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

Posted:
in iPad edited January 2014


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 ]

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 131
    brutus009brutus009 Posts: 356member
    Hopefully this pops the data plan bubble.
  • Reply 2 of 131
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 131
    gcom006gcom006 Posts: 73member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 131
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 131
    isheldonisheldon Posts: 570member
    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!
  • Reply 6 of 131
    isheldonisheldon Posts: 570member
    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?
  • Reply 7 of 131
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 131
    kibitzerkibitzer Posts: 1,113member
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 131
    jungmarkjungmark Posts: 6,507member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 131
    adybadyb Posts: 173member
    I'm waiting for someone to post that this is all Apple's fault - "Datagate"
  • Reply 11 of 131
    mrmj2umrmj2u Posts: 34member
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 131
    funny how people did not see this coming ....
  • Reply 13 of 131
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 131
    sticknicksticknick Posts: 123member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 131
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 131
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,269member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 131
    jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    Speed-trap-gate!!!!
  • Reply 18 of 131
    mrstepmrstep Posts: 446member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 131
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 131
    kjacobikjacobi Posts: 15member
    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!
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