dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
Is AT&T Easing Off Throttling?
Throttled Users Claim Slightly Faster Speeds
by Karl Bode 10:16AM Wednesday Feb 22 2012 Tipped by en103 See Profile
Earlier this month we noted how AT&T's waging a quiet war on those "unlimited" data users it had agreed to grandfather when it eliminated unlimited data back in 2010. One, those that legally jailbreak and use unofficial tethering options are automatically being moved to metered service as punishment for refusing to pay AT&T a fee for doing nothing. Two, users on "unlimited" plans say they are being throttled after 2 GB so that they'll voluntarily make the shift to AT&T's metered plans (3GB is now offered for the same price).

Complaints about the AT&T practice recently reached a fevered pitch in the mainstream media, with thousands of news outlets picking up on the story. The news may have resulted in AT&T adjusting their practice a little. User en103 See Profile directs our attention to the fact that several users over at Howard Forums claim their "throttled state" is slightly less throttled, with users now seeing speeds of between 240 to 300 kbps, up from 100 to 150 kbps. Says one user:
quote:
Speeds have gone up to 280kbps here in SoCal. Sad thing was that I set my iPhone to 2g, and was getting better speeds than 3G. I might as well use 2g for streaming out here... It actually works decently.
Given that the throttling imposed on users can vary from market to market, we asked AT&T to comment on whether they'd nudged up the throttled state speeds and were told by a spokesman it was nothing the company could comment on. Throttled users paying $30 a month for "unlimited" data are finding it makes more sense to use AT&T's EDGE network in some instances.

view:
topics flat nest 
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

I can see it now...

AT&T will send an update where the phone will only switch to 2G when 3G signals are weak or unavailable.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: I can see it now...

Most phones already do this. The iPhone is the exception, but in the 4S, you have to JB to enable the switch. I don't have unlimited, but I have it just in case I'm on the edge of EDGE.
cahiatt
Premium
join:2001-03-21
Smyrna, GA

Re: I can see it now...

said by BiggA:

Most phones already do this. The iPhone is the exception, but in the 4S, you have to JB to enable the switch. I don't have unlimited, but I have it just in case I'm on the edge of EDGE.

I think the sarcasm didn't come through. I think what was meant is that 3g will somehow magically have a weak signal and force you on 2g when you git your 2gb data limit....
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: I can see it now...

Oh, no, that's never going to happen. That doesn't make any sense.
cahiatt
Premium
join:2001-03-21
Smyrna, GA

Re: I can see it now...

"I think the sarcasm didn't come through".......
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: I can see it now...

Your original post said, if you read it, that AT&T would remove the "disable 3G" switch from phones, which already exists. Most phones didn't have it in the first place, and the 4S doesn't have it in stock state. So basically you either don't know how to write, or don't know what you're talking about.
cahiatt
Premium
join:2001-03-21
Smyrna, GA

Re: I can see it now...

Original Post in "this" thread;

- AT&T will send an update where the phone will only switch to 2G when 3G signals are weak or unavailable.

Sarcastic explanation of what would really be happening;

- User happily browsing on ATT service. User hits 2gb limit. Phone magically slows to 2g speeds. ATT excuse is that you "must be in a weak 3G area" and phone automatically switches to slower 2G or EDGE service. 3G signal magically restores on user phone at new billing cycle. Essentially a backhanded way of throttling you without actually throttling you.

Yes we know that probably ain't' gonna happen. Hence the sarcasm in the original comment. But I wouldn't put it past ATT to try.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: I can see it now...

Well that's not what was posted.
cahiatt
Premium
join:2001-03-21
Smyrna, GA

Re: I can see it now...

said by BiggA:

Well that's not what was posted.

Seriously? You didn't see the below comment at the top of the thread. The one you responded to? The one I am referring to. The comment discussed in "this" thread. Verbatim from the 1st response;

"I can see it now.....

AT&T will send an update where the phone will only switch to 2G when 3G signals are weak or unavailable."
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: I can see it now...

That clearly states that they would force people to use 3G when it is available, which is currently AT&T's policy on most devices, with the exception of the iPhone 3G, 3GS, and 4.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: I can see it now...

Gents, I was responding to the snippet from a user in the article who claims it's better to be on 2G. I assume this is when their unlimited 3G speeds are "throttled". Maybe that's not what they meant. Maybe it is.

Said by one user:
Speeds have gone up to 280kbps here in SoCal. Sad thing was that I set my iPhone to 2g, and was getting better speeds than 3G. I might as well use 2g for streaming out here... It actually works decently.
I also didn't know that only the 3G, 3Gs and 4 can disable 3G. I've only had the 3G and 4 and assumed everyone had such an option.
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: I can see it now...

Well your post made no sense. They removed it on the 4S (although I have it through SBSettings), but no stock Android phones on AT&T have ever had it, AFAIK. Mine did, but with a custom ROM.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: I can see it now...

