AT&T announced today that the company would be throttling the top 5% of its unlimited data users, to ensure proper service capacity to new users. Beginning October 1st, those with unlimited data plans are expected to see reduced speeds once they reach the level of “top 5% of heavy data users.”
“Like other wireless companies, we’re taking steps to manage exploding demand for mobile data. Many experts agree the country is facing a serious wireless spectrum crunch. We’re responding on many levels, including investing billions in our wireless network this year and working to acquire additional network capacity. We’re also taking additional, more immediate measures to help address network congestion,” AT&T stated.
AT&T stated that, “Starting October 1, smartphone customers with unlimited data plans may experience reduced speeds once their usage in a billing cycle reaches the level that puts them among the top 5 percent of heaviest data users. These customers can still use unlimited data and their speeds will be restored with the start of the next billing cycle. Before you are affected, we will provide multiple notices, including a grace period.”
This throttling only affects those on the unlimited data plans and does not affect new users who have signed up with tiered plans.
In an effort to quell heavy data users, Verizon did a similar thing not too long ago. Verizon Wireless discontinued unlimited data services for a set fee on July 7th. Verizon is following in the footsteps of AT&T who last year stopped offering unlimited data services to new users. Verizon, however, is not offering a cheaper option for low data-usage users.
New Verizon customers who limit their data use to 2GB (gigabytes), will have no choice but to pay a monthly fee of $30. Those who had unlimited data usage were paying the same monthly fee of $30. If a customer goes over their 2GB limit, Verizon will charge $10 for every extra gigabyte that is used. Those who plan on being bandwidth hogs on the network can sign up for a 5GB plan which runs for %50 a month, or a 10GB plan, which goes for $80 a month.