★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

iPhone 5 LTE throttled on AT&T.

09-28-2012, 11:14 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 194
iPhone 5 LTE throttled on AT&T.

I recently purchased an iPhone 5 and extended my contract with AT&T. The new iPhone is amazing and
blazingly fast. Despite the map issue, I'm happy with the device.

It's my first LTE phone and I was truly impressed with the 35mbps down
I received during a speed test. After a few days of use I noticed
severely slow Internet speeds. After running additional speed tests
I'm currently receiving 0.23mbps or EDGE network like data speeds.

I called AT&T and the representative reviewed my account and found a
"feature" that slows down my unlimited data. She transferred me to the
department that deals with this issue and that rep advised me that I
went over the 5gb limit and I'm throttled until the next billing

I escalated the call and the manager tells me that "we offer you an
unlimited data plan but the speed is not guaranteed." I take it that
his statement was AT&T's way of justifying the throttling. So, it's
official. AT&T is throttling grandfathered unlimited data plans after

Last edited by liquidmutiny; 09-28-2012 at 11:21 PM.
09-29-2012, 12:03 AM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 194
Please move my post back to general discussion. This is a gaming thread. It means limited multiplayer gaming on LTE.

09-29-2012, 12:29 AM
Joined: May 2012
Location: In the Chatroom
Posts: 15,520
Originally Posted by liquidmutiny View Post
Please move my post back to general discussion. This is a gaming thread. It means limited multiplayer gaming on LTE.
I wanted to note for the record, it would be nice to have an iOS General Discussion subforum right under the General Gaming subforum.

Many times there are a lot of interesting threads about ios that get lost here in the Lounge. Not that I support this thread in the General Gaming section, but there seems like it would be a good idea to start a new forum for General iOS Discussion.

Thank you for your consideration Touch Arcade.
09-29-2012, 01:18 AM
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Belfast N Ireland
Posts: 2,085
If you really used 5gb in a few days use I can see their point honestly I'm not sure what I use but I doubt I'm over a few gb a month and I even use skype quite a bit.

(I'm unlimited as well in the UK btw)

I don't mean to sound bitter, cold, or cruel, but I am, so that's how it comes out
09-29-2012, 01:28 AM
Joined: Mar 2010
Location: Dallas
Posts: 1,877
Originally Posted by Teknikal View Post
If you really used 5gb in a few days use I can see their point honestly I'm not sure what I use but I doubt I'm over a few gb a month and I even use skype quite a bit.

(I'm unlimited as well in the UK btw)
Yeah I was going to ask the same thing...

...what the heck are you doing to rack up that much data usage?

Favorite app of all time - Dungeon Raid
09-29-2012, 02:33 AM
Joined: May 2009
Posts: 4,422
All dat porn.
09-29-2012, 02:15 PM
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 3,419
I was under the impression that this was how all "unlimited" cellular data plans worked since iPhone and android took off (and unlimited plans started disappearing).
09-29-2012, 03:35 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 194
Et tu, Brute? No one thinks it's wrong to offer unlimited data for an LTE device then throttle that data plan down to EDGE network speeds?

Limiting the amount of data you can use and throttling speeds are methods used by certain carriers to get more money out of customers. I think this practice is immoral and something must be done to fix this. Customers and Employees always get the short end of the stick.

I want to start a kick starter to create a cellular network for the people. Real unlimited data without throttling. $30 a month for unlimited LTE up to 50mbps. Then offer tiers like they did with home broadband. Faster speeds for a bit more. But do not throttle a LTE iPhone 5 down to EDGE network speeds. It's like mockery, and nothing can be done about it.

Where would I go, Verizon? The ability to talk and use data at the same time is a big deal to me. I'll need access to the internet if someone calls and I need to look something up on the internet.

So the question is, how did I use so much data? I browsed the internet, downloaded apps from icloud, downloaded new apps, I watched daily podcasts, played online multiplayer games. To be honest, the consumption of daily podcasts account for most of my data use.

The iPhone is a computer in your pocket. Computers are almost useless without an internet connection. I use my iPhone a lot and I don't like the limitations set on this amazing device from AT&T. No tethering unless you pay AT&T. No Unlimited data but you can pay $30 for 3GB and $10 each additional 1GB of data usage.

The iPhone and Multiplayer gaming on LTE has amazing potential. It's only limited by AT&T and similar carriers who want to nickel and dime customers.

Thanks for listening to my rant.
09-29-2012, 04:12 PM
Joined: Feb 1983
Location: Barcelona
Posts: 1,268,192
Eh, I think you need to be a bit more realistic about all of this. The United States is a -massive- country. Running a successful cellular network involves maintaining an infrastructure of a scope that is so large it's almost impossible to imagine. Sadly starting a Kickstarter to run an AT&T competitor is laughable. Where are you going to get radio spectrum space (which sells for billions) from? What nationwide property rights do you have that'd allow you to set up cellular towers everywhere? What experience do you have with hiring and managing the team of engineers it'd take to even get a plan for this on to a whiteboard? The list goes on and on.

As more people get smartphones, usage-based billing is a fact of life. There's only so much spectrum space to go around, and by giving everyone data allotments, they're guaranteeing that everyone gets their fair share of network bandwidth and the people who want more need to pay for it. You'll notice the only networks that currently offer truly unlimited data are using ancient 3G technology- Making the allure of slow unlimited data a decent selling point over AT&T's and Verizon's vastly superior speeds.

You likely used up loads of data syncing podcasts via the cellular network. If you're not careful, apps like Instacast can really get away from you. When I'm traveling I'll typically listen to podcasts to fall asleep, and I fell asleep with Instacast open with 3G syncing enabled so it spent the entire night downloading the backlog of podcasts that were available since I last used the app. I got throttled for the rest of the month, and I learned from my mistake.

Multiplayer gaming has loads of potential on LTE, as typical data rates for online multiplayer games rarely cross 10 kilobytes per second, with most netcode being lean enough that it's far less than that- Particularly on mobile. This means you could literally be multiplayer gaming 24 hours a day for an entire billing cycle and still barely use half your pre-throttle data allotment.

If you want your access via LTE to be unlimited, switch to a different data package. You can use as much data as you want as long as you can afford it... Similar to other utilities such as water and electric. Neither of those are truly unlimited either, as the supply is finite much like the amount of radio spectrum space available for cellular customers.
10-03-2012, 10:48 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 240
Good response! Do they throttle on Sprint? You'll still have your wifi speed, just make do till your bill cycles again.