Verizon To Slow Down 4G LTE For 'Top 5%' Data Users Starting In October
Verizon Wireless launched a 'network optimization' policy three years ago to limit the data speeds of its heaviest 3G data users - subscribers with unlimited data