You Can Use Up Your Entire Monthly Verizon Wireless LTE Data Allotment In Just 32 Minutes

from the broadband-caps dept

We always find it amusing when people point to various wireless data networks as real "competition" to wired broadband offerings, in part because the various 3G offerings out there all have ridiculously low data caps -- usually 5 gigs per month -- that a large percentage of users are likely to bump up against if they used the connection as their primary connection. The one exception -- for now -- is Sprint's WiMax offering which has no cap, but may eventually. The issue, of course, is capacity. These networks simply weren't built to handle the type of capacity that people would use it for if they could. But as the data speeds get faster, it leads to ridiculous situations like the realization that with Verizon Wireless' new LTE offering, you can use up the monthly allotment of 5 gigs in just 32 minutes (of course, that's assuming you've got 5 gigs to download, and you're getting pretty damn good speeds on that network). I'm somewhat surprised that Verizon Wireless isn't following Sprint in dumping the cap for the next generation network. Maybe, instead of just focusing on more speed for press releases, they should focus on building capacity so that people could actually use these next generation networks.


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    Christopher (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 5:48am

    Yes, yes you can. And also...

    ... you can empty a bank account containing $275,000 in thirty seconds. So what? Sprint, realizing the play for 4G ultimately means it has to compete with fiber and cable, offers $60/mo unlimited 4G. Only when you switch to 3G do you get hit with a 5Gb cap, ostensibly because you are in the field.

    Verizon, which has fiber, is not going to compete against itself; they will either push you to ditch copper and go fiber, or apologize obliquely and let you opt-in for notices about when fiber is coming.

    Sprint WiMax will likely *not* have a cap, for the implication listed above. I don't see any telecom without a residential wired infrastructure going to caps; it's a chance to open some floodgates and not only take wireless customers away, but some residential lines as well. Sprint is leading the way here.

    -C

     

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    Howard the Duck (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 5:51am

    But I'd be dead

    I wish I could jump ahead 20 years and see what kind of bandwidth is offered for wireless.

     

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      Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 6:16am

      Re: But I'd be dead

      It depends. If we keep going down this road with patents and copyright crap (And telcos being greedy mofos), connection speeds may reach a blistering 10Mbps.

      If we change our path and allow technology to grow, the connections won't be measured, they wouldn't have to be.

       

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      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 6:46am

      Re: But I'd be dead

      You only need to jump across the Pacific Ocean to see where US broadband will be in 20 years.

       

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 6:38am

    Correction

    Mike, in the title...Monthly is missing the h.

     

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    Pixelation, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:00am

    "they should focus on building capacity so that people could actually use these next generation networks."

    It would cost them money and they would lose the "scarcity" of their product. Then they would no longer be able to "rape at will".

     

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    I-Blz, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 8:49am

    This is ridiculous. Every single article I've read over the past couple of days has been about rediculous stupidity like this. Hell, at this rate, you could probably get rid of every column except "stupidity, and they'd all fit right in! (im going shoot myself now /sarcasm)

     

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    brent (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:01am

    i think sprint is allowing unlimited becuase it owns the physical pipes along with their usage of the bandwidth. I'm not sure Verizon owns nearly as much as sprint does and may even be purchasing some of their bandwidth from Sprint and that is why Verizon still has a cap.

     

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      DH's Love Child (profile), Dec 4th, 2010 @ 8:03am

      Re:

      I'm not sure Verizon owns nearly as much as sprint does and may even be purchasing some of their bandwidth from Sprint and that is why Verizon still has a cap.

      What physical pipes would Sprint own? They don't have any wireline properties. Their wireless infrastructure probably connects through existing Verizon and AT&T infrastructue to access the internet backbone.

      The reason for Verizon metering their 4G has less to do with the physical pipies and than with the airlink.

       

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    Steven (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:05am

    Video Chat

    Ad video chat is one of their big selling points (although I don't think I'd have much use for it) I'd like to see how long you could video chat before hitting the cap.

    I couldn't seem to find good numbers for bitrate of video chat.

     

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    DanVan (profile), Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 9:19am

    I do NOT use my iPad as my main connection yet I come across my 2gb cap EVERY MONTH

    How? I am a big news apps person, I do email daily at work (since I have no wifi at work), and I may browse some sites or play some music

    THAT is how I hit my cap

    What a joke

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Dec 3rd, 2010 @ 2:31pm

      Re:

      Unlimited 3G data plans grandfathered in, basically the only way to go now. I'm basically stuck with my current plan now, or else I risk losing it.

       

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    Derek Kerton (profile), Dec 4th, 2010 @ 10:08pm

    For Once Can We Just Give Mild Kudos?

    Mike, you gotta look on the bright side, just once in a while. Most of what the telcos do is try to find ways to gouge the customer without repercussion...however, you have to be extremely negative-minded to conclude that a 10x improvement in data speeds is a bad thing.

    You have often chastised the telcos for not investing in their networks. Well, for Verizon LTE, they have invested. Significantly, and $ Billions.

    You often lament that the networks are too slow. Well, now it's going to be much faster.

    If the speed limit is 65mph, and you drive a Nissan Maxima, which can get to 65 in 8 seconds, and Verizon sold you a Porsche (for less money) that gets to 65 in 3.4 seconds, would you then complain that you only get to enjoy half as much acceleration time?

    You know, I can burn through all the gas in my car in a four hour drive to Tahoe...but I can also drive over a week with it if I cover fewer miles. Should I complain to Shell Oil that I can burn the gas in just four hours if I try? Nope. Consume more of your allotment, run out sooner. No surprise there.

    Bottom line is, faster is better. There are multiple metrics with which you can measure broadband quality: speed, latency, capacity, etc. If I tell you I'm going to hold all but speed and price equal, and give you a 10x increase in speed, but for $10/mo less, is that the right time to complain?

    For once, lets just whimper out a modest "hooray". We can complain about the separate topic of the 5GB cap next week.

     

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    Jono, Dec 5th, 2010 @ 12:36am

    Stop screwing with us!

    I wish they would stop screwing with us. We aren't sheep. Just tell us "We will promise X kbps down. Typical speeds are Y. The network is capable of speeds up to Z."

    The other day on a Verizon MiFi I had 4-5 signal bars but was only speedtesting at 130kbps. WTF.

     

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    Josef Anvil (profile), Dec 6th, 2010 @ 10:53am

    Apples to Oranges

    Im not exactly sure why we are comparing Verizon's LTE network to Sprint's WiMAX network. WiMAX is wireless broadband that is meant to compete with DSL. Cable, and Fiber. While LTE can be used to provide broadband, just like 3G networks can, the problem is the pricing. No one wants to pay the wireless companies what they think is a fair price for their product.

    The reason for the metering of wireless data is the same reason that wireless companies in the US charge a customer for making and receiving calls. Because they can.

    The wireless companies are just trying to cash in on the iPads and smartphones. If all of those devices become 802.16 compatible then that could be the end of the line for LTE and HSDPA.

    Just like VoIP killed the cash cow that was local service, something similar will eventually do the same to wireless service. Skype is most likely to accomplish that.

     

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