Verizon Wireless announced late last week that beginning September 15, 2011 they have started to police their top 5% of data users. Verizon is quick to point out that the network optimization practices they are using are different than typical “throttling” practices that are employed by both AT&T and T-Mobile (and not by Sprint at all).
With AT&T and T-Mobile when a customer goes over their allotted data in a cycle, or in AT&T’s case, again the top 5%, their data speeds get throttled or severely reduced until the next billing cycle. With Verizon Wireless’ network optimization practices, the top 5% of data users will only be reduced or throttled on heavily congested cell sites. The problem herein lies the fact that a lot of Verizon’s top 3g data users are using their smartphone as their primary source of internet, thus always on the same cell site.
More after the break
Verizon outlines who could fall under this network optimization plan which are customers who:
- Have a 3G internet or 3G smartphone
- Have an unlimited or feature data plan
- Are among the top 5% of data users
- Are on a congested cell site
We personally feel that if a customer is on a congested cell site that shouldn’t fall on the customer, it should make Verizon build more cell sites, right? Verizon offers these tips if you’re worried about being in that top 5% than you should:
- Upgrade to a 4G LTE smartphone
- Migrate to a usage-based (tiered) data plan
- Use WiFi more often
Of course the first and second option require more of an investment into Verizon Wireless.
Verizon also took the opportunity to clarify their network optimization methods as we described above:
The difference between our network optimization practice and throttling is about network intelligence. With throttling, your wireless connection is slowed down for your entire cycle, 100% of the time, no matter where you are. Network Optimization balances the best possible experience on the network and for the customer. Network Optimization Practices is more precise and requires more management than throttling, however it provides the greatest balance for everyone. So, if you’re in the top 5% of data users, your connection is slowed only when you are in a congested cell site.
AT&T recently announced that they will be throttling 5% of their top data users beginning in October.
In addition, TMobile will be throttling customers who use more than 5GB of data each month.
Verizon Wireless made it clear that these network optimization practices will be employed on users in the top 5% not just for their current billing cycle, but for the following billing cycle as well… whoa!