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: Creating the fastest outdoor wireless Internet connection in the world

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

China's Xiaomi raises more than $1 bn in funding

17 minutes ago

China's top smartphone seller Xiaomi Corp. is raising more than $1 billion in a fresh round of funding, a move which would raise its valuation above $45 billion, a report said Sunday.

US seeks China's help after cyberattack

5 hours ago

The United States is asking China for help as it weighs potential responses to a cyberattack against Sony Pictures Entertainment that the U.S. has blamed on North Korea.

Why the Sony hack isn't big news in Japan

21 hours ago

Japan's biggest newspaper, Yomiuri Shimbun, featured a story about Sony Corp. on its website Friday. It wasn't about hacking. It was about the company's struggling tablet business.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.