Tags 4G LTE

Price increase coming for few remaining Verizon customers on unlimited data plans

verizon building

Verizon iPhone users still clinging on to their grandfathered unlimited data plans will shortly face a $20 price hike. The wireless carrier confirmed to CNET that it plans to raise the price of its old unlimited plan, meaning grandfathered customers will face a monthly data plan charge of $49. The price increase will take place once each individual contract expires…

VZW shifted away from unlimited data back in 2011, and since then, virtually all customers have moved on to the limited, tiered data plans as perks were taken away from the older plans. Only a very small number (less than 1%) of its subscriber base are still unlimited. Interestingly, Verizon has commented that some customers on unlimited plans would benefit from going on to a tiered plan, and many don’t stream or download enough content to justify being unlimited. Still, it’ll be a downer for anyone who still streams and browses morning ’til night and likes having a relatively low-cost, fixed-rate bill.

This is the latest in a trend of moves across the industry to restrict how much bandwidth customers are taking up. Keeping 100+ million people connected on LTE isn’t easy, and isn’t cheap for Verizon.

This isn’t the first time the carrier has tried to ‘encourage’ people to move to a tiered plan. In the past, Verizon has attempted to put in place a policy to throttle unlimited data customers who used too much data. It has also stopped unlimited customers from being able to get subsidized phones, or devices on monthly installment plans, forcing them to pay for the phones outright if they wanted one. Raising the bill by $20 is yet another move to make unlimited plan customers a little less comfortable, and crowbarring them on to a limited plan.

Verizon is expected to send out an official press release regarding its data plan changes over the next few hours.


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: 4G LTE, data plans, iPhone, tiered data, unlimited data, Verizon

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Cam Bunton

October 8th

Apple

Mac

Price increase coming for few remaining Verizon customers on unlimited data plans

verizon building

Verizon iPhone users still clinging on to their grandfathered unlimited data plans will shortly face a $20 price hike. The wireless carrier confirmed to CNET that it plans to raise the price of its old unlimited plan, meaning grandfathered customers will face a monthly data plan charge of $49. The price increase will take place once each individual contract expires…

VZW shifted away from unlimited data back in 2011, and since then, virtually all customers have moved on to the limited, tiered data plans as perks were taken away from the older plans. Only a very small number (less than 1%) of its subscriber base are still unlimited. Interestingly, Verizon has commented that some customers on unlimited plans would benefit from going on to a tiered plan, and many don’t stream or download enough content to justify being unlimited. Still, it’ll be a downer for anyone who still streams and browses morning ’til night and likes having a relatively low-cost, fixed-rate bill.

This is the latest in a trend of moves across the industry to restrict how much bandwidth customers are taking up. Keeping 100+ million people connected on LTE isn’t easy, and isn’t cheap for Verizon.

This isn’t the first time the carrier has tried to ‘encourage’ people to move to a tiered plan. In the past, Verizon has attempted to put in place a policy to throttle unlimited data customers who used too much data. It has also stopped unlimited customers from being able to get subsidized phones, or devices on monthly installment plans, forcing them to pay for the phones outright if they wanted one. Raising the bill by $20 is yet another move to make unlimited plan customers a little less comfortable, and crowbarring them on to a limited plan.

Verizon is expected to send out an official press release regarding its data plan changes over the next few hours.


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: 4G LTE, data plans, iPhone, tiered data, unlimited data, Verizon

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Cam Bunton

October 8th

Apple

Mac

T-Mobile ‘Mobile without Borders’ adds free calls, texts, 4G LTE data for Canada and Mexico

Screen Shot 2015-07-09 at 13.45.56

T-Mobile’s mission to change the entire U.S. wireless industry took another step forward this morning. In an Uncarrier Amped move dubbed ‘Mobile without Borders‘, T-Mobile announced that it will offer its American customers free telephone call roaming to and from Mexico and Canada. For the first time, it will also include free 4G LTE data. Postpaid, prepaid and business customers will be able to make use of it from Wednesday, July 15th. It’s a killer move, and effectively erases the virtual borders between the U.S. and its neighboring countries.

Unlike the current Simple Global feature, when a T-Mo subscriber crosses the Mexican or Canadian borders, they won’t be reduced down to EDGE speeds. They retain 4G LTE connectivity seamlessly, providing there is LTE coverage in that area. T-Mo partnered with carriers in those two countries to pull this move off. There’s only one small asterisk — the feature is being offered in specific cities within Canada and Mexico — as discussed below…

In its press release, T-Mo states that “calls to, from and between the U.S., Mexico & Canada − whether mobile or landline − are included in our latest plans at no extra charge. And, when you’re in Mexico & Canada, you’ll use 4G LTE data straight from your Simple Choice 4G LTE data plan.” 

In simple English, it’s effectively like having regular T-Mobile coverage in Canada and Mexico. Any call you make, any text you send, any data used over the border comes out of your existing allowance without charging you for the privilege of roaming. What’s more, you can continue to use T-Mo benefits like Music Freedom and Wi-Fi calling and texting, just like you can at home. The only thing that isn’t (yet) included is your Data Stash. If you have data stored up in your stash, that won’t be used when you travel, but that feature should be coming later this year.

