Verizon to throttle 4G LTE users with unlimited plans starting October 1

by: William Neilson JrJuly 25, 2014


verizon unlimited data plans

According to droid-life, Verizon will begin throttling 4G LTE customers on unlimited data plans starting on October 1, 2014. Before this change, Verizon only throttled 3G connections of those with unlimited data plans. Verizon likes to dress up this as “Network Optimization” which according to them means that a customer will only be throttled if:

  • 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

As droid-life points out, as of March 2014, you are in the top 5% if you use 4.7GB of data per month. Not to worry though as Verizon is willing to help those in this top 5%. Just move to their MORE Everything plans! Or stop using the Verizon service and switch to Wi-fi.

verizon-network-optimization Droid-Life

Verizon is therefore making another push to get users off unlimited data plans and onto usage-based pricing plans. Verizon makes more money when a customer is on their MORE Everything plans. Verizon pretty much says that in the FAQ by giving customers the option to move to usage plans with no throttling.

Additionally, Verizon is admitting that unlimited data plans include magic data. If you are on an unlimited data plan and use 10GB, you will be throttled at the halfway point. But, if you are on a MORE Everything plan with 10GB of data, you can use 10GB without any throttling whatsoever. Magic!

Although Verizon would respond to this by claiming that a customer in the top 5% must be by a congested node, there are already a number of people who question whether Verizon is properly throttling people JUST in congested node areas. Also, will Verizon ever let the public in on how many of its cell sites it deems as “congested” and at what times that congestion is most likely to occur?

Dating back to 2010, Verizon has made it clear that they want the ability to find the heaviest users (‘abusers’ as they call them) so that they can throttle them and charge them even more. Will Verizon ever actually show when a certain amount of data slows down their network? Of course not. Remember, data on unlimited plans slow down the network while data on tiered plans have no effect on the network.

  • MJay

    Scam artist! This is why I do not sign contracts! Freaking lying crooks!

  • Marc Perrusquia

    Data costs carriers practically nothing, yet they raoe our wallets anyways, for small amounts of it, they could give everyone unlimited, unthrottled data and it would have almost no effect on the network, screw you Verizon.

    • J2

      I don’t like it either but data doesn’t cost practically nothing it is millions and millions of dollars to build out the fastest most expansive network in the country and then to maintain it…trust me Verizon has a shit ton of money tied up into the network that’s why they are consistently the best performer

      • jcgc

        J2, the truth of the matter is we don’t know what it costs them. Typically towers are owned by third parties and rented by the carriers. Could you point me to some info that actually tell us what it costs?

        Of course, in the end, it doesn’t matter. In my case I need the best coverage due to travel so for me this isn’t a free market.

      • msw

        They’re still turning a profit and they’re going to figure out ways to make more money where they can. It’s s lot like gas prices, everyone complains but as long as they don’t really do anything the oil companies have to incentive to change the way they do business.

        • LibertyMonger

          It has nothing to do with the oil companies it is called inflation. If you allow a corrupt government to print fake money out of thin air and spend it however they want that money becomes worthless since it is nothing but paper. Think of how much monopoly money you would need to buy a gallon of gas.

  • bolski

    What a bunch of crap. Oh well, what do you expect? Greedy carriers. Unfortunately, I have nowhere else to turn to right now. I’ve been sticking it to Big Red by not purchasing subsidized phones through them anymore. I’ve been getting my phones via eBay. I’m sure eventually, they’ll just remove it altogether.

    • Shteve

      Did you know that Verizon would rather you not purchase subsidized phones? They would definitely rather you bring your own phone and pay for service without taking a 400-600 hit on a device. So instead of sticking it to them, you are actually doing them a favor. :)

      • dsDoan

        Carriers only take this hit temporarily. The cost of the subsidy is distributed into your contractual monthly bill. Don’t be fooled, you are still paying full price for the device; just not up front.

        • Colts5609

          ↑ This

        • KingofPing

          temporary hit / no hit.

          Which do you think they prefer? His point remains valid.

          • dsDoan

            I didn’t dispute his point. I kindly corrected a tidbit for him.

          • Rickrau5

            Its not a guarantee it would be a temporary hit. They can cancel their contracts and have another carrier (tmob). Termination fee is + a few months of service is still less than the equipment retail costs.

          • dsDoan

            “If your contract term results from your purchase of an advanced device, your early termination fee will be $350 minus $10 for each full month of your contract term that you complete.”

            Most flagship devices cost $100-300 on contract, depending on how soon you purchase after release. Combine this cost of the device, with the ETF mentioned above, as well as the portion of your already paid monthly bills which helps cover the subsidy, and if:
            a) You cancel early, you are paying near, if not the full price of the device
            b) You cancel late in your contract, you have already paid the majority of the cost of the device

          • Rickrau5

            It’s still a hit if you factor in resources, employee pay, and the obvious = loss of a consumer. If companies could thrive in a wash, well, youd be seeing alot more success. Which is the reason for fostering low churn on any carrrier.

