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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Companies: verizon wireless

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

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21 Comments
Christopher (profile) says:

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

DH's Love Child (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

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.

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

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.

Derek Kerton (profile) says:

Re: Apples to Oranges

Josef,

The 802.16 dreamers’ ship has already set sail…and run aground. After an 8 year window of opportunity, WiMAX is not what it was promised to be. There is a reason “all those devices” aren’t becoming 802.16 compatible: it doesn’t work well enough.

Sprint and Clear have been trying it, SK Telecom and KT Freetel have been trying it, Taiwan has been trying it, UQ Communications (KDDI, Willcom) in Japan has been trying it, Pipex/Freedom4 in the UK has tried it, Yota in Russia has tried it, and they’ve had the support of MAJOR equipment vendors (Motorola, Huawei, etc), and funding from Intel…and what became of that? Bankruptcies, poor performances, poor coverage, and roadmap changes to LTE instead. WiMAX isn’t dead, but it’s falling way out of favor.

And, to correct another point you made, we SHOULD be comparing Sprint’s WiMAX network to VZW’s LTE. Both are basically marketed as 4G, both use OFDM in a cellular configuration for mobile devices. Both are intended to be used on phones and modems. Why the F should we not compare apples with other apples? You say WiMAX is meant to compete with DSL. I think you are mixing up two different WiMAXes, fixed 802.16d and mobile 802.16e. For example, how would you explain the Sprint EVO, a smartphone that uses their WiMAX network? Is that DSL?!

References:
http://www.betanews.com/article/Clears-way-forward-may-be-with-LTE-not-WiMAX/1281012840

http://moconews.net/article/419-intel-capital-invests-43-million-into-japanese-wimax-firm-uq-communicat/

http://www.compassnewspaper.com/NG/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=70120:mobile-operators-to-invest-1b-on-lte-equipment-next-year-&catid=37:info-tech&Itemid=709

http://www.telegeography.com/cu/article.php?article_id=35225&email=html

http://www.telegeography.com/cu/article.php?article_id=35323&email=html

http://www.muniwireless.com/2010/06/21/is-wimax-a-failure-in-the-uk/

http://www.muniwireless.com/2010/06/21/is-wimax-a-failure-in-the-uk/

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9179460/Intel_runs_into_major_WiMax_snafu_in_Taiwan

http://www.telegeography.com/cu/article.php?article_id=35303&email=html

http://lteworld.org/blog/taiwan-weighs-wimax-its-eye-lte

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080410/225950819.shtml

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