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Combination of iPad 4G LTE & data caps characterized as a 'speed trap'

post #1 of 130
Thread Starter 
Apple's new 4G LTE-capable iPad offers high-speed connectivity that's great for streaming video, but the data caps implemented by carriers have been found by some to be too restrictive, as users can burn through their monthly allotment in mere hours.

The data cap issue with Apple's 4G LTE iPad was characterized in a piece by The Wall Street Journal as a "speed trap" that can catch users off-guard. The story featured one user who streamed just two hours of March Madness college basketball before he burned through his entire two-gigabyte monthly data allotment.

The Verizon customer's $30-per-month data plan with his new iPad offered great video quality over the high-speed 4G LTE network. But that higher video quality also led to him reaching his data cap faster than expected, requiring him to pay $10 for every extra gigabyte he uses over the montly limit.

"It has been only five days since users of Apple Inc.'s newest iPad first took the device out of the box," author Anton Troianovski wrote. "Some are now finding just how quickly the promise of superfast wireless connections collides with what the reality of those services cost."

In the U.S., mobile data plans are capped at the two largest carriers: Verizon and AT&T. Those are the same two carriers with 4G LTE networks compatible with Apple's new iPad.

AT&T began capping iPhone and iPad data plans in 2010, while Verizon followed suit last year. Sprint is the only major carrier in the U.S. without a data cap, but it does not offer a 4G LTE network, and Apple does not sell a version of its new iPad compatible with Sprint's network.




The combination of data caps and high-speed LTE devices was characterized as a "quandary for wireless carriers" by the Journal, which noted that carriers are "banking on mobile video" to push users to 4G-capable tablets, smartphones and other devices.

"The carriers, suffering from a decline in voice-calling revenues, hope that LTE boosts monthly bills for wireless service, and they charge by the amount of data consumed," the report said.

But streaming a high-definition video over 4G LTE to a new, Retina display-equipped iPad uses about 2 gigabytes of data per hour, Verizon said. Verizon's entry-level data plan offers two gigabytes for $30 per month.

[ View article on AppleInsider ]
post #2 of 130
Hopefully this pops the data plan bubble.
post #3 of 130
Well, no different than buying a tank of gas. I can drive fast all day and buy another tank right away or I can choose to walk/bike.
post #4 of 130
This is my only complaint thus far about the new iPad, and it's not even an inherent iPad issue. I'm not even touching video yet, but just being able to surf more is causing me to use more data. Seeing as LTE networks are far more robust than 3G networks, you would think that they'd also increase typical data plans. It was really disappointing to see the plans stay in place as is. This needs to improve very, very soon or I will just stop using the feature. I love having the cellular connection as it can be a lifesaver in certain circumstances, but there's no way in hell that I'm about to spend $50-80 a month on another data plan that I'm not able to expense.
post #5 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by brutus009 View Post

Hopefully this pops the data plan bubble.

Wireless spectrum and bandwidth resources are finite. It's only going to get worse. This has been a known problem for several years that's starting to rear it's head now. Unlimited plans are not coming back, as much as I wish they would.
I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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post #6 of 130
Imagine if you get the AT&T $15/250Mb plan. turn your iPad on and all of a sudden all of your email flies through and also any alerts, badges, etc and ZAP you are out of data in a flash!
post #7 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

Wireless spectrum and bandwidth resources are finite. It's only going to get worse. This has been a known problem for several years that's starting to rear it's head now. Unlimited plans are not coming back, as much as I wish they would.

But why is this corporate greed only allowed in the US? Can't congress do something about this?
post #8 of 130
Our telecom services providers are such an embarrassment to this country, its economy, and to their consumers.

You'd think that they're an embarrassment to themselves, but apparently they're not.

Seriously, how do people that work in these organizations -- esp. the decision-makers -- get up and get to work every day without hanging their heads in shame? Have they absolutely no self-respect? When/how is this deeply entrenched, backward-looking, nickel-and-diming, innovation-choking industry going to change?!

Ugh.
post #9 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by gcom006 View Post

This is my only complaint thus far about the new iPad, and it's not even an inherent iPad issue. I'm not even touching video yet, but just being able to surf more is causing me to use more data. Seeing as LTE networks are far more robust than 3G networks, you would think that they'd also increase typical data plans. It was really disappointing to see the plans stay in place as is. This needs to improve very, very soon or I will just stop using the feature. I love having the cellular connection as it can be a lifesaver in certain circumstances, but there's no way in hell that I'm about to spend $50-80 a month on another data plan that I'm not able to expense.

No doubt about it, LTE is blazingly fast and durable for video, but I disable it in Settings except for brief periods when I might need the speed. Even without LTE running, 4G is a very pleasant speed improvement over 3G when opening regular web pages.

I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

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I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

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post #10 of 130
I wonder why this is a top story with the iPad when there were several Android devices with LTE last year. I assume they all consume more data than 3G devices.
post #11 of 130
I'm waiting for someone to post that this is all Apple's fault - "Datagate"
post #12 of 130
This is exactly why I didn't waste my money on a LTE version of the iPad. I simply tether to my iPhone for $25 more per month and I now have 5GB to use that will be shared between my phone and my iPad.