Does it make sense now that I've clarified the context?
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: I can see it now...

No, it never made sense, and it never will.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: I can see it now...

The article quotes a user as saying they switched to 2G to get better performance. I made the assumption they did this because AT&T throttled their 3G experience. My point was beware, AT&T will remove that option to force the 56k 3G experience folks claim to get when they exceed their "unlimited" cap.

I was never assuming they would force 2G until the next billing cycle. That was another person's interpretation.

This comment has nothing to do with whether or not other phones have this option. If, as you claim, the iPhone models 3G, 3Gs and 4 are the only phones that have this option, that's millions and millions of devices on AT&T's network. If those that have unlimited plans switch to 2G when they get throttled on 3G, AT&T could close that loop hole.

Does it make sense now?
BiggA

join:2005-11-23
EARTH

Re: I can see it now...

Sort of. Except that the throttling is around 200kbps, so an EDGE connection would be only marginally better, at best.
rradina

join:2000-08-08
Chesterfield, MO

Re: I can see it now...

I thought the recent tests of folks that were throttled showed they were getting "56k-like" speeds. My personal experience with 2G has always been horrible. Uploads are generally sub 100Kbps and downloads can get above 100Kbps but you wouldn't write home about it. Although 3G latency sucks, it not really fair to measure much less compare 2G latency with anything. It's kind of like measuring and comparing the quarter-mile times of a Smart Car (I read it's about 20 seconds at ~70mph). Speed isn't the reason one drives a Smart Car.

Bill Neilson
Premium
join:2009-07-08
Arlington, VA

I am not sure why anyone would really think

that AT&T is doing anything of the sorts.

They lied to consumers about unlimited and will lie about throttling numbers and speeds.

I was given the Top 5% line which was LAUGHABLE as I did not even hit 3gb so I left and spoke with my wallet

ptrowski
Got Helix?
Premium
join:2005-03-14
Putnam, CT
kudos:4

Re: I am not sure why anyone would really think

I would be amazed if this were true, I highly doubt it though.

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000

Re: I am not sure why anyone would really think

Me too.

Why is anybody still signing contracts with this company?
desarollo

join:2011-10-01
Monroe, MI

Re: I am not sure why anyone would really think

Because there's only one or two other choices. And in some parts of the country (albeit, few), AT&T is the better choice for coverage.

delusion ftl

@comcast.net

Re: I am not sure why anyone would really think

Here we go with the coverage "herring" again. The vast majority of America's population do not need "coverage" in the way some of the rural Americans need it. ATT has over a hundred million subscribers of which most of them would hardly ever, if at all, leave coverage area from any of the top 4 carriers, and many of them would never leave the regional carriers coverage either.

ff1324
Everybody Goes Home
Premium
join:2002-08-24
On Four Day
Reviews:
·AT&T Southwest

Re: I am not sure why anyone would really think

I used to be with Sprint until I was transferred to another location at work (two miles from where I was before) and found I had almost NO signal indoors with Sprint or Verizon. Neither vendor was helpful in addressing the issue, so AT&T got my business.

Coverage isn't a red herring. Spectrum saturation is a herring. 5% of top users is a herring.
--
My rants get raves.

MovieLover76

join:2009-09-11
kudos:1

2 edits

Re: I am not sure why anyone would really think

Agreed coverage is definitely not a red herring, even in NJ which is fairly well covered by all of the big 4 you can see a difference in coverage, I worked in an office in the basement quite a few years ago where everyone slowly switched to verizon because cell phone service didn't work on any carrier other than verizon, I've also seem my roommates t-mobile phone coverage go in and out, in our last apartment in order to answer a call he always had to go outside, and I've seen the same thing with sprint users, AT&T is generally very close in coverage to Verizon but I get much more consistent data speeds wherever I am, AT&T was hit or miss and now that I'm in a 4G LTE area verizon blows AT&T HSPA+ speeds out of the water.

While data does have it's issues on verizon's 4G network, one thing I trust Verizon with is maintaining their network and continuing to invest in it, (which AT&T is historically bad at) so I think they'll solve their issues eventually, plus while Verizon is undoubtedly trying to make a buck every way they can, they still aren't as harsh as AT&T is with their data policies. Sprint and T-mobile just aren't options for me as calling coverage is the primary concern I have, plus I'm grandfathered into unlimited data with Verizon, so I might as well ride that out as long as I can.

NickD
Premium
join:2000-11-17
Princeton Junction, NJ
Reviews:
·Comcast
I was in Pine Island, Minnesota recently which I could say is the middle of nowhere. My AT&T iPhone had no service or a weak EDGE signal there, and most of the locals had Verizon, which had 3G service there. In fact, that was the first time I had ever seen my iPhone have no service at all. In NJ I get AT&T 3G service all over the state with dead zones only in the basements of some buildings where not even the local radio stations can be heard.
desarollo

join:2011-10-01
Monroe, MI
said by delusion ftl :

Here we go with the coverage "herring" again. The vast majority of America's population do not need "coverage" in the way some of the rural Americans need it. ATT has over a hundred million subscribers of which most of them would hardly ever, if at all, leave coverage area from any of the top 4 carriers, and many of them would never leave the regional carriers coverage either.

