Verizon Wireless abandoned plans to throttle the data speeds of customers who are on legacy unlimited data plans who crossed into 5 percent of data users on Verizon's LTE network when they are on high-traffic cell sites.
Verizon Wireless is jumping into the game of increasing the size of its data buckets for shared data plans, too. The carrier is launching two new promotions after rivals Sprint and AT&T Mobility launched promotional offers to increase the size of the data buckets they offer for high-usage customers.
Two can play that game, according to Sprint. For a limited time, the carrier is doubling the data on some of its shared data plans, just days after AT&T Mobility offered to do the same for its shared plans.
T-Mobile US said it may throttle the data speeds of its subscribers with unlimited data plans who engage in peer-to-peer file sharing or use their phones as modems to download continuous and automatic data feeds.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said that just because other wireless carriers also throttle customers' data speeds does not mean that Verizon Wireless is in the clear in doing so for some of its customers on legacy unlimited data plans. He said he is concerned that such plans have commercial motives and indicated that the FCC has asked all Tier 1 carriers about their throttling practices.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler told Verizon Wireless CEO Dan Mead he is "deeply troubled" by the carrier's decision to start slowing down the speeds of some customers who still have legacy unlimited data plans and who cross into the top 5 percent of heavy data users on Verizon's LTE network when they are on high-traffic cell sites.
Starting in the fourth quarter, Verizon Wireless customers who still have legacy unlimited data plans who cross into the top 5 percent of data users on Verizon's LTE network could see their speeds slowed when they are on high-traffic cell sites.
T-Mobile US confirmed that it is not going to throttle the data generated from network speed-testing apps, an effort to reiterate to customers how fast T-Mobile's network is even after they exceed their monthly data buckets. Although the carrier's new initiative could raise net neutrally concerns, the carrier argued that it is not prioritizing specific kinds nor is it accepting payments--the carrier said its only goal is to show off the data speeds it can supply.
Sprint prepaid brands Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile will throttle the speeds of heavy data users to slower speeds starting in May, apparently the result of increased smartphone penetration and data usage in the brands.
América Móvil's U.S. MVNO TracFone Wireless brought some clarity to its data throttling policies for its Straight Talk and Net10 brands, explaining that it will throttle subscribers down to 2G speeds after they use 2.5 GB of data.