AT&T announced today a clarification to its data throttling policy for users on unlimited plans. Customers using AT&T’s 3G network will see their data speeds be cut after reaching 3 gigabytes. Users on the carrier’s 4G LTE network will see speeds throttled after 5GB. The changes to the policy are a reaction to backlash against the company after user speeds were greatly diminished after 2GB or so of use. AT&T’s throttling policy originally stated that it would reduce the speeds of the top 5% of users in a given area.
AT&T has come under some heat in recent weeks with the throttling policy. A California man won an $850 settlement in the Simi Valley small claims court, opening the door for thousands of similar court cases to be brought about the country. Several petitions on Change.org have been started to change the throttling policy, including one from Yoga instructor Jane Foody that has about 11,400 signatures since it was launched. See the statement from AT&T below and we will update this post with more comprehensive information as the day goes along.
Here is AT&T’s statement on the clarifications to its data throttling plan.
With mobile data usage continuing to skyrocket and the availability of spectrum scarce, AT&T, like other wireless companies, manages its network in the most fair way possible so that we can provide the best possible mobile broadband experience for all our customers.
How we’re managing the network only affects a small minority of the heaviest smartphone data users still on unlimited plans. Put another way, this does not impact more than 95 percent of our smartphone customers.
Our unlimited plan customers have told us they want more clarity around how the program works and what they can expect. Here’s what customers need to know:
- Customers with a 3G or 4G smartphone – who also still have our unlimited data plan – will see speeds reduced if they use 3GB (gigabytes) of data or more in a billing cycle. Speeds will return to normal at the start of the next billing cycle. For context, less than 5 percent of smartphone customers use more than 3GB per month.
- For customers with a 4G LTE smartphone – who also still have our unlimited data plan – data speeds will be reduced if usage is 5GB (gigabytes) or more in a billing cycle. Speeds will return to normal at the start of the next billing cycle.
Customers will get a text message from us before experiencing a change in speed.
That’s because data activity over Wi-Fi does not count against the threshold for unlimited customers that triggers reduced data speeds or against customers’ tiered data plans. Customers can find out more at www.att.com/datainfo
We have been conducting research and interviews on AT&T’s throttling of unlimited data plans and will have a comprehensive update to this post shortly.
Another year has come and gone, and it’s time to recap 2011 in all its glory. While most of our recaps will educate you, I hope this one, filled with the top comments from your peers, will inspire you (or at least make you giggle). So whether this list has you nodding your head or gnashing your teeth, we’re happy to have played a part in your life this year.
Of course, this list is subjective, so please let us know what you think about the voices we’ve chosen.
In a July 29 post, Dan Rowinski reported that AT&T had announced plans to throttle the data speeds of users on their network who had exceeded the bandwidth thresholds the company had set on their 3G network. As you can imagine, many people commented passionately, but Chris Holt’s comment, below, was so popular as to be our top rated comment of 2011.
Chris Holt – “Is ‘bandwidth threshold’ the term AT&T uses? Bandwidth is a rate not a quantity. It’s like a cop pulling you over and telling you that you have used too many MPH this month.”
Way back on April 3, Audrey Watters wrote about the Speak Up 2010 survey, and the findings that children want to be able to bring their own device and to enjoy unfiltered access. With 43 comments, many weighed in, but Janet Abercrombie shared an experience that few could, and her comment was widely appreciated.
Janet Abercrombie – “In our new 1:1 program, we (teachers) are trying to differentiate behaviors that are a result of character and behaviors that are a result of the technology. Before computers, I could take away pencils from students who were drawing or I could ask them to produce a drawing that demonstrates understanding of the lesson.
One of the keys to successful student engagement is to build in formative assessments that continuously check student understanding. I find that, if students need to produce something by the end of class and/or engage in a Google doc or other discussion thread (where I can review the history and see who types what), 95% of my students will remain engaged in the lesson. Students who do not demonstrate master of the day’s objective get pulled into small groups for guided instruction the next day where the independent learners are given a more independent task.
My personal belief is that teacher PD should focus more on ways to differentiate instruction and implement formative assessments than about the navigation of hardware/software.”