This works out especially well for me for several reasons:
1. I have a car charger that I can use to charge my 4s on the go if need be
2. I normally only use about 300MB of my 2GB cap with my iPhone
3. I spent $130 less on the device up front
4. 5GB of space for less than it would have cost me to purchase an additional 2GB exclusively for my iPad
5. I use WiFi when I'm at home anyway, so that data is never capped and I can stream Hi Def all day and night without any issues.

Having a separate plan just didn't make sense in my case.
post #13 of 130
funny how people did not see this coming ....
post #14 of 130
I say iPad high cellular usage charges are in part caused by carriers subsidizing the purchase of cell phones. These prices are the same as for iPhone use, but the iPad costs are borne solely by the customer; for the iPhone, the cellular costs are high because the iPhone, and their competitors, are subsidized.

I think it time to consider dropping phone purchase subsidies and dropping cellular usage charges. The willingness of customers to pay full price for iPads indicates to me that customers would be willing to pay the full cost of iPhones for lowering prices and removing carrier lock-in in the process.
post #15 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

I wonder why this is a top story with the iPad when there were several Android devices with LTE last year. I assume they all consume more data than 3G devices.

Ther is quite a large gap between the iPad and Android devices when it comes to user base. No one really pays attention to Android because all Android tabltes combined are small potatoes in comparison to the iPad.
post #16 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

I wonder why this is a top story with the iPad when there were several Android devices with LTE last year. I assume they all consume more data than 3G devices.

Oh indeed they do, in some cases twice as much. And yes it was a huge story last year. It was only somewhat tempered by the fact that Verizon let you keep unlimited when upgrading if you already had it. But for new customers, lots of frustration. They have run double data deals to get 4GB instead of 2GB. Still expensive and still not great.
I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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post #17 of 130
Learn a little something called "responsibility" and/or "self-control". Look it up on Wikipedia, but make sure you don't have LTE enabled in case you need to reference a YouTube video on kittens.
post #18 of 130
Speed-trap-gate!!!!
"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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"I'm way over my head when it comes to technical issues like this"
Gatorguy 5/31/13
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post #19 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post

Well, no different than buying a tank of gas. I can drive fast all day and buy another tank right away or I can choose to walk/bike.

It would be more like buying a $100,000 car and discovering that you have $10,000 per month fuel bills if you drive a few hours (5? how many hours to burn through 5GB?).

Hey, our LTE is really fast! Did you actually want to use it like we show in commercials with HD movies streaming? OK, each movie will run you about $15 to watch like that - in addition to renting/buying it! Suddenly getting the 64GB and loading content you want on ahead of time sounds a whole lot more reasonable.
post #20 of 130
I thought everyone wanted Apple to move to 4G LTE so they could get all these high-speed downloads and streaming. Now these same people are bitching about data costs. Any fool should have realized they'd run up data charges. I don't know why there is this huge push to 4G LTE when data costs are not dropping considerably. If Apple is being blamed for this then there is no hope of consumers having a tiny bit of common sense.
post #21 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrstep View Post

It would be more like buying a $100,000 car and discovering that you have $10,000 per month fuel bills if you drive a few hours (5? how many hours to burn through 5GB?).


Don't buy a boat then!
post #22 of 130
why streaming video is not going to work that well; it's not a technological issue, it's the cost of the streaming. With low caps, streaming is simply too expensive unless you are on wi-fi.

This is also going to hit people trying to use iCloud type services - too expensive to download.
post #23 of 130
That's why I will never give up my unlimited AT&T plan. Right now in the new iPad I have used up since Saturday "495m sent and 4.8g resieved" and since AT&T does not throttle the iPad I can only guess what my month usage will be. If I had to pay for the data on plans it will be useless and I would have gotten the wifi only to be honest...
post #24 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

I thought everyone wanted Apple to move to 4G LTE so they could get all these high-speed downloads and streaming. Now these same people are bitching about data costs. Any fool should have realized they'd run up data charges. I don't know why there is this huge push to 4G LTE when data costs are not dropping considerably. If Apple is being blamed for this then there is no hope of consumers having a tiny bit of common sense.

Is someone blaming Apple?

The article is simply meant to call attention to possible data usage issues and expenses. Some buyers might not understand how fast you can consume 2GB if they've only used 3G till now.
melior diabolus quem scies
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melior diabolus quem scies
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post #25 of 130
Apple should start to make the carriers don't count iCloud and video streaming on the data caps. That will make theolans useful again, web surfing and email is very login data usage IMHO...
post #26 of 130
You can also disable 4g and only use 3G so you save on data...
post #27 of 130
So where're all the people that said LTE wouldn't make you inherently use more data? I seem to remember people saying that.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #28 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShAdOwXPR View Post

You can also disable 4g and only use 3G so you save on data...

Bottom line is Speed is great but don't use it to stream video except when absolutely required.
post #29 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Bottom line is Speed is great but don't use it to stream video except when absolutely required.

