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[Updated] AT&T Joins The Likes Of T-Mobile, Will Start Throttling Data For Users With Unlimited Plans On October 1st

Here's a shocker: in order to conserve precious bandwidth, AT&T plans to start throttling data for the top 5% of users that were grandfathered in on unlimited data plans back in the day. An AT&T spokesperson danced around the subject quite delicately, making sure to note that most users won't be affected by the change:

One new measure is a step that may reduce the data throughput speed experienced by a very small minority of smartphone customers who are on unlimited plans – those whose extraordinary level of data usage puts them in the top 5 percent of our heaviest data users in a billing period.

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Sprint To Start Throttling Virgin Mobile Smartphone Data - A Sign Of Things To Come?

In what can only be described as a real sphincter-clencher for Sprint customers, the nation's last true unlimited smartphone data provider has made a move that may signal the eventual end of that philosophy.

Yesterday, Sprint announced that customers on its Virgin-branded pre-paid arm, Virgin Mobile, will now be subjected to data throttling after 2.5GB of usage in a month. Sprint claims this will only affect 3% of all Virgin mobile data subscribers.

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[Video] Sprint Takes Shots At Verizon, T-Mobile, And AT&T's Data Plans With Its New 'Charts' Ad

Sprint has been making great strides to bash its competitors and show us who has the real unlimited data plan as of late, but this new ad puts it all on the table: Verizon and AT&T charge overage fees for anything more than 2GB and T-Mobile throttles your speed after a certain amount of consumed bandwidth, but The Now Network gives you unlimited data, sans-catch for one price. Have a look:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1kkAG9PAkU

The more Sprint ads I see, the more I want to jump ship from Verizon, so they must be doing something right.

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[Weekend Poll] How Much Cellular Data Does Your Device Use Per Month?

This is the latest in our Weekend Poll series. For last week's, see How Much Has Owning A Tablet Impacted Your Computer Use?

It seems the explosive growth of smartphone use has had some unintended consequences: U.S. carriers are moving towards tiered data. While some carriers have had "soft" caps for years, we've recently seen a move towards hard caps. "Tiered" plans have long been standard in other parts of the world, but the simple difference is that US carriers charge significantly more across the board - be it basic plans (just minutes), add-on's (such as texting), or data (whether used on a plan or as-you-go).

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[Updated: Existing Customers Can Keep Unlimited Data] Editorial: Why Verizon's Tiered Data Plans Will Punish Everyone - Not Just Heavy Data Users

Update: According to two separate Verizon memos intercepted by Droid-life, existing Verizon customers can keep their existing data plan pricing when renewing or upgrading. Unfortunately, as with all offers of this type, just how long it will last remains to be seen. But, given that the BIONIC is coming some time soon-ish, it seems very likely that existing Verizon customers will be able to get the device without being forced into tiered data.

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Nielsen: Android Data Usage Only Averages 0.6GB A Month - Do Tiered Data Plans Make Sense?

Nielsenwire released new smartphone figures this morning, with a focus on data consumption. Topping the list of the data consumers amongst the smartphone OS's was, of course, Android.

data-usage-by-OS

The average Android user utilizes 582MB (or roughly .6GB) of data per month - far less than what is allocated by any of the major carrier's plans. We often hear about consumers becoming feisty over data plan tier-ification or throttling, but how many people do these caps and throttles actually affect?

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Nielsen: Android Users Are Data Whores, Need More Gee-Bees

Nielson's latest statistics show little change over last month's, with Android, iOS, and BlackBerry holding first, second, and third place, respectively. Admittedly, the numbers for Android and iOS dropped a percent each to 36% and 26% while BlackBerry moved up a percent to 23%, but still - relatively unchanged.

nielsen_053111

However, this month's report included an interesting look at data usage. Perhaps due to the much larger community of power users, Android owners suck down 582 MB of data per month, 90 MB (18%) more than iOS (492 MB).

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T-Mobile Unleashes New Unlimited Plans, Except They're All Actually Tiered Data Plans

Earlier this month we told you that T-Mobile was working to revamp a couple of its pre-paid plans to include unlimited data, and that is finally official as of today.

(Note from David: Except, that data isn't really, truly unlimited. I mean, if you count 2G EDGE [which is what you get when you exceed your cap] as "data," then yes - you can have all the EDGE you can eat.

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Tiered Data Coming To Verizon This Summer As Planned, Says CFO - And Family Data Plans?

We knew it was coming. We've known for a while, in fact. But as summer draws near, reality is starting to set in: unlimited data is coming to an end on Verizon. For real. Here's what you need to know (based on what we know): Verizon's CFO told Reuters at a tech conference that tiered data will be implemented this summer, and that all unlimited data options will be eliminated.

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T-Mobile Revamping Prepaid Plans, Get Ready For Unlimited Data

On May 22, T-Mobile will be lifting the figurative data gate on its web70 and web50 plans, offering users unlimited data to go along with the unlimited talk and text that is already a part of the deal. As it stands right now, the web70 plan has a 2GB data cap, while the web50 plan only allows for a measly 100MB of data usage. While the latter will get the benefit of unlimited data, there will still be one restriction: the speed will be throttled after 100MB.

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