makers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Please click for more information, or scroll down to pass the ad, or Close Ad.
Home Business Briefing Mobile Industry News Small Business Tech Trends More Topics...
Vblock™ Systems:
Advanced converged infrastructure
increases productivity & lowers costs.

www.vce.com
Mobile Tech
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
AT&T Redefines the Meaning of
AT&T Redefines the Meaning of 'Unlimited' Data Plan

By Mark Long
March 1, 2012 2:29PM

Bookmark and Share
AT&T plans to invest about $20 billion during 2012 with a focus on expanding and improving its wireless network. However, the carrier's latest data plan change -- which is sure to irritate many of its longtime subscribers -- is an indication AT&T does not believe the improvements will be enough to keep up with surging demand on the AT&T network.
 

Related Topics

AT&T
Data Plan
Spectrum Crunch



AT&T is redefining the term "unlimited data" for its legacy customers. Under the new policy introduced Thursday, some unlimited data subscribers will see their speeds throttled back whenever they exceed a fixed monthly cap.

According to the wireless carrier, the reason why the new reduced speeds only apply to certain unlimited smartphone customers is because their data usage is significantly higher than those on tiered plans. "For example, in January, the top 5 percent of our unlimited data plan customers used an average of over 50 percent more data than the top 5 percent of customers on tiered plans," AT&T said in a statement.

Customers with 3G smartphones operating under an "unlimited" plan will receive a text message when their data usage approaches 3 GB in a single billing cycle. Thereafter, the subscriber's data speeds will be reduced for the remainder of that billing cycle.

"If you have a 4G LTE smartphone and still have an unlimited data plan, the same process applies at 5 GB of data usage, instead of 3 GB," AT&T said.

The company already had been throttling back speeds on its "unlimited" customers who exceeded the top 5 percent of data usage in their respective markets. Some had complained that the cap was unclear because it varied from market to market and month to month, and the new fixed caps appear to be an attempt to clarify expectations.

So Many Restrictions

Data usage notifications like the ones AT&T describe are useful, said Lisa Pierce, the managing vice president for unified communications, network systems and services at Gartner. "But frankly," she said in an e-mail Thursday, "there are so many restrictions in place from most providers that we'll soon have to ask what 'limited' means!"

AT&T attributed the change to an impending wireless spectrum crunch. Under its merger contract with T-Mobile, AT&T had to cede a swath of spectrum to its rival when the deal failed to receive regulatory approval. Recent industry initiatives such as LightSquared, which promised to provide the nation's carriers with additional spectrum via satellite, have also been nixed by the Federal Communications Commission.

"Experts agree that our country is facing a serious wireless spectrum crunch," AT&T told customers. "While access to more spectrum is absolutely critical, we are continuing to invest aggressively to meet customer demand."

AT&T also noted that wireless data traffic on the carrier's nationwide network has grown by 20,000 percent over the past five years. Moreover, the nation's No. 2 wireless service provider had 39.4 million smartphone users at the end of last year, compared with just 6 million in 2006. (continued...)

1  |  2  |  Next Page >

 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Simba7:

Posted: 2012-03-28 @ 4:15pm PT
This doesn't surprise me. Everyone wants to go back to "Caps and Overages" pricing because it's more profitable. Does anyone remember AOL a couple decades ago?

chris b:

Posted: 2012-03-28 @ 1:00pm PT
"Sprint is the only national wireless carrier to offer truly unlimited data plans for smartphones".

Not true. Read the fine print. And what's behind the asterisk...

Unlimited data while on their network. 300 MB data cap while roaming. Here in the Pacific NW, there's a whole lot of roaming when you're not in the city, in the 'burbs, or on the freeway.

jerometech:

Posted: 2012-03-28 @ 8:36am PT
AT&T is considered as the deathstar by many. One of the worst companies that ever existed. They would simply buy corrupt politician to make their survival possible

Texas Rebel:

Posted: 2012-03-28 @ 6:33am PT
I'm in the sticks in East Texas. Probably the only AT&T customer that actually uses 3G and it's pretty fast. I'll hit the 3GB cap in less that 2 weeks and then they throttle me back to around 200kbps on the downstream, but upstream is still 1Mbps. This is total horse!!! What happened to the $39 BILLION that AT&T was going to use to buy T-Mobile?? Here's a thought. Stop wasting money on rolling out LTE in the ing cities and get it out to those who don't have internet at all because they can't get DSL or Cable and Satellite is piss poor as well. The major and medium sized cities don't need LTE first.. They can settle with 3G or 4G as you call it now.. Throttling people after 3GB when they have unlimited data plans is BS!! Now once I hit the 3GB, I feel like I'm on dialup. Thanks AT&T!!!

vern:

Posted: 2012-03-28 @ 5:34am PT
They aren't gonna change... It's all bs.

Misty a:

Posted: 2012-03-01 @ 3:32pm PT
I don't agree - they should not be throttling. My mother & I have been long standing with AT&T & it's making us think to switch to Sprint that does not throttle. They get more than enough for their plans already.



APC has an established a reputation for solid products that virtually pay for themselves upon installation. Who has time to spend worrying about system downtime? APC makes it easy for you to focus on business growth instead of business downtime with reliable data center systems and IT solutions. Learn more here.


 Mobile Tech
1.   Samsung: $2.2B Too Much for Apple
2.   Review: Windows Phone Advances
3.   Microsoft-Nokia Deal Closes this Week
4.   Samsung Data Center Catches Fire
5.   Project Ara Phone Version Ahead


advertisement
BlackBerry Drops T-Mobile After Spat
Moving on to other carriers after snub.
Average Rating:
Samsung: $2.2B Too Much for Apple
Says $38.4M more like it for patents.
Average Rating:
Review: Windows Phone Advances
Updated OS features will please users.
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Verizon Data Breach Report Exposes Top Threats
Beyond Heartbleed, there are cyberthreats vying to take down enterprise networks, corrupt smartphones, and wreak havoc on businesses. Verizon is exposing these threats in a new report.
 
Where Do Web Sites Stand, Post-Heartbleed?
A security firm says the vast majority of Web sites have patched themselves to protect against the Heartbleed bug, but now there are questions raised on the reliability of open-source programs.
 
White House Updating Online Privacy Policy
A new Obama administration privacy policy explains how the government will gather the user data of online visitors to WhiteHouse.gov, mobile apps and social media sites, saying much is in the public domain.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Business
Home/Top News | Business Briefing | Mobile Industry News | Small Business | Tech Trends | Business Intelligence | Sales & Marketing | Innovation
E-Commerce | CIO Issues | Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters | XML/RSS Feed

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.