Friday, AT&T revealed their choking service for the heaviest users of their unlimited mobile data plans. The company says that the only way to solve its bandwidth problem is for regulators to approve its merger with T-Mobile USA.
AT&T noted on their website that from the beginning of October, those users who are using heavy data may get a sluggish connection. It will happen after the usage reaches a certain point where they are in the top 5 percent heavy users in a single billing period. The change will only takes place if the subscriber has an unlimited plan, leaving users with tiered plans free to buy more data so that the connection will not be disrupted.
In its statement, AT&T wants to manage the rapidly growing demand for mobile data. The company claims that they are also investing in their network and trying to acquire more network capacity at the same time.
AT&T says all the experts agree that the country currently facing a serious wireless spectrum crunch. However, the answer does not lie in throttling heavy users’ bandwidth.
According to the company, the carrier stressed out that the new policy will only concern few of its customers. There is a need to use an extraordinary sum of data in one invoice to get to the rank of top 5 percent. In general, only those subscribers using 12 times more data than the average customers are going to be affected.
Only those who are into online gaming, those who streams heavy video and music every day, or people who send large data files such as videos are going to be the target of the new policy. Luckily for Wi-Fi users, that they cannot be counted as heavy users. AT&T promises to give several notices before they implement the new policy on heavy users. However, the connection speed would go back after the billing period ended.
AT&T added that they intended to use throttling to create a better service experience for all their subscribers. The company got 98.6 million wireless users subscribing by the end of the second quarter, which includes users of simpler feature phones and data-oriented smartphones. The company also stated that there are around 15 million smartphone subscribers using the tiered data plans, which are not going to be affected by the new policy.
Last month, AT&T already discontinued its unlimited data plan, prior to introducing the iPhone 4, but they let subscribers using those plans to continue with the service. New subscribers are lucky are enough to get a selection of tiered plans to choose from, which includes limits on the amount of data that can be download every month.