Are you an AT&T user that still has unlimited data? Well AT&T started a new thing today (at least it was confirmed today) that you will start to be throttled as you use their data to its max. AT&T has a few users that max out their data and although they say it is only the top 5% of their users we want you to know that  AT&T will be slower than normal!

This is all supposed to start October 1st. It will be based on how much data you use – and if you are in the top 5% then you will be throttled. AT&T never does tell us though how much it will take to get to the top 5%. This is said though that it will be users that stream music and videos to their devices, as well as gaming. You can look at the full press release at the bottom of the article, but I want to point out the nice little tidbit at the end that says they still need T-Mobile to solve it’s spectrum and network crunch.

Source: PhoneDog

An Update for Our Smartphone Customers With Unlimited Data
Plans

Dallas, Texas, July 29, 2011

Like other wireless
companies, we’re taking steps to manage exploding demand for mobile data.  Many
experts agree the country is facing a serious wireless spectrum crunch.  We’re
responding on many levels, including investing billions in our wireless network
this year and working to acquire additional network capacity.  We’re also taking
additional, more immediate measures to help address network
congestion.

One new measure is a step that may reduce the data throughput
speed experienced by a very small minority of smartphone customers who are on
unlimited plans – those whose extraordinary level of data usage puts them in the
top 5 percent of our heaviest data users in a billing period.  In fact, these
customers on average use 12 times more data than the average of all other
smartphone data customers.  This step will not apply to our 15 million
smartphone customers on a tiered data plan or the vast majority of smartphone
customers who still have unlimited data plans.

Starting October 1,
smartphone customers with unlimited data plans may experience reduced speeds
once their usage in a billing cycle reaches the level that puts them among the
top 5 percent of heaviest data users.  These customers can still use unlimited
data and their speeds will be restored with the start of the next billing
cycle.  Before you are affected, we will provide multiple notices, including a
grace period.

This change will never impact the vast majority of our
customers, and is designed to create a better service experience for
all.

The amount of data usage of our top 5 percent of heaviest users
varies from month to month, based on the usage of others and the ever-increasing
demand for mobile broadband services.  To rank among the top 5 percent, you have
to use an extraordinary amount of data in a single billing period.

There
will be no changes for the vast majority of customers.  It’s not how much time
you spend using your device, it’s what you do with it.  You can send or receive
thousands of emails, surf thousands of Web pages and watch hours of streaming
video every month and not be in the top 5 percent of data
users.

Typically what puts someone in the top 5 percent is streaming very
large amounts of video and music daily over the wireless network, not Wi-Fi.
Streaming video apps, remote web camera apps, sending large data files (like
video) and some online gaming are examples of applications that can use data
quickly.  Using Wi-Fi doesn’t create wireless network congestion or count toward
your wireless data usage.  AT&T smartphone customers have unlimited access
to our entire Wi-Fi network, with more than 26,000 hotspots, at no additional
cost.  They can also use Wi-Fi at home and in the office.

The bottom line
is our customers have options. They can choose to stay on their unlimited plans
and use unlimited amounts of data, but may experience reduced speeds at some
point if they are an extraordinarily heavy data user. If speed is more
important, they may wish to switch to a tiered usage plan, where customers can
pay for more data if they need it and will not see reduced speeds.

But
even as we pursue this additional measure, it will not solve our spectrum
shortage and network capacity issues.  Nothing short of completing the T-Mobile
merger will provide additional spectrum capacity to address these near term
challenges.