As you’d expect from T-Mobile’s outspoken chief, John Legere couldn’t help but use this move to take a swipe at his competition:

“After spending billions buying up Mexican telecoms, AT&T’s CEO is promising ‘the first seamless network covering Mexico and the U.S.,’ something ‘unique’ that ‘nobody else will be able to do for the consumer.’ So much for that. They won’t be the first. And they won’t offer Canada for free,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. “We’ve done this the Un-carrier way − reaching across borders, partnering with leading providers offering the best LTE networks, creating a simple solution right now − then not charging a penny more for it.”

This swipe comes just a couple of hours after T-Mobile announced its preliminary financial results for the second quarter. The carrier announced that it added an impressive 2.1 million customers during Q2, bringing its total subscriber count to almost 59 million customers.

If you are planning to travel, and are in #TeamMagenta, be sure to check out T-Mobile’s list of cities in Mexico and Canada where you can expect to have 4G LTE coverage. There are over 30 Canadian cities on the list, and 100 in Mexico, both including the most populated regions in each country.

 


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: 4G LTE, Network, Roaming, simple choice, simple global, T-Mobile

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Cam Bunton

July 9th

Apple

Mac

A huge 4G milestone: LTE is now available for 98% of Americans

LTE Coverage Map United States

Over 98% of Americans now have access to LTE services, this according to a report on Monday in The Verge. Now to be clear, this isn't to say that 98% of Americans are using LTE supported phones, but rather that nearly all Americans now live in areas where LTE network support is available.

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Yoni Heisler

March 24th

Mobile

AT&T grounding plans to offer in-flight 4G LTE connectivity

att-sign-28

AT&T is scrapping its plans to offer in-flight 4G LTE connectivity services to airlines and passengers in business and general aviation. The company originally planned to build an air-to-ground network across the US to take advantage of spectrum that it already owned.

AT&T’s decision to drop this project’s development appears to be based on a recent assessment after a proposed acquisition. In a statement to Runway Girl Network, an AT&T spokesperson said the following:

As AT&T explores opportunities for future growth and diversification, expanding our international presence has remained an area of interest. On Friday we announced our intent to acquire Mexico wireless company Iusacell. After a thorough review of our investment portfolio, the company decided to no longer pursue entry into the Inflight Connectivity industry.  We are focusing our capital on transformative investments, such as international and video.

 

AT&T may be grounding its plans for in-flight LTE support, however T-Mobile, a company the carrier once tried to acquire, recently announced a partnership with Gogo that will let customers send and receive unlimited text messages with select airlines.


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: 4G LTE, AT&T, LTE

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Mark Hearn

November 10th

Apple

Mac

Verizon to begin throttling certain unlimited 4G LTE customers

Screen Shot 2014-07-25 at 1.49.20 PM

Verizon has been throttling unlimited 3G data subscribers for years now, but never 4G LTE users. Until today, when they announced this morning that beginning October 1st, the top 5% of 4G LTE data users who coincidentally meet a series of other factors will get throttled. According to DroidLifea recent report showed that over 20% of Verizon data users were still on an unlimited data plan, so it’s no surprise that Verizon would want to push these users to a tiered data plan.

Verizon doesn’t want to call the change “throttling”, rather, they refer to as “Network Optimization”. Though the silver lining in all this is that this doesn’t mean you’re going to be “optimized” constantly. The following is the list that Verizon released that you must meet to have your data throttled:

  • Top 5% of data users (you use 4.7GB of data per month or more)
  • Enrolled on an unlimited data plan or feature
  • Have fulfilled their minimum contract term
  • Are attempting to use data on a cell site that is experiencing high demand

Basically, the chance of getting throttled only kicks in when you use about 5GB of data a month. After that, you must be in an area that is experiencing high data traffic. So chances are if you in the middle of Manhattan on a Tuesday, expect some slowdowns during peak hours. Rather, these policy chances shouldn’t effect you too much if you’re located in a rural Ohio.

So how can you avoid throttling you ask? Switch to a MORE Everything plan, which is basically a family share plan for group accounts and normal tiered data for individual.

The official FAQ about the change from Verizon can be found below.  You can also read the full statement from Verizon here.

Why did you implement Network Optimization practices for customers with unlimited data plans?
We are well known for our wireless networks and we are dedicated to ensuring that our customers have the best wireless experience possible. Our network is a shared resource with tens of millions of customers. We implemented Network Optimization practices to ensure that all of our customers have the positive experience they expect.

Am I affected by Network Optimization?
Only a small percent of customers will be affected.  To be affected, you must be a data customer on an unlimited data plan who is among the top 5% of data users.

What about the other 95% of data customers?
The overwhelming majority of our data customers, 95%, are not impacted at all. The relatively high data consumption of just a small portion of data users could cause congestion for the rest of users, so we’re making this improvement to ensure that everyone continues to experience the nation’s best, most reliable network.