On February 1, Mike Melanson reported on the take down of ATDHE, a site that lists video streams, many illegal, of nearly every televised sporting event. MDurwin’s comment was a passionate rebuttal to the act and through your upvotes, it’s clear that many of you agreed.
mdurwin – “My biggest concern here is why is Homeland Security acting as the bitch of media conglomerates? How is a site hosting video, legal, questionable, or blatantly illegal the responsibility of Homeland Security? aren’t they supposed to be hunting down terrorists? The CIA is not supposed to operate inside US borders, nor is the Military. The FBI and police are in charge of crime on American soil. So, which is Homeland Security? Pretty soon I expect they’ll be jailing 12 year olds who rip Justin Beiber CDs and email the mp3s to their friends!”
Earlier this year, on April 20, Audrey Watters detailed just how much your iPhone knows about you, including a look at the file “consolidated.db”. Jason Moffatt’s toungue-in-cheek comment must have made many of you smile. It comes in at #4 on our list.
Jason Moffatt – “Note to self. Get rid of cell phone before robbing that bank next week.”
On August 5, Dan Rowinski reported that the throttling announced by AT&T earlier had likely begun as at least one person was being blocked from Android tethering on a rooted device. milrtime83 argued that this was an unfair charge, due to double billing. Many of you agreed.
No, we are already paying for the data. They want people to pay for the same data twice.”
Next Page: [6-10 plus a surprise guest]
Source: Top 10 Reader Comments of 2011
It was widely expected that Apple won’t launch a 4G LTE iPhone this year, so it didn’t come as a surprise that iPhone 4S – Apple’s fifth generation iPhone unveiled at yesterday’s Let’s talk iPhone event didn’t support 4G LTE networks.
However, the lack of redesigned iPhone 5Â and no 4G support seems to have raised expectations that Apple will launch a redesigned 4G LTE iPhone in the summer of 2012. The bad news is that it seems highly unlikely that Apple will be able to launch a 4G LTE iPhone before the third quarter of 2012.
Back in April, Will Strauss, President of wireless chip tracker Forward Concepts didn’t expect the appropriate 4G chipsets to arrive in time for the fifth generation iPhone. He had gone on to explain how Appleâ€™s competitors have managed to launch smartphones with 4G support:
The only 4G handset on the market in the United States, Verizonâ€™s Thunderbolt, currently relies on a pair of chips to work. One chip, from Samsung, communicates with Verizonâ€™s 4G networks, allowing the handset to achieve blazing data speeds of between 5 and 20 MBPS. Another chip, from Qualcomm, lets the handset talk to Verizonâ€™s 3G network.
That two chip solution is needed because Verizonâ€™s 4G network isnâ€™t widespread enough for the carriers to offer handsets that rely on 4G alone.
Strauss noted that Apple was looking for a solution where chips support 4G and 3G on a single chip so that the 4G LTE iPhone is as thin or thinner thanÂ iPhone 4Â and it doesnâ€™t consume too much battery life.
According to Strauss, chipmakers like Qualcomm, ST Ericcson and Intel were expected to launch the next generation chips that support 4G and 3G on a single chip towards the end of this year.Â But AnandTech reports that there has beenÂ a slower-than-expected transition to new 28-nanometer chip processes:
As you may have heard however, the move to 28nm at both TSMC and Global Foundries isn’t really going all that smoothly. The jump from 4x-nm to 28nm is a very big one, so it’s not unexpected to have pretty serious teething problems as the process ramps up. I suspect that an aggressive 28nm roadmap that didn’t pan out probably caught a lot of SoC and smartphone vendors in a position where they couldn’t ship what they wanted to in 2011.
AnandTech believes thatÂ Qualcomm’s MDM9615 modem is the ideal chip for Apple’s iPhone (especially since Qualcomm’s chip is probably used in iPhone 4S and also CDMA iPhone 4) and as you can see from the roadmap below, it is not scheduled to begin shipping until the second quarter of next year, which indicates that the earliest that the 4G LTE iPhone can be introduced is byÂ the third quarter of 2012.
We also expect Apple to launch a new iPhone with at least a year’s gap, as anything sooner may not go down with with iPhone 4S users. So expect iPhone 6 (not iPhone 5 as it would be odd for the sixth generation iPhone) to be launched around the same time next year.
So if you were planning to skip buying or upgrading to iPhone 4S in the hope that Apple will launch a 4G LTE iPhone in June or July then you might want to reconsider you decision.
Source: London Needs 70,000 Cells For 4G
Folks at MacPost.net have published photos, which they claim are images of the back cover of an iPhone N94 prototype. The part is also labeled “EVT 2″ (Engineering Verification Testing) and is dated June 7, 2011.
