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Verizon 3G throttling goes live weeks before iPhone 5

updated 02:30 am EDT, Sat September 17, 2011

Verizon quietly turns on promised throttling

Verizon through a low key policy page confirmed that it had switched on its data throttling as of Thursday. The top five percent of 3G users on unlimited plans will have their connections slowed down when on heavily congested cell sites both for what's left of their billing period and for the following period. Those on 4G devices or on a capped plan don't see the throttling at all.

As described, the limitations are light relative to AT&T and T-Mobile, a fact Verizon is keen to point out. AT&T's upcoming practice will be a more absolute throttling that slows the top five percent regardless of their choice of network speed or their cell site. T-Mobile's strategy will automatically slow users down anytime they pass 5GB in a given billing cycle.

Its timing, like AT&T's, comes just a few weeks before the iPhone 5 is set to show and US carriers could expect a surge in data use. Sprint is the only major US carrier still offering real unlimited data and has insisted it's ready to handle the iPhone if, and more likely when, it gets the device. Many have anticipated Sprint resisting pressure to cap or throttle service in order to have a lure for customers who might otherwise jump to AT&T or Verizon for Apple's new hardware. [via Droid-Life]

by MacNN Staff



  1. efithian

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Net Neutrality

    It's coming, Verizon ;-)

  1. jwdsail

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Quick, someone get me a dictionary!

    I need something big and heavy to beat over the heads of the powers that be at these cell providers. Oh, and a quick way to explain the definition of "unlimited" to them when they come to.

  1. lamewing

    Joined: Dec 1969


    For how long?

    For the rest of the current billing and the entire NEXT billing cycle? Really?

    THIS is why I bought my iPhone 4 unsubsidized (and slightly used). So that when the carriers just finally go to far, I can just walk away. No EFT.

  1. facebook_Justin

    Via Facebook

    Joined: Sep 2011


    comment title

    It's The Network!

  1. tightzeit

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Welcome to Australia...

    where throttling has been the mainstay of every network.

    Sucks for you. Seems as though this idiotic process is a contagion.

  1. DerekMorr

    Joined: Dec 1969


    this is just good network mgmt

    This is actually a good idea. They're only throttling heavy users when their use impacts network performance for other users (e.g., when they're connected to a heavily congested cell site). That's good network management -- don't let a few users ruin the performance for others. When the data-heavy user moves to a different, uncongested cell site, there's no throttling. This practice reminds me of several common network management practices for wired networks.

  1. ruel24

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Data limiting pure and simple

    Throttling is another means of limiting your "unlimited" data plan. So, in other words, "unlimited" is a sham. Now, I know that because of spectrum problems, unlimited data plans will become an increasing burden on the spectrum, but technology can get around that. For instance, we now have digital television that can broadcast the same content in a narrower spectrum range. It seems we don't have enough competition in this field to push for innovation instead of taking away services from the users/customers.

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