A Look at AT&T's Throttling for High-Use Unlimited iPhone Data Customers

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Late last year, AT&T began throttling the data speeds of its highest-use unlimited data customers, knocking down the ability of the top 5% of its users to consume data for the remainder of a billing period once they hit certain thresholds. While AT&T no longer offers unlimited data plans, it did so for several years with the iPhone, and users who had previously signed up for the unlimited have been able to keep their plans even as they have upgraded to new devices.

att throttle warning
AppAdvice takes a look at the effect of AT&T's throttling on a user's web experience on the iPhone, showing how the move can make the device nearly unusable with data speeds well below that of even the carrier's fallback EDGE network.


AppAdvice conducted a series of side-by-side tests showing data download speeds on both throttled and non-throttled devices, swapping the SIM cards to demonstrate that throttling rather than any other hardware difference was indeed responsible for the significantly slower speed. The testing also included additional real-world comparisons showing the loading of Google Maps and the website of The New York Times on both devices.

Top Rated Comments

bb426 Avatar
118 months ago
We are the 5%.

:rolleyes:
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
3282868 Avatar
118 months ago
There are quite a few threads on this, such as mine below. I documented my recent experiences with AT&T as a grandfathered unlimited data user who has been throttled down to near nothing 3G data speeds (An AT&T store manager and associate could not get Safari to load on my 4S in Chicago at the beginning of the month).

Upon examining my contract, I have not exceeded 3GB/mo., my billing cycle resets on the 11th of every month and AT&T will not allow unlimited data users to purchase more data unless they switch to a tiered plan. Thus AT&T "throttles" the unlimited data user for the remainder of their monthly billing cycle (whereas I learned VZW throttles the user based on tower congestion and will increase 3G speeds when congestion lessens). Speaking with an AT&T rep, I asked why, as an AAPL Corp. employee, am I being "punished" for such small data usage on an unlimited plan. Her response, "This is a reaction to your action." This was stated (unbeknownst to the customer service rep) in front of two AT&T Wireless store employees, one of which was a manager. They were shocked. I have received four "warning" since the Fall. As we are still beta testing "iTunes Match" over 3G data, as well as the need for "Siri" to phone-in 4S verification and functionality and iCloud services, AT&T was ill-prepared. Their solution: push people into tiered plans.

My thread:

https://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1305467&page=1

In short, AT&T is strong arming grandfathered unlimited data plans into tiered plans. It would be understandable should one be utilizing as much as 50GB's as one MacRumors member demonstrated, however 2-3 GB/mo's data on an unlimited plan should not equate to data throttling.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gLaDiAtOr73 Avatar
118 months ago
complete BS. ive received the text for 2 straight months. they usually send that out once you hit 2gb. its ridiculous because they offer a 2gb plan so how is hitting 2gb a top 5% user????? i was grandfathered into the unlimited like many of you and dont feel like i abuse the network. internet radio at work is really the only thing that causes my data to go up. i know nothing is ever "unlimited" but if i hit 5gb in a month then i wouldnt mind the throttling, but not for 2gb!!!!

----------

Is there any idea as to what constitutes the "top 5%"?

EDIT: I didn't see the post above before submitting mine. Are you saying that anything over 2GB's is in the top 5%?


yes
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
k1121j Avatar
118 months ago
According to AT&T

Is there any idea as to what constitutes the "top 5%"?

EDIT: I didn't see the post above before submitting mine. Are you saying that anything over 2GB's is in the top 5%?


According to AT&T when they dropped the unlimited plans they said in their press release "98 percent use less than 2 GB" if this were true then the top 5% is less than 2 GB unless they were lying. Furthermore i disagree with them throttling you based on someone else's usage??? does this mean as time goes by and they cut the average data usage of people by throttling them then people will soon find themselves in the top 5% at lower and lower usage rates??????

__Someone sue the crap out of them and Sprint please and throw in that lawsuit the misleading advertising if unlimited data they apparently invented their own definition of the term. there is a limit throttling or not if they just calculate you data speed ( the theoretical top speed) over time time in the billing cycle thats what your limit is or is it HMM
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tjb1 Avatar
118 months ago
When Verizon throttled my phone, the thing wouldnt even load Pandora...really pisses me off that you pay for Unlimited and they throttle the already slow network to where it barely loads the Pandora app, let alone play something.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aneftp Avatar
118 months ago




"I honestly don't know why people fuss about data, most networks sell 1GB for $10 - it's not that bad."



If AT$T offered the $10/1GB data plans, I am sure over 75% of people would jump to that plan.

Of course they won't offer the $10/1GB data plan. Instead have a huge gap between the 200MB data plan for $15 and the 2GB/$25 data plans.

It's like the whole text messenging plans. 200 text/$5. But they never offered a 500-1000 text plan. Instead you would have to jump to the 1500/$15 text plan. When ATT finally offered the $10/1000 text plan, it only lasted for months before they just abandoned that plan.

All about bottom line for corporations.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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