Why Throttling Unlimited Data Plans Is Pointless


Validas has released a new study that claims that data throttling on wireless data plans does nothing to alleviate data congestion on the wireless network. AT&T and others have claimed that throttling is done on the top users of bandwidth on its network to ensure bandwidth is available for everyone. However Validas extracted data from 55,000 cell phone bills that belonged to AT&T and Verizon Wireless customers in 2011. The result of the bills is that throttling isn’t doing anything.

According to Validas’ study, subscribers on unlimited plans for Verizon Wireless use less data on average than those who are on tiered plans. Unlimited and tiered users on AT&T saw unlimited users consumer slightly over half a gigabyte.

“When we look at the top 5% of data users, there is virtually no difference in data consumption between those on unlimited and those on tiered plans—and yet the unlimited consumers are the ones at risk of getting their service turned off,” stated Validas in a report. “So it’s curious that anyone would think the throttling here represents a serious effort at alleviating network bandwidth issues. After all, Sprint does seemingly fine maintaining non-throttled unlimited data for its customers.”

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at
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