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Study: Data Throttling is a Money-grubbing Ploy
Wireless carriers will have you believe that data throttling is a necessary evil to prevent a small number of bandwidth hogs from ruining the data party for everyone else. But is that really the case? A new study suggests that data throttling might be nothing more than a ploy to get grandfathered unlimited users to ditch their plans and switch to a tiered plan instead.
Validas, a company that analyzes cell phone bills for a living, combed through data from over 55,000 mobile phone bills in 2011. What it found was that data throttling appears to have little impact on easing network congestion.
“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,” Valipas states in a blog post. “So it’s curious that anyone would think the throttling here represents a serious effort at alleviating network bandwidth issues. After all, Sprint gets by fine maintaining non-throttled data to its customers.”
One thing that’s interesting to note is that Verizon Wireless customers subscribed to an unlimited plan use less data than those rocking a tiered plan, according to Validas. The same isn’t true for AT&T, though the disparity is less than a gigabyte.
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