      • monkeybutts

        If you aren’t buying directly from Verizon you aren’t helping their profit margin.

        • Rickrau5

          There is no profit from purchasing any equipment except accessories.

  • Xavier_NYC

    This is Bullsh*t. I’m not on Verizon but I can guarantee AT&T will try to pull this sh*t too.. So if I’m on the “More Everything” plan with 10GB and I use 8GB a month I won’t get throttled and I’m not congesting the network but if I’m on an unlimited plan and use 4.7GB I’m a heavy user and will get throttled and congest the network? How the F*ck does that make any sense.. Pure ripoff

    • monkeybutts

      AT&T already does do this for their unlimited members.

      • Xavier_NYC

        Oh I know.. I used 5GB in two weeks and they sent me a letter saying they have throttled me for the remainder of the billing cycle.. From what I’m understanding, Verizon plans on just throttling you just because you have an unlimited plan..

        • monkeybutts

          For Verizon it will be 4.7GB but throttling happens whenever they decide it’s “busy”

        • guest

          Its temporary to if that tower is congested and you have to be in the top 5% of all data users. Also it has been like that for 3g for years, never seen anyone that even noticed being throttled.

          • Xavier_NYC

            Oh I def notice.. I’m consistently getting 115 Mbps via home router and 40 Mbps outside so I def notice throttling when loading social media on my phone or downloading something..

          • Rickrau5

            Lol of course they wont notice. Its not like Verizon speeds are consistent anyway.

        • wezi427

          They want to force people off of it to make more money.

        • JayRob

          really I am on a shared plan with 3 other people on At&t and we use between 20GB- 30GB a month and never once have i gotten a letter, text or email about being throttled

    • nytimes

      I have unlimited data with at&t ..the moment I go past 5GB data used data is throttled down to 3g or 2g and I have to wait for next billing cycle to start to get back on LTE. I called them ..and they said “that is what it’s” !

  • MasterMuffin

    “You dare to pay us and then use our services as you want!? We want more money even though we’re constantly getting record profits!!”

  • dsDoan

    Still better than what we’d get for a tiered plan of the same cost.

  • Robairto

    ing say that the consistent record profits that they are experiencing every quarter shows that this is very un necessary. If they are being truthful, they should release the times when things get congested and the locations. You would be, and anybody would be, dishonest if they tried to say something otherwise. Also, the point that was made about only unlimited customers causing congestion is absolutely ludicrous. Trying to say that does 5 percent are congesting the towers is absolute bull.

  • wezi427

    T-Mobile here I come.

  • Boomski

    I find it hard to believe that 4.7gb is “top 5%”. I know numerous people including me that use an average of 20gb a month. From meeting other unlimited data users they don’t keep it just to go a little over more than 2gb they go MUCH over! Verizon always nickeling and diming people!

    • wezi427

      Most people sign up for the 2GB plan, I guess when the average it out. I have unlimited, but I average about 8GB. I use WiFi when I’m at my house or my in-laws, but I don’t have access to it when at work.

    • Much like AT&T said that nobody was using more than 2 GB yet you couldn’t go to a forum without more and more people hitting that amount?

      Verizon and AT&T will set the so-called Top 5% at an amount that lets them get a significant amount of overages.

      We will never know what is ACTUALLY Top 5%

    • Some1

      Why do you need to use so much data? I use a lot myself but have never come close to that. Are you using it to tether to your computer for home internet access? There is no reason to use that much data unless that is what you are doing.

      • Bedjam Rivera

        I used to use anywhere from 100-150GB of data a month before I got WiFi. Now I use about 15-20GB. And no it wasn’t because of tethering cuz I didn’t even have a computer. It’s called video streaming.

  • Colts5609

    Verizon always reminds me why I should not regret switching networks.
    Reasons to stay with Verizon.

    1. Coverage (Yes this is a biggie)
    2. Grandfathered Unlimited throttled data (if you have it)

    Reasons to go elsewhere:
    1. Save money
    2. Way better phone selection
    3. Faster LTE Speeds
    4. No contracts (some, not all other wireless carriers)
    5. Reasonable unlimited data options (Some with tethering options included)
    6. Customer service
    7. Hidden fees and overages
    8. Congested network
    9. VZW does not always have the “best” coverage in metropolitan areas.
    10. Possible to buy a phone without bloatware preinstalled

  • Michael Chastain

    “Remember, data on unlimited plans slow down the network while data on tiered plans have no effect on the network.”

    I think that’s a little unfair. The truth is when you are paying for what you use companies have every incentive to get you to use *more* of it. When you get unlimited whatever they are motivated to get you to use less. That is always going to have real world implications.

    For example the quality of food at an all you can eat buffet is almost certainly not going to be as good as that at any decent restaurant where you pay by the dish. When it comes to Internet, we’ve largely demanded “unlimited” service, but that will create some tensions.

