You know when AT&T Started to send out the text messages with the “you’re in the top 5% of the people that use data so we’re going to slow it down” and every American started to get pissed over it? Well, AT&T and other major carriers said it was to save bandwidth usage… a.k.a. charge you an arm and a leg for something that’s completely useless and fake.
A study was conducted by Validas, an analytics firm that analyzed over 50,000 cellphone bills from AT&T and Verizon to see if throttling was actually something that was necessary to save bandwidth. After the study, it turns out that the numbers didn’t really add up. So why do they have the bandwidth caps? According to Validas’s findings, throttling may indeed simply be a ploy to push unlimited users into newer tiered plans – you know, so they can charge you an arm and a leg for the extra bandwidth.
That’s right, if you look at the chart above you can see that regardless of what kind of plan you have, you still use about the same kind of data – or at least you would if AT&T didn’t slow you down.
Subscribers who approach the top 5% of unlimited data users in a single billing period see their data speeds throttled, however, countless users have found that AT&T is now beginning to throttle users after less than 2GB of data usage in a billing period. So yes, you have unlimited data, but they want to literally annoy you into getting the 3GB tiered plan for the same price that you would pay for the unlimited plan – $30 a month. The only difference is that you have unlimited speed all the way to the end… THEN they start to charge you for going over.
It’s like going to Ihop to get unlimited pancakes, sure you may have as many as you want, but we’ll wait 20 minutes between pancakes OR you can get 3 pancakes right away for the same price without a 20 minute wait – if you want more we’ll charge you extra. So the tiered plan is really good for impatient people, but if you can tolerate the speed caps you should be alright.
According to Validas: “When we look at the top 5% of data users, there is virtually no difference in data consumption between those on unlimited and those on tiered plans — and yet the unlimited consumers are the ones at risk of getting their service turned off. So it’s curious that anyone would think the throttling here represents a serious effort at alleviating network bandwidth issues. After all, Sprint does seemingly fine maintaining non-throttled unlimited data for its customers.” Via BGR