AT&T relents on 'unlimited data' plan limits

Mar 01, 2012 By PETER SVENSSON , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- AT&T Inc. caved to complaints that it's placing unreasonable limits on the "unlimited data" plans it offers smartphone subscribers.

The cellphone said on Thursday that from now on, it will only slow down service for its "unlimited data" subscribers when they hit 3 gigabytes of usage within a billing cycle.

Previously, the company had been slowing down service when subscribers entered the heaviest 5 percent of data users for that month and that area.

There was no way for subscribers to find out ahead of time what the limit was. AT&T would send a warning by text message to people who approached the limit. The data throttling would then kick in a few days later.

"Our unlimited plan customers have told us they want more clarity around how the program works and what they can expect," AT&T said in a statement Thursday.

Several subscribers told The Associated Press that their data service had been throttled at just over 2 gigabytes of data use, lower than most people on AT&T's "limited" plans. Some of them said their phones were practically useless for two weeks out the month because the data service was slowed so drastically.

AT&T doesn't sell the "unlimited data" plan any more, but subscribers have been allowed to keep it. The company charges $30 per month for the same amount it charges for 3 gigabytes of data on a new "tiered" or limited plan.

AT&T has about 17 million "unlimited" smartphone subscribers, most of whom use iPhones.

The Dallas-based phone company said with "unlimited" plans and smartphones capable of using the new "LTE" data network would see the slowdown at 5 gigabytes rather than three. The LTE network is faster and doesn't have many users yet.

Explore further: FX says overnight ratings becoming meaningless

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

AT&T customers surprised by 'unlimited data' limit

Feb 13, 2012

(AP) -- Mike Trang likes to use his iPhone 4 as a GPS device, helping him get around in his job. Now and then, his younger cousins get ahold of it, and play some YouTube videos and games.

A loophole means unlimited data for AT&T iPhone

Jan 26, 2011

(AP) -- Verizon Wireless will start offering the iPhone on Feb. 10 with a draw that AT&T no longer offers to new subscribers: a plan with unlimited data usage. But The Associated Press has learned that some AT&T iPhone users ...

What AT&T-T-Mobile deal could mean for customers

Mar 21, 2011

(AP) -- AT&T Inc. has agreed to buy T-Mobile USA for $39 billion, but the deal isn't set to close until a year from now, and it will likely face tough regulatory scrutiny. Here's what a completed deal could mean for customers:

Judge awards iPhone user $850 in throttling case

Feb 24, 2012

(AP) -- When AT&T started slowing down the data service for his iPhone, Matt Spaccarelli, an unemployed truck driver and student, took the country's largest telecommunications company to small claims court. ...

Ahead of iPhone, Verizon says it may slow data

Feb 03, 2011

(AP) -- On the same day it started taking pre-orders for the iPhone, Verizon Wireless started reserving the right to slow down data service for subscribers who consume far more than others.

Recommended for you

FX says overnight ratings becoming meaningless

5 hours ago

(AP)—It's a rite nearly as old as television: the morning after a new show premieres, network executives wait impatiently for the Nielsen company's estimate of how many people watched, and rush to report ...

Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

Jul 21, 2014

Verizon Wireless is launching a nationwide loyalty program this week for its 100-million-plus subscribers. There's a twist, though: To earn points for every dollar spent, subscribers must consent to have their movements tracked ...

Verizon boosts FiOS uploads to match downloads

Jul 21, 2014

Verizon is boosting the upload speeds of nearly all its FiOS connections to match the download speeds, vastly shortening the time it takes for subscribers to send videos and back up their files online.

The goTenna device pitch is No Service, No Problem

Jul 18, 2014

In the new age of Internet-based crowdfunding with special price offers, where startup teams try to push their product closer and closer to the gate of entry, goTenna's campaign offers a most attractive pitch. ...

Maths can make the internet 5-10 times faster

Jul 17, 2014

Mathematical equations can make Internet communication via computer, mobile phone or satellite many times faster and more secure than today. Results with software developed by researchers from Aalborg University ...

User comments : 0