Which is why they choose their provider based upon coverage; it better be damned good in the areas where they are the most. There are areas where AT&T excels and I don't think it is coincidence that it corresponds to where they are not relying heavily on the PCS 1900 MHz bands.

It doesn't matter where you live, if you can't use the device where ever and when ever you want, you'll bail.

"Thanks"

DataRiker
Premium
join:2002-05-19
00000
said by desarollo:

Because there's only one or two other choices. And in some parts of the country (albeit, few), AT&T is the better choice for coverage.

I was referring more specifically to going to prepaid carriers for less money and no contract.

The network is a non issue since many use ATT anyway.

Rob
In Deo speramus.
Premium
join:2001-08-25
Kendall, FL
kudos:3
said by DataRiker:

Why is anybody still signing contracts with this company?

More like .. why isn't our government looking into this obvious and very illegal breach of contract by AT&T?

Don't bother.. that was a rhetorical question.
--
CheckSite.us | YourIP.us | Reverseip.us
en103

join:2011-05-02

Re: I am not sure why anyone would really think

Probably because AT&T is using specific wording in their terms that state that they do not guarantee speeds.

What AT&T is doing would be similar to getting a weekend 'unlimited' car rental and driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, but then finding out, somewhere in the middle of the desert that your car is moving about 70 inches per hour instead of 70 mph. When you call the rental company, they state that the terms of the agreement state that you can drive unlimited milage, and speeds 'up to' the limit, and that speeds are not guaranteed.

After you signed your agreement and hit the road, the rental company came out with a new weekend rental plan for the same amount, but charges $10 for every 60 miles after the first 180. The car rental company also activated a remote governor that kicks in at 120 miles but refuses to comment on it, with the exception that you can switch to the metered weekend plan (and pay more), which will deactivate the remote governor on your car.

IPPlanMan
Holy Cable Modem Batman

join:2000-09-20
Washington, DC
kudos:1

Re: I am not sure why anyone would really think

You don't even need to use an analogy.

Essential functions of the device have been rendered useless because they are no longer readily available or usable in the primary manner or for the primary purpose for which the device was sold.

Yomommq

@qwest.net
Well my friend that would be because of the fact that it isnt a breach of the contract i work for a cellphone company and trust me, their contract are almost air tight, first thing is mandatory arbitration which is completely stupid, but than again no company will let u out of your contract because of changes, and to be honest the fact that they punish you for jailbreaking makes sense, they have grandfathered you into a service that no one else has if you jailbreak or find a way to use their services w/out paying for them, yes the company must take action. but regardless the 4 major carrier lawyers and connects with the goverment to the point where stuff like this wouldnt mean anything, and that where a class action law suits comes in,

IowaCowboy
Want to go back to Iowa
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
·Verizon Broadban..
·Comcast
said by DataRiker:

Me too.

Why is anybody still signing contracts with this company?

I had Verizon from 2001 to 2004 and when I lived in Iowa, Verizon had excellent signal strength and then I moved to Springfield, MA Verizon had terrible signal strength and I switched to then Cingular (now AT&T) because they had usable (but not perfect) signal strength. Fast forward 6 years later to 2011, AT&T was a sinking ship with network quality and when I had an iPhone 3GS drop three times in a matter of minutes (despite good signal strength), I abandoned ship with AT&T (paying an ETF, which wasn't much because I signed when it was $175 for all phones and my contract was up in November of 2011 and I jumped ship in March of 2011) and bought an iPhone 4 through Verizon (which has since improved their network).

Now my mother uses my Verizon iPhone when her AT&T phone doesn't work (yet she refuses to switch to Verizon). A good example was Verizon Wireless worked during the widespread power outages during the October Ice Storm and AT&T phones were all but useless.
--
All of my CPE (including my EMTA) is customer owned. The only Comcast owned equipment in my house is the CableCards in the two TiVO boxes I own.

iPhone4idiot

@nuvox.net

Say Goodbye to AT&T

The solutions is easy. Buy a SIM card from Straight Talk and switch to the $45 unlimited everything plan (although I believe if you go over 5GB you will get booted). Works on ATT iPhone with simple APN change. So happy I switched and am saving a ton.

»youtu.be/xRE6FLqrULw

•••

Flibbetigibb

@lmco.com

Switching to EDGE is actually a good idea...

... in a very crowded environment like a football game. Everybody else is jammed up on the 3G net, leaving EDGE relatively clear.

It's slow, but slow is better than nonexistent.