"You can buy this car and use it anywhere, but don't take it to the grocery store or the movies or out to eat."

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #30 of 130
It would be nice if the various video apps (netflix, hulu, youtube) would provide a configurable download rate control. These apps already adapt to varying network conditions. It is just that with a wide open spigot, they will consume it all in a short period. An optional "force low quality" setting would be quite useful.
post #31 of 130
[QUOTE=
This is also going to hit people trying to use iCloud type services - too expensive to download.[/QUOTE]

Actually, this is different. Using iCloud file services, you download the same material, just taking less time (although that might lead one to do more of that). Video streaming apps, OTOH, adapt the rate data is downloaded based upon network conditions. Typically, on 3G you will only consume a couple hundred megabytes per hour watching a video. Watch that same video on LTE, will easily consume 5 times that amount.

I'll guarantee the network providers know this. But most consumers do not.
post #32 of 130
A backlash over carrier pricing plans would be a very good thing. Let's hope it is a HUGE BACKLASH.

Sure the carriers have invested heavily in LTE. Their network capacities will be so much bigger that they can easily handle a whole lot more data. They should be giving price breaks. Instead they're installing caps. What they're not doing is giving light users a break. It's a one way deal --> Their way. They get to charge for overage but they don't kick back for under utilization.

I think most everyone hates the carriers. Deservedly so.
post #33 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

Wireless spectrum and bandwidth resources are finite. It's only going to get worse. This has been a known problem for several years that's starting to rear it's head now. Unlimited plans are not coming back, as much as I wish they would.

What is finite is the willingness to invest in networks. As capacity demands increase, more network hardware can be added. Smaller cells will reduce spectrum congestion. Unlimited plans will come back when they are introduced by competitive services and people leave the existing carriers.
post #34 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

"You can buy this car and use it anywhere, but don't take it to the grocery store or the movies or out to eat."

More like "You can buy this 6 litre V8 Truck but if you always put pedal to the metal and burn rubber, you'll go through tires and gasoline like nobody's business (which surprise, surprise, will cost'ya"
post #35 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesmall View Post

I think most everyone hates the carriers. Deservedly so.

Congress doesn't. They're paid off not to.

Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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Originally posted by Relic

...those little naked weirdos are going to get me investigated.
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post #36 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmac47 View Post

What is finite is the willingness to invest in networks. As capacity demands increase, more network hardware can be added. Smaller cells will reduce spectrum congestion.

This will only work to a point. There still can only be so much traffic in a given space. We're not there yet, but follow the exponential mobile bandwidth growth a little further down the line and you'll see. Have you ever tried to set up Wifi in a crowded apartment complex?

Quote:
Unlimited plans will come back when they are introduced by competitive services and people leave the existing carriers.

What competitive services with what army? Essentially 3 companies hold the vast majority of available spectrum in US. Everyone else just leases from them. Unless they are forced to split up, which probably is not going to happen, there's no room for anyone else. Lightsquared tried to work around it and failed.

Look I wish what you point out would happen, but at the moment, no dice.
I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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I'm not a pessimist. I'm an optimist, with experience.
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post #37 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by old-wiz View Post

why streaming video is not going to work that well; it's not a technological issue, it's the cost of the streaming. With low caps, streaming is simply too expensive unless you are on wi-fi.

This is also going to hit people trying to use iCloud type services - too expensive to download.

History repeats itself. Going from GPRS to Edge was the same, as was Edge to 3G.

I've actually disabled cellular data on my new iPad for the time being in protest. I'm willing to spend $25 per month for about 3-4GB. I'll likely never use the limit though, but I at least understand what it is there for...
post #38 of 130
The truths that carriers have to up the caps on mobile if 4g is 10 times faster than 3G and faster than most wired services they need to offer a more usable cap. Maybe instead of 2-5g that should be 10-20g.

Again if I didn't have unlimited no way I will pay for 4gon the iPad monthly plans won't last a week let alone a month. They should give a monthly plan with data that will last an entire month at those speeds IMHO...
post #39 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdyB View Post

I'm waiting for someone to post that this is all Apple's fault - "Datagate"

Well WSJ is putting that kind of tone on the piece.

forgetting that folks were told they were paying for X amount of data. So they shouldn't be shocked when they do something like watch streaming video for several hours on LTE/3g. It's a no duh.

Now if they are asking that apps put up warnings basically saying "you are currently connected via cellular data. Be aware that watching X amount of video can take up to X amount of data." Then that's a fair request to make. But as is they are setting up an implication that Apple is trying to assist the carriers in raking users over the coals by encouraging LTE use over wifi.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #40 of 130
Quote:
Originally Posted by davesmall View Post

I think most everyone hates the carriers. Deservedly so.

Hmm...."everyone hates the carriers". Half the carriers aren't even making a profit (Sprint, T-Mobile) and the other half are just doing "OK" (Verizon, AT&T). Yet when the carriers want to raise more capital in order to invest in the infrastructure, all of us cry foul over the increase in our monthly bills. Yet Apple is able to earn 50% profit on every item they sell and we are OK with that. Strange world.
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