Last updated: March 3, 2012 - 7:40am
Validas, a company that analyzes wireless bills, said it looked at data from 55,000 cellphone bills from AT&T and Verizon subscribers in 2011. Depending on the conditions of their networks, AT&T and Verizon sometimes throttle customers who are in the top 5 percent of data users. So Validas analyzed data use on bills from unlimited data plans and customers on limited, tiered plans to calculate the amount of data used by the top 5 percent for each type of customer.
The results? For Verizon bills, the top 5 percent of data customers on unlimited plans used nearly the same amount of data as those on tiered plans. And for AT&T, the top 5 percent of customers on unlimited data plans used only slightly more data than those on limited plans. “When we look at the Top 5 percent of data users, there is virtually no difference in data consumption between those on unlimited and those on tiered plans — and yet the unlimited consumers are the ones at risk of getting their service turned off,” Validas wrote in a blog post. “So it’s curious that anyone would think the throttling here represents a serious effort at alleviating network bandwidth issues.”
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