The end of unlimited data plans

Do you know how much wireless data you use each month? If you’re like me, it fluctuates frequently and depends largely on my traveling schedule, time in the car, availability of leisure time – and so on. I try to keep it under 3GB – but sometimes by the end of the billing period, that’s totally out the window.

Is it the end of unlimited data plans?

Major kudos to those who had the foresight to lock into unlimited plans years ago, as most carries no longer offer them. Unlimited users must be patting themselves on the back these days? Well, maybe not. Speculation for throttling unlimited plans has run rampant over the last year. AT&T and Verizon have even admitted it to the FCC. Tech blog Ars Technica sheds some light on why carriers are throttling, stating that Verizon specifically wants to provide incentive to curb their phone habits. How thoughtful of them.

Another article states that all major US carriers do this in one way or another. And it seems like 5 is the magic number. Carriers are throttling the top 5% of their users.  Once a consumer hits the ‘limit’ of their ‘unlimited’ plans they begin to see dramatic slowdowns – 2G speeds, to be exact.

Whatever the reasons or incentives for throttling, the practice seems sneaky and the word unlimited, misleading. What’s your take?