Ahead of iPhone launch, Verizon throttles bandwidth of top data hogs

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
The top 5 percent of data users on the Verizon Wireless network may see slower throughput speeds, the carrier announced Thursday as it began accepting preorders for the iPhone 4.



In a notice posted Thursday on Verizon's official website, customers were informed that the carrier is implementing two new network management practices. It said that the changes will provide a better experience for its more than 94 million customers.



Verizon said that customers who subscribe to a data plan or feature on Thursday or later may see their bandwidth speeds throttled, if they use an extraordinary amount of data every month. The limits will be placed on customers who are among the top 5 percent of data users, Verizon said.



"We may reduce your data throughput speeds periodically for the remainder of your then current and immediately following billing cycle to ensure high quality network performance for other users at locations and times of peak demand," the notice says.



"Our proactive management of the Verizon Wireless network is designed to ensure that the remaining 95% of data customers aren't negatively affected by the inordinate data consumption of just a few users."



Unsurprisingly, the change in policy coincides with the carrier's upcoming launch of the iPhone 4. Both Verizon and Apple began accepting preorders for the new handset on Thursday, a purchase that requires a new two-year service contract under the carrier's new terms of service.



Verizon is likely looking to avoid overwhelming demand from a rush of iPhone customers when the handset debuts on Feb. 10. Dropped calls and connectivity issues for iPhone users on the AT&T network resulted in a public relations nightmare at times, when AT&T was the exclusive carrier of the iPhone.



In addition to the new bandwidth throttling methods for the most active users, Verizon also announced on Thursday that it is implementing new optimization and transcoding technologies in its network to transmit data files in a more efficient manner. Through caching less data, using less capacity, and sizing video more appropriately for devices, Verizon said it hopes to streamline its network.



"The optimization process is agnostic to the content itself and to the website that provides it," the carrier said. "While we invest much effort to avoid changing text, image, and video files in the compression process and while any change to the file is likely to be indiscernible, the optimization process may minimally impact the appearance of the file as displayed on your device."



For more information on the new optimization methods, Verizon's documentation points users to the URL verizonwireless.com/vwoptimization. However, the page is currently inactive and unavailable.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 72
    adonissmuadonissmu Posts: 1,772member
    AT&T wasn't lying when they said that Verizon users would experience life in the slow lane. Yes, I'm laughing but I use Verizon Mifi card. I won't anymore if ATT gets wifi hotspot.
  • Reply 2 of 72
    So, this vastly superior network, which cancels my data session when a call comes in, is now going to throttle down my already-reduced speed? AND...they are going to modify my data by compression (this will reduce the quality of my photos) !?!?!??!



    EPIC FAIL...we've been fooled once again.
  • Reply 3 of 72
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,643member
    ah come on i though their network could handle it....



    Honestly, they probably realize as uses of the iphone come on line people will hammer the network for a while until the newness wears off. They probably figured that slowness is better then nothing at all... Most people may not notice the slowness, but when you get no data you will notice that.
  • Reply 4 of 72
    What happened to Verizon's claim that its network is better suited to handle the traffic compared to AT&T. Sounds like an investigation for the FCC if they throttle user accounts... like they do cable companies.
  • Reply 5 of 72
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,643member
    I am waiting for the VZ fanboys to come on and explain this one.... But we know that love is in the eyes of the beholder... and the grass is always greener...



    Let the positive spinning begin
  • Reply 6 of 72
    moewmoew Posts: 41member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by noexpectations View Post


    So, this vastly superior network, which cancels my data session when a call comes in, is now going to throttle down my already-reduced speed? AND...they are going to modify my data by compression (this will reduce the quality of my photos) !?!?!??!



    EPIC FAIL...we've been fooled once again.





    You just admitted to being a 5% top user. I believe you have an expectation here, but are not-even-close to your typical user.



    Really, this can happen on any internet connection. Nothing new to see here, except trolls.
  • Reply 7 of 72
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    I wonder how they can re-compress video on the fly? They will probably compress the most popular videos and then cache them. Also how do you re compress Flash video? Not that the iPhone can play Flash but in general if it is a network wide policy for data use such as tethering.
  • Reply 8 of 72
    I'm curious -- top 5% of customers... is that all customers, or only those with a data plan? or is it only those with a full data plan?



    you see, the top 5% of data users may very well equal the top 50% of smartphone data users... making this a huge impact.



