The war on data throttling has been raging on for what seems like forever, with many users left furious that their carrier would slow data speeds to a crawl after X amount of gigabytes (usually two). While most carriers draw a clear line as to when throttling will occur, AT&T has taken a rather shady approach with its unlimited customers in the past, simply stating that "the top five percent of users" will be throttled.
Update: Dow Jones Newswires apparently left out a key piece of information from Hesse's statement on throttling, in an example of truly stellar journalism and attention to detail (unfortunately, we have no audio or video record to verify Hesse's statements). Hesse was discussing throttling of those who are on networks that Sprint has roaming agreements with (which, admittedly, Sprint has a lot of - including with Verizon). While this still makes Sprint's ads technically misleading, the throttling really only applies to those who live in areas where Sprint's data network relies chiefly on roaming - not to those using primarily Sprint towers.
Back in July, Sprint announced plans to begin throttling speeds for customers who use more than 2.5GB of data in a month on its pre-paid subsidiary, Virgin Mobile. Naturally, this announcement did not sit well with Virgin customers, despite Sprint's claim that the change would only affect "3% of all data users."
However, the Now Network has decided to delay this throttling plan until sometime in 2012 to "ensure [they] have all the necessary systems in place so that [their] customer experience will remain positive."
There's no word as to exactly when this changeover will take place, but the company "will provide further information on timing beforehand so [their] customers have advance notification."
So, Virgin customers, breathe a sigh of relief, because it looks like you'll be able to bathe in unlimited data for a while longer.
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.
T-Mobile is starting to get aggressive with customer acquisition and retention, and in light of less than stellar fiscal performance and the news of the AT&T deal, it's not hard to see why.
On April 13, the carrier will begin offering a new off-contract smartphone plan, and it's a steal - for $59.99 a month (down from $79.99), you'll get unlimited talk, text and data*. But, there are some significant catches.