    Getting back to your quote Verizon makes more profit when pay by the GB customers use more data; they make less money when unlimited users use more data. Can you honestly blame them for viewing the two groups differently? I’m not saying I always agree with their business decisions, but it seems like some people are living in fantasy land.

    • If unlimited data is hurting Verizon’s network, show us. Prove it (not you, them).

      Many of Verizon’s biggest costs are not increasing but decreasing as their networks are easier to handle on a day-to-day basis.

      While costs of upkeep go down, prices seem to skyrocket.

      • Rickrau5

        So Im assuming that quote was sarcasm. Really hard to tell from the tone if the entire article.

    • Some1

      Paying 30 bucks for unlimited or whatever it was, or pay 30 bucks for 6GB I think it was back before I switched to T-Mobile. Everyone with unlimited should be moved to the 6GB/month plan. Then again with Verizon they will overcharge you for going even slightly over your monthly limit, which is why I like T-Mobile, I can go over all I want and won’t be charged anything for it.

    • wezi427

      Unlimited is the minority.

    • Brandon Franklin

      They lose money when some one uses more data? So exactly how much does Verizon pay per mb? And what about people who have/kept unlimited data (for peace of mind) but only use a gig or so or less. Should they get some kind of credit/refund since by their(Verizon) standards they(customer) used less than they paid for?

      But maybe your right! Maybe Verizon gave away most of their data to the greedy unlimited users and the little bit they have left they must sell at a premium just to try and turn a profit. I wonder when they’ll run out of their data supply?(sarcasm)

  • Planterz

    And suddenly, T-Mobile gains even more customers.

  • Rickrau5

    I worked for VZW for 3 years as a retail sales rep. Even the reps are brainwashed thinking this is the “best” service. 5 years later – I gave Tmob a shot … Its all the same BS(speed,coverage,consistency) if you live in a populated/major area. Granted VZW will baby you with crap you misunderstood, and Tmob wont. Switch to Tmob,get your moneys worth, upgrade all the time, with your choice of a ton of unlocked phones which are compatible

  • Seriously

    If you are with verizon for several years, aren’t you supposed to rewarded. If you have gone as far as to buy your own phone just to keep unlimited data , and now they will do this fuc k verizon.

    • wezi427

      There is no loyalty from them, just pay me.

  • Neo Morpheus

    Well, I was waiting for an excuse to dump them and they finally delivered. T-Mo, here i come.

  • Seriously

    They hae 5.2 million customers who go over 4.7 gb per month , that pay 312 million per month just for having unlimited data , or 3.4 billion USD

    Tmobile Listen.. is your palm itching

  • Ddog md

    I rely on verizon 4g lte. We have no wired internet on our road. But comcast decides to put it all around us, but excluding our road. So this is going fu*k us up. Verizon is turning into a big money steal!

  • Dann

    I use about 50 gb can’t go with with there new plan will be more money

  • MUppy83

    Dear American phone company, how is it unlimited if it’s throttled after a few gigs? Surely if someone pays for UNLIMITED data, you can’t, under the trades description act, limit the data by throttling? Or am I missing something???

  • Jack Swag

    Verizon already throttles it’s unlimited users! I am still on their unlimited plan and my speeds have been cut way down for several months now. They have been trying to get me to switch to their new plan every since they did away with the unlimited plans. I normally use 8-12 GB of data per month. My other line has the 2 GB of data plan and the speed is very fast. I use the phones side by side and the unlimited note 3 takes forever to download versus my wife’s 2GB data S3! I also have an LG G3 provided by my job and it downloads just as fast as the S3. Verizon has been throttling unlimited plans for a while now…… they area just now admitting it to the public!

  • Heimrik

    So…. Basically what theyre saying is anyone who wants to enjoy video streaming (Netflix, Hulu, Youtube etc) applications better have WiFi? Because you certainly better not use them on Verizon mobile data because they’ll rape you with charges… And Verizon overage charges charge by the MB!! Not per GB!! Data gouging is what it is. I think the FTC or FCC should slap Verizon and any other companies having such lucrative and shady business practices should get fined!! Glad I switched to T-Mobile….

  • jcgc

    They can dress up this pig anyway they like but in the end it is about making as much money as possible. They sold customers the idea that they could stream video and music all day anywhere, anytime. Then when some customers use what they have paid for they term them “abusers”.

    Just curious, what happens to all that data that goes unused each month, and I suspect it is a heap. We should get what we pay for so that shit should role over.

    How is that free market thingy working for all of us.

    • marc krigel

      Money, money, money. And dont forget that after paying for a phone through monthly payments (subscription fees include the price of the phone prorated for 2 years), Verizon then charges an additional $35 to upgrade. I’m beginning to feel like a drug addict. First they hooked me on using the blasted thing for what appeared to be really good price, then they up the ante, knowing I’m hooked. And Text Messaging? A pure money maker. How many of us actually use a so-called smart “phone” to make phone calls?? It’s all text and data, text and data. Money, money, money.