    I'm just asking.
  • Reply 9 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TimSteele View Post


    What happened to Verizon's claim that its network is better suited to handle the traffic compared to AT&T. Sounds like an investigation for the FCC if they throttle user accounts... like they do cable companies.



    Why? No one has stopped the cable companies from bandwidth capping and throttling; there's even less of a chance for it to happen with the telecoms.
  • Reply 10 of 72
    AT&T had the same issues and since have phased out unlimited data packages. Verizon will have it even out once the newness wears off and users begin to realize you are charged for to much data usage.
  • Reply 11 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MOEW View Post


    You just admitted to being a 5% top user. I believe you have an expectation here, but are not-even-close to your typical user.



    Really, this can happen on any internet connection. Nothing new to see here, except trolls.



    No it can not happen on any internet connection, only Verizon. AT&T has said most of the data hog problems are the top 1% to 2% so the 5% seems like a pretty broad brush that will hit people well below the 2gb level if usage patters hold. They also plan to punish you the following month as well, even if you cut back your data usage. Verizon is NOT a customer friendly company.
  • Reply 12 of 72
    So? They didn't say they were going to implement it. They just said they may do it if they need to. What's the problem with that? I wouldn't want the top five percent slowing down everybody else anyway.
  • Reply 13 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by HahaHaha321 View Post


    So? They didn't say they were going to implement it. They just said they may do it if they need to. What's the problem with that? I wouldn't want the top five percent slowing down everybody else anyway.



    They will be using compression on all data. They 'may' (corporate speak for 'will') throttle.
  • Reply 14 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TimSteele View Post


    What happened to Verizon's claim that its network is better suited to handle the traffic compared to AT&T. Sounds like an investigation for the FCC if they throttle user accounts... like they do cable companies.



    Given that they are throttling based on high consumption and a relatively small cut of folks, they would likely pass inspection. And at least they are being upfront and telling folks before they are in a contract etc
  • Reply 15 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AIaddict View Post


    No it can not happen on any internet connection, only Verizon.



    You've obviously never even read the terms of service of virtually any ISP.



    Comcast caps at 250GB a month. They throttle the heaviest users down from the maximum speed for which they've paid. They're not alone in doing so.
  • Reply 16 of 72
    Hahahaha. Grass is on the greener on the other side eh? Bleh. Doesn't matter. I don't even hit two gigs.
  • Reply 17 of 72
    The interesting question is whether mi-fi users, who are clearly using the network for heavy data usage, will be throttled. Or will it just be smartphone users that use too much data.



    I would mad if I was a mi-fi user, but maybe less so as a smartphone user. Neither of which I am, because I'm on AT&T, which gets relatively good coverage in my town and on the freeways I use.
  • Reply 18 of 72
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Maestro64 View Post


    I am waiting for the VZ fanboys to come on and explain this one.... But we know that love is in the eyes of the beholder... and the grass is always greener...



    Let the positive spinning begin



    I can explain it most simply to you. If you live and work in an area with little or no ATT coverage then Verizon is your best option, warts and all. It's really that basic.



    It really has nothing to do with being a fanboy. I don't believe, and correct me if I'm wrong, that there is such a thing as a Verizon fanboy, or any other kind of wireless carrier appreciation fan base.



    There are Star Trek fans, football fans, railroad fans, cooling fans, but I don't think there are any Verizon fans anymore than there are oil company fans or toaster oven fans or health insurance fans. They provide a service that people need.
  • Reply 19 of 72
    David Letterman suggest getting the iPhone Value 4 Pack:



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehxpvrJC5VA
  • Reply 20 of 72
    Usage charging is typical for many scarce resources. One only has to look at talk minutes to see how common it really is. Haven't seen Time Of Day (TOD) usage numbers but it would seem that having both peak and off peak data allocations, much like minutes, would help out. That way large software downloads could occur overnight and not impact daytime usage. There probably are enough cell phone carriers out there that one of them will figure this out. Virgin Mobile already has a USD 25 plan with 5 gigs of data and 300 minutes of talk with no contract. The second tier players seem much more competitive then either ATT or Verizon.



    Just my USD 0.02 worth
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