Is this the same as throttling?
No, this is not throttling.

How is this different than throttling?
The difference between our Network Optimization practices and throttling is network intelligence.  With throttling, your wireless data speed is reduced for your entire cycle, 100% of the time, no matter where you are. Network Optimization is based on the theory that all customers should have the best network possible, and if you’re not causing congestion for others, even if you are using a high amount of data, your connection speed should be as good as possible. So, if you’re in the top 5% of data users, your speed is reduced only when you are connected to a cell site experiencing high demand. Once you are no longer connected to a site experiencing high demand, your speed will return to normal. This could mean a matter of seconds or hours, depending on your location and time of day.

How will I know if I’m in the top 5% of data users?
As of March 2014, the top 5% of data users were using 4.7 GB or more of data each month.

I’m a small business customer, will this affect me?
Anyone on an unlimited data plan and in the top 5% of data users is subject to Network Optimization.  If you think this will impact your business, contact your sales representative or go into your local Verizon Wireless Communications Store to discuss other service plans to meet your needs.

Does this affect my calling? Texting?
This will not affect your texting or voice calls.

Once my data speed is reduced, am I going to be under Network Optimization forever?
No. You will be subject to Network Optimization for that billing cycle and the following cycle. When subject to Network Optimization you will only be affected when connected to a cell site experiencing high demand. Otherwise, your data will operate as normal.

Can my data speed be reduced more than once? Can it be done consecutively?
Yes, if you are consistently in the top 5% on an unlimited data plan, you will continue to be subject to Network Optimization when connected to a cell site experiencing high demand.

Is there a way for me to avoid the possibility of having my data speed reduced?
If you’re on an unlimited data plan and are concerned that you are in the top 5% of data users, you can switch to a usage-based data plan as customers on usage-based plans are not impacted. Information on our usage-based data plans can be found at http://www.verizonwireless.com/b2c/explore/?page=data.

How slow should I expect my phone to function?
Because this process is in place to ensure the best service to our customers, the speed will vary at any given time. It will depend on how many users are on the same site at that time and what data applications are being used on that site at that time.

 


Filed under: Tech Industry Tagged: 4G LTE, Data, network optimization, throttling, Verizon

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Alex Allegro

July 25th

Apple

Mac

Evleaks says that Verizon is set to offer prepaid 4G LTE starting on July 17th. $45 will get you unl

Evleaks says that Verizon is set to offer prepaid 4G LTE starting on July 17th. $45 will get you unlimited talk and text and 500MB of data a month, while data jumps to 1GB for $55 or 3GB for $65. [Evleaks]

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Robert Sorokanich

July 6th

Uncategorized

New report backs up Legere’s claim that T-Mobile’s LTE is the fastest

T-Mobile Vs. Verizon AT&T LTE Speed

The report that T-Mobile CEO John Legere has been waiting for is finally here. According to OpenSignal's crowdsourced data from the second half of 2013, T-Mobile provides the fastest LTE speeds of any carrier in the United States.

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Jacob Siegal

April 1st

Mobile

Verizon Wireless says 4G LTE rollout to be completed by mid-2013

Speaking at a conference with investors this morning, Verizon Wireless CFO Fran Shammo revealed that Verizon would roll out its LTE network completely by mid-2013. FierceWireless reported today’s timeline is six months earlier than previous estimates released by Verizon. Verizon’s LTE network will match its 3G CDMA coverage area once the rollout is complete. Additionally, Shammo commented on the early problems the LTE network suffered. However, he said with over 80 percent of the country’s population now covered, it is now stable. According to Big Red’s latest numbers, 14.9 million LTE devices are currently on the network.

In retrospect, the nation’s largest carrier AT&T plans to have 250 million people covered by the end of 2013, with a completed roll out of 300 million people planned by the end of 2014.

Shammo also revealed today that the company’s new Share Everything data plans introduced in late June now makes up 13 percent of current Verizon customers. The shared data plan allows customers to share data with up to 10 devices through a single account. [FierceWireless]

Image via Flickr/Robert Scoble



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Jake Smith

November 8th

Apple

Mac

Voice calling plans might finally be dying: Samsung Galaxy S III gets Voice over LTE in Korea

Samsung Galaxy S III VoLTE

The days of smartphone users having to pay for buckets of voice minutes each month may be approaching an end. The South Korea IT Times reports that South Korea Telecom will soon start upgrading its customers’ Samsung (005930) Galaxy S III smartphones so they can make voice calls over the carrier’s LTE network. This is significant because it means that voice calls on the SKT customers’ smartphones will become just another data application rather than a separate service requiring its own monthly plan. In the United States, major carriers Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T) and Sprint (S) all plan to deploy their own Voice over LTE services sometime in 2013. Of course, considering the direction data plans have been heading recently, we should all expect carriers to compensate for any potential lost voice plan revenue by raising prices elsewhere.

UPDATE: MetroPCS announced a VoLTE service of its own on Tuesday.

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Brad Reed

August 7th

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