At this point of the time, it is not clear if iPhone N94 prototype is iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S, which is rumored to be theÂ cheaper version of iPhone 4Â with 8GB storage that will be introduced along with the next generation iPhone or a modified version of iPhone 4 to test on T-Mobile’s network.Â
The codename â€˜N94â€² marked on cover clearly indicates that it is a fifth-generation iPhone part. The front cover, however, is labeled â€œEVT2â€³ (Engineering Verification Testing) with date â€™07-June-2011â€², marking it as early development prototype.
According to some speculations, the N94 codename is meant for the next generation iPhone. To get some perspective, the GSM iPhone 4 is codenamed N90, while the CDMA iPhone 4 is codenamed N92.
References to N94 were first discovered in iOS 4.3 SDK, which also revealed that it would support Apple’s A5 chip that currently powers iPad 2. Back in April, folks at BGR had published a photo of an iPhone 4 prototype working on T-Mobileâ€™s 3G network, which was also codenamed N94.
If N94 turns out to be the next generation iPhone then it would mean that iPhone 5 won’t be a completely redesigned iPhone as the purported iPhone 5 case designs had suggested.
Would you upgrade or buy iPhone 5 if it is largely similar to iPhone 4? Let us know in the comments.
Folks at MyDrivers.com â€“ a Chinese website has published a photo, which appears to be an iPhone 4 running on China Mobileâ€™s 3G network.
China Mobile, the country’s biggest mobile carrier, was earlier in talks with Apple to bring a TD-SCDMA version of the iPhone to China. TD-SCDMA is the Chinese 3G standard that is used by China Mobile.Â
However, the TD-SCDMA version of the iPhone never arrived.Â Apple instead launched the iPhone in China with China Unicom as the official carrier partner.
Mac Rumors reports:
In the picture, we can see the China Mobile 3G logo in the upper right corner. The third number down, which is partially blacked out, is part of the serial number. The third digit, a 0, suggests the phone was made in 2010. The next digit, which appears to be a 5, would have the phone manufactured towards the end of that year, in either the 50th, 51st or 52nd week.
Additionally, the carrier name in the top left corner appears to be China Mobile, written in Chinese text. None of this is conclusive, but it does suggest a China Mobile compatible iPhone is coming to CM’s 3G network sooner rather than later.
Back in May, China Mobile’s Chairman Wang Jianzhou had revealed that they are working with Apple to ensure that future iPhones can support their fourth-generation 4G TD-LTE technology. Since China Mobile plans to start commercial trials of the 4G technology or TD-LTE only from early next year, the chances of a 4G TD-LTE iPhone this year seem to be highly unlikely.
But the chance of iPhone 5 supporting China Mobileâ€™s proprietary 3G network is quite possible, especially if Apple wants to tap China Mobileâ€™s 600 million subscribers, which constitutes 70% of the Chinaâ€™s mobile phone market.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.
Have you ever excused yourself from a real-life interpersonal conversation to play Farmville? Do you update “what’s on your mind” more often than you eat? Do you scour the social network religiously for signs your ex-girlfriend is “in a relationship?” If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s possible that you have a Facebook addiction. Luckily, HTC has created a way to keep you hooked on the ‘book, instead of ween you off of it: the HTC ChaCha, photos of which have surfaced with an AT&T logo emblazoned across the front.
You might remember hearing about the ChaCha back in February, when it was announced alongside the Salsa at MWC. For those who don’t, the perhaps poorly named HTC ChaCha boasts less-than-impressive specs but gets points for originality due to its dedicated Facebook button. Basically, anytime the user taps the Facebook button, the last thing he or she viewed is automatically incorporated into a status update, whether it be a song, a picture, or a link to a web site.
In terms of specs, the Android-powered ChaCha sports a 2.6-inch 480×320 display, runs a 800 MHz processor, and has a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash and a VGA front-facing camera for video chat. It comes with support for a microSD card, Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth 3.0, and will most likely run on AT&T’s 3G network, if this leaked photo is meant to be any type of indicator.
We’ve yet to receive word from AT&T and HTC about official availability and pricing, with unconfirmed reports suggesting the phone will launch by the end of this quarter. If you’re paying close attention, you’ll notice that the date displayed on the phone in the leaked picture reads July 17, which could also be a clue about the ChaCha’s release.