Sprint to throttle 'unfair' customers using more than 23GB of data per month

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 78

    Do you have documentation of an unlimited data plan for tablets with AT&T? I know know of some unlimited super older international plans (for smartphones) and an Alltel unlimited hotspot back in the day, but never tablet unlimited data.

  • Reply 62 of 78

    So Merriam-Webster defines unlimited as; -without any limits or restrictions, -not limited in number or amount so the carriers are using the 2nd option which is totally reasonable when considering the fact cellular networks have no where near the capacity of wireline operators and/or WISPs. I do think with "5G" (I hate that term to be honest) mmWave, small cells, and carrier grade wi-fi offload we will eventually be able to live in a world where most can reasonably use large amounts of data as a primary means of connectivity.

  • Reply 63 of 78
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,322moderator
    melgross wrote: »
    Interesting. I wonder what the gotcha's are, or how long they would offer it. I can't see how they would make a profit off that,

    It'll be much like how email providers can offer unlimited email storage to every user. The assumption would be that most users wouldn't be using anywhere near the maximum. Average data usage across all users is low with most data coming over wifi:

    https://www.strategyanalytics.com/strategy-analytics/news/strategy-analytics-press-releases/strategy-analytics-press-release/2015/08/31/smartphone-data-traffic-explodes-in-us-witness-over-300-growth-in-2-years

    20GB of data allows say 20,000 web pages per month or 20 movies over Netflix or 40-80,000 images. The people burning through that much would most likely be movie/Youtube watchers but I don't see why people would be doing this on a phone over cellular.

    The costs are also not all in the data transmission, the company prices these against everything including future infrastructure growth, employee salaries and pensions. AT&T has over 200k employees and over 300k retiree pensions to pay for. Companies also pay large amounts to the government for licensing:

    http://www.airwaveadvisors.com/att-spends-billions-on-spectrum/

    All the costs then get bundled into the plan pricing. Smaller companies with fewer employees and infrastructure costs per subscriber will have more freedom to open up the data plans.

    I don't think that data caps are such a bad thing but the overage charges are far too expensive and it seems quite arbitrary that the limits are monthly. If the intention is to sustain the network stability then it would be better done daily e.g 1GB per day cap at full speed and then lower the speed.
  • Reply 64 of 78

    Just FYI movies chew threw way more data than you think, for example on iTunes (a la computer) Hugo, a 126 minute movie, uses; 1.88 GB in 480p, 3.99 GB in 720p, and 4.84 GB in 1080p. Even with compression its not going to save a ton of data with Netflix so in reality 20 GB is good for ~4-5 movies in HD (720/1080). Video is what is straining cell networks, in reality they only have about 150 Mbps shared on a tower. And streaming HD video requires a certain bit-rate 4.5-6 Mbps (for Netflix) when you dedicate some bandwidth for voice and split bandwidth per sector you have like ~40 Mbps to play with meaning it would only take about 10 users on one sector to suck up all the bandwidth. And Sprint has the double issue of relying more heavily on microwave back-haul for sites than T-Mobile for example who upgraded most of their sites to Fiber while they waited for the government to hand over AWS spectrum, this is why T-Mobile has done so well in speedtest/capacity even though they have added millions of customers since they started building out their LTE network. 

  • Reply 65 of 78
    Why is it unreasonable to use something you bought? I mean, just because most people don't stream movies and music constantly, and don't download tons of stuff, why does that mean those of us who do are "unreasonable?"

    How about not lying to customers and claiming a service is unlimited, then limiting it?

    If you say 10 megabits per second (hypothetically) is the speed, well, there are 2,592,000 seconds per month. That means I am buying 25,920,000 megabits of data transfer when I buy an unlimited plan (i.e. you don't limit my speed, so I get the max speed the whole time).

    That's 3164.16 GB, by the way. Limiting someone to only 23 would be to give you less than 1% of what you were supposed to get—and that is if 4G LTE was only a 10 megabit service.

    On AT&T I have a grandfathred unlimited plan and I get 30+ megabits per second. So I should be able to download 9 terabytes no problem.

    If these idiots couldn't actually PROVIDE unlimited service then they shouldn't have ever offered it. To say they didn't expect people to actually use it is ridiculous. The whole reason I got the unlimited plan in the first place was because I need it for what I do. So when they started throttling me I reported it as an illegal business practice to the FTC. And I will report them again if they ever throttle me again. In fact next time, I will sue them.
  • Reply 66 of 78
    Marvin wrote: »
    20GB of data allows say 20,000 web pages per month or 20 movies over Netflix or 40-80,000 images. The people burning through that much would most likely be movie/Youtube watchers but I don't see why people would be doing this on a phone over cellular.

    You don't see "why"? Um what planet do you live on?

    Because I live on this planet called Earth where a semi-intelligent race of sentient apes has 5" smartphones with 1080P (and some even higher) resolution screens with 4k video cameras, streaming music services, streaming video services, and real-time cloud data synchronization (like iCloud Photo stream).

    Some of are on a bus and/or train for one to three hours per day, every day, as we travel back and forth to work. When at home, many people may not feel like spending $100+ every month on cable internet now that their phone is faster and more capable than a laptop from 2005.

    We talk a lot on the phone and send tons of text messages, and got tired of paying oveages.

    So we went out and found a company who told us, "you get UNLIMITED DATA, CALLS, AND TEXTS EVERY MONTH ON THIS PLAN" and we said, "hallelujah, sign me up because if there is a limit, I will break it and be screwed. I don't even care about the price. Just sign me up." And they did sign me up.

    But now they are saying, "oh wait it's not really unlimited, see, we didn't actually think anyone would use more than 0.7% of the bandwidth that we are contractually obligated to provide every month under this plan, so we're just gonna try to use the 'reasonable person' standard to excuse ourselves from having to honor our word and to excuse ourselves for lying to our customers in order to get them to switch to us."

    This is about companies who lied and now want to punish the customers who expect them to provide the service they promised to provide! It has nothing to do with whether or not peoples' usage pattern is "reasonable" or not, because an UNLIMITED PLAN is the specific kind that people would get who want to consume a completely insane amount of data.

    I have a 17-year-old cousin who sends bajillions of text messages per month (she broke five digits one month!!). So glad they got the unlimited text plan. What if Sprint throttled her texts and started making them fail to send most of the time after she sent 2,000? Wouldn't that break their promise to provide unlimited texts?

    Or what if they started dropping your calls after you talked for 20 hours? Wouldn't that break the unlimited calling promise?

    How is it therefore different if they throttle data?

    Just because you don't send 11,367 text messages per month does not give you the right to say my cousin is unreasonable, because to her, she's perfectly reasonable, and her heavy txting is the reason she got an unlimited plan in the first place. Same thing goes for my data usage and my unlimited data plan.

    So the real question is why are you supporting this illegal, dirty practice of fraud?
  • Reply 67 of 78
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,322moderator
    darkgoob wrote: »
    I have a 17-year-old cousin who sends bajillions of text messages per month (she broke five digits one month!!). So glad they got the unlimited text plan. What if Sprint throttled her texts and started making them fail to send most of the time after she sent 2,000? Wouldn't that break their promise to provide unlimited texts?

    Or what if they started dropping your calls after you talked for 20 hours? Wouldn't that break the unlimited calling promise?

    How is it therefore different if they throttle data?

    Just because you don't send 11,367 text messages per month does not give you the right to say my cousin is unreasonable, because to her, she's perfectly reasonable, and her heavy txting is the reason she got an unlimited plan in the first place. Same thing goes for my data usage and my unlimited data plan.

    So the real question is why are you supporting this illegal, dirty practice of fraud?


    [VIDEO]


    Homer: 'all you can eat', ha
    Lionel Hutz: this is the most blatant case of fraudulent advertising since my suit against the film The NeverEnding Story

    I don't side with carriers for data caps and overage charges. I can understand throttling the speed of excessive users. There are users on Android that try to download large torrents over cellular. Cellular networks are not able to cope with that usage. If a small minority of people are disrupting the network for a lot of people then the alternative is to let everyone suffer. Slowing down something like torrents wouldn't matter and video streaming can adapt to a slower connection. It's not denial of service like dropping calls or failing to send texts.

    It would be better if the carriers were transparent about it, like how many people go over, what usage is causing it and at what times, how much do they go over, why choose 23GB, what is the throttling rate etc. Users would be more understanding if they saw the real world impact. The main motive to hide this data is to avoid letting their competitors see their network capacity limits rather than hiding it from customers.

    Consumers can't expect unlimited to mean unlimited bandwidth and unlimited speed because this isn't possible, the carriers have to choose sensible restrictions that allow hundreds of millions of people to use the service at the same time.
  • Reply 68 of 78
    Marvin wrote: »
    Consumers can't expect unlimited to mean unlimited bandwidth and unlimited speed because this isn't possible, the carriers have to choose sensible restrictions that allow hundreds of millions of people to use the service at the same time.

    Quit calling peole "consumers." I am a content producer and I use plenty of upstream bandwidth as well as downstream. This is not just about consumption.

    Also, no one is complaining because of limits that exist due to the laws of physics or the technology itself. Obviously, people know there is a physical limit.

    What "unlimited" reasonably means in this context is that the carrier is not limiting your usage artificially.

    Regarding torrents, I know how that can hose a connection. But they should have thought about that before offering people a service and calling it "unlimited" when in reality they are forced to impose limits.
  • Reply 69 of 78
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 15,322moderator
    darkgoob wrote: »
    Quit calling peole "consumers." I am a content producer and I use plenty of upstream bandwidth as well as downstream. This is not just about consumption.

    You're consuming bandwidth whether you are producing or consuming content.
    darkgoob wrote: »
    Also, no one is complaining because of limits that exist due to the laws of physics or the technology itself. Obviously, people know there is a physical limit.

    What "unlimited" reasonably means in this context is that the carrier is not limiting your usage artificially.

    When a carrier sets an allocated speed, that's an artificial limit, albeit a high one. If you get 20Mbps then the most you'd get is 6.7TB per month, this is not unlimited in the true sense of the word, there is a limit to the amount you can download. Throttling it down lowers the limit that already exists. The real issue is not with the 'unlimited' part when it comes to throttling but where it says things like 'up to 40Mbps'. That statement doesn't make any claims that you will always get 40Mbps, it just states the peak rate.

    If they want to be transparent with customers then they can say unlimited data (meaning no overage charges) or unlimited usage since they clearly intend to keep the data amount low and then state the expected speeds after a certain download size. They can do this daily so for example up until the first 0.5GB, you could expect 40Mbps, until it hits 1GB drop to 20Mbps, until 2GB drop to 10Mbps and then a speed intended for browsing, texting etc and it can reset the next day. For most users, the speed will be 40Mbps for everything they do and heavier users will be able to watch movies every day without a movie or file service detecting 40Mbps and burning through 20GB in about an hour and leaving them with poor speeds for the rest of the month.

    The reason these definitions get so vague is because all the companies try to circumvent marketing regulations to make their product sound the best and if a competitor doesn't offer the same then they lose customers. They end up all using the same vague terminology but no single company is going to voluntarily say 'we're actually limited' when everyone else advertises unlimited. Buyers don't reward honest companies because there's no way they have time to check every claim they are making.

    They'll never stop using the superlatives in marketing so the best you can hope for is that they clarify the limits in the service. Sprint has done this here by declaring the limit so customers know that unlimited usage doesn't mean unlimited speed and customers can then decide to stay with them or go with another provider.
  • Reply 70 of 78
    maxitmaxit Posts: 222member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by pkabir View Post

     

    I have never heard of a cord cutter meaning no landline internet, usually it refers to dropping Cable for streaming services. Unless you are rural you can get pretty cheap landline internet (albeit speeds may be slow or throttled). Cellular isn't home internet replacement.




    it is for many people

  • Reply 71 of 78
    sandorsandor Posts: 658member

    MaxIT, i agree with that.

     

    It is anecdotal, but more & more median income (family of four, US$50,000 yearly income) families i talk to are opting for family plans for wireless devices for their whole family and having no other form of telecommunication (land line, cable, etc).

     

    It makes sense, as these devices can, for a relatively inexpensive monthly fee, provide telephone, communication, email, web, audio & video entertainment, etc. Heck, my family plan with 4 phones from TMobile is $125. Get rid of everything else, and that is great for the budget.

  • Reply 72 of 78
    Originally Posted by sandor View Post

    ...median income (family of four, US$50,000 yearly income) families...




    Median income is below $30,000 now.

  • Reply 73 of 78
    sandorsandor Posts: 658member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

     



    Median income is below $30,000 now.




    http://lmgtfy.com/?q=us+median+family+income

  • Reply 74 of 78
    hmmhmm Posts: 3,405member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sandor View Post

     

    MaxIT, i agree with that.

     

    It is anecdotal, but more & more median income (family of four, US$50,000 yearly income) families i talk to are opting for family plans for wireless devices for their whole family and having no other form of telecommunication (land line, cable, etc).

     

    It makes sense, as these devices can, for a relatively inexpensive monthly fee, provide telephone, communication, email, web, audio & video entertainment, etc. Heck, my family plan with 4 phones from TMobile is $125. Get rid of everything else, and that is great for the budget.


     

    I'm not sure how a family of four making $50k/yr ever found cable "affordable" after other priorities. That isn't even sufficient to qualify for a lease on a 2 bedroom apartment in many cities. A family plan at $125/month probably makes a lot of sense in that situation though.

  • Reply 75 of 78

     

    I preferred your original comment. Less condescending and no reference to a constitutionally bereft company.

  • Reply 76 of 78
    sandorsandor Posts: 658member
    I preferred your original comment. Less condescending and no reference to a constitutionally bereft company.

    my apologies, Tallest Skil.

    it reads as flippant as I was feeling in the moment, but was a bit overboard.
  • Reply 77 of 78
    Originally Posted by sandor View Post

    it reads as flippant as I was feeling in the moment, but was a bit overboard.

     

    No worries. Should’ve thrown a wink on there, myself.

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