According to Associate Press (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/t-relents-unlimited-data-plan-174637221.html), AT&T is relenting some on its unpopular policies towards “unlimited” users. Recently, there’s been reports of AT&T throttling unlimited users starting at as little as 1.5 gigabytes of usage — as as AT&T ahas said, when users entered the “heaviest 5 percent” of data users for that month or that area.
Thursday, the company has changed its policy and will now slow down “unlimited” data users after they reach 3 gigabytes within a billing cycle.
Until the change, there was no way for users to find out at what point they would be throttled. Instead, AT&T would send a text message to the customer when they were approaching being throttled. With the new policy, they know the limits of their “unlimited” data plan.
According to AP, “AT&T has about 17 million ‘unlimited’ smartphone subscribers, most of whom use iPhones.” Furthermore, “As part of the new policy, the Dallas-based phone company said subscribers with “unlimited” plans and smartphones capable of using the new “LTE” data network would see the slowdown at 5 gigabytes rather than three. The LTE network is faster and doesn’t have many users yet.”
While AT&T’s policy relents some, and increases the usage limits for “unlimited” users, the new policy still leaves AT&T at the bottom of spectrum for policies on throttling (alongside T-Mobile). Verizon has a similar formula, but it only kicks in when a particular cell tower is experiencing heavy usage. Sprint tops out the spectrum with a plan that has no limits (but they do reserve the right to cancel service for excessive users).