AT&T To Start Throttling Heavy Data Users; Sends Warning Message

AT&T iPhone

Back in July, AT&T had announced that it will throttle data speeds for top 5% of its smartphone users on unlimited data plans from October 1st.

Not surprisingly, it looks like AT&T is getting ready to start throttling the data speeds, as it has started sending out text messages to warn users who fall in that top 5% group.

AT&T claims it is taking these steps to manage the exploding demand for mobile data, but it hasn’t mentioned how much data usage could get you in the top 5 percent list, but had gone on to explain what puts someone in the top 5 percent and recommends such users to use their Wi-Fi networks:

Typically what puts someone in the top 5 percent is streaming very large amounts of video and music daily over the wireless network, not Wi-Fi.  Streaming video apps, remote web camera apps, sending large data files (like video) and some online gaming are examples of applications that can use data quickly.

It looks like you can get into trouble if you use 10GB to 12GB of data per month as MacRumors reports:

Reddit user “TheReverendZ” yesterday reported that he had received a text message from AT&T warning him that he had fallen into that top 5% group and encouraging him to use Wi-Fi to help avoid throttling of his data speeds. TheReverendZ notes that he typically uses 10-12 GB of data per month, as he does not have home Internet service, while “skelatwork” reports that he received a similar notice when he had passed approximately 11 GB of data for the month. 

AT&T has said that it will provide multiple warnings and a grace period before beginning to throttle data speeds. Verizon also started throttling heavy data users couple of weeks back.

It’s a pity that while Apple is introducing features like iCloud and OTA iOS software updates, which will translate into more data usage, carriers like AT&T are putting restrictions that will deprive users of a better user experience due to reduced speeds (throttling unlimited data plan customers) or come at a much higher cost (tiered data plans).

What do you think about AT&T’s plans to throttle unlimited data plan customers? Did you get the warning message from AT&T? How much data do you use per month?

[via 9 to 5 Mac]