Have an unlimited data plan on Verizon? Well, it's about to get more expensive. While the company hasn't actually offered unlimited smartphone data to new customers since around 2011, many subscribers are still "grandfathered" into old unlimited data plans. Verizon has already tried to push such subscribers to the new tiered plans, and being grandfathered now generally necessitates buying your phones off-contract if you want to stay on the gigabyte gravy train. Read More
AT&T, who prefers to keep as many $100 millions as they can, has strongly suggested to the FCC that the carrier should not be required to pay the $100 million fine levied for throttling users on unlimited data plans. The punishment comes for failing to make it clear to customers that have grandfathered packages that while their service is called "unlimited," they will actually be throttled to 2G speeds once monthly usage exceeds an arbitrary amount that is not disclosed to subscribers.
To sum up AT&T's rebuttal, they say that the FCC is wrong about the current law and wrong about whether AT&T informed their customers about how unlimited data plans work. Read More
Mobile carriers like to play fast and loose with the word "unlimited" when it comes to data plans. They're often technically unlimited, but only fast enough to be useful until you hit a certain barrier. MVNOs operated by TracFone including Net10 and Straight Talk were a little more shady than most, and that led to today's FTC announcement of a $40 million fine against the company.
T-Mobile's unlimited talk, text, and data plan is the big carrier option to beat at $80 a month. But so far it's only been available to individual customers - if you have four people and you want four lines of unlimited data, you need four different accounts. Starting tomorrow, December 10th, unlimited data will be available for families as well. The cheapest option is unlimited talk, text, and data on two lines for $100 a month, a $60 savings over the old structure.
Expanding your cell phone family is similarly thrifty, at least in the realm of big bucket data. Each additional line with unlimited everything costs an extra $40, up to ten separate lines. Read More
AT&T unlimited data users, your champion has arrived. Today the United States Federal Trade Commission announced that it has filed a federal court complaint against AT&T Wireless, alleging that the company misled customers by offering "unlimited" cellular data service that was severely reduced in speed at some times and places. The FTC's complaint takes issue with AT&T's failure to inform customers that the unlimited data they were paying for could be "throttled," often cutting data speeds to specific customers by up to 90 percent.
FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez pulled no punches in accusing AT&T of deceptive advertising and violation of the FTC Act:
AT&T promised its customers ‘unlimited’ data, and in many instances, it has failed to deliver on that promise.
Back in August, Verizon turned heads when it said it would begin to use "Network Optimization" for those few customers still on the old unlimited data plans. In layman's terms, it meant that Verizon intended to throttle the speed of the top 5% of unlimited data users on LTE networks, something that's already in place on the carrier's aging 3G system. But today, the very first day that the policy was set to go into practice, the company seems to have backed down.
An official statement given to Droid Life explained in no uncertain terms that Verizon will not be optimizing its LTE traffic for unlimited customers. Read More
T-Mobile likes to call most of its plans "unlimited," but only a few of them actually have unlimited access to LTE speeds. These plans include unlimited bandwidth, but that doesn't mean you can do whatever you want. The terms and conditions prohibit the use of p2p file sharing, and now a leaked internal memo points to a new offensive against such violations. Beginning August 17th, T-Mobile goes to war against torrents. Read More
It's impossible for new customers to buy unlimited mobile data from Verizon. But this wasn't always the case: back in the glory days of, uh, 2010 and earlier, Verizon Wireless was still offering true unlimited data for as little as $30 a month. It's been increasingly hard for users who want to keep their unlimited data to do so: since late 2012, they haven't been able to buy a new subsidized phone without switching over to a plan with a data cap, and the "grandfathered" unlimited data customers who download the most are already subject to "network optimization" when using Verizon's 3G network. Read More
As other carriers have ended unlimited data in recent years, Sprint has held firm. This was perhaps the saving grace of its network as Sprint struggled to catch up to other carriers in the race for LTE coverage. According to a report from Fierce Wireless, Sprint is going to be pulling back a bit on unlimited 3G/4G data for the biggest users on its network. Beginning as soon as next month in some markets, anyone who falls in the top 5% of data consumers could potentially be throttled down to ensure others can get connectivity.
If you're in the market for a no-contract cell phone and you want unlimited data, your options aren't exactly legion. Today US Cellular announced one more, albeit with some big drawbacks in the small print. For a limited time, you can pick up a new no-contract phone and enjoy unlimited talk minutes, texting and data for $50 a month. That's the same price as the carrier's current 1GB plan.
As with US Cellular's previous plans, "unlimited" only means "unlimited" in the very selective way that some carriers use the term. To put it bluntly, your service is unlimited for the first 500MB, then it's throttled down to 1X (2G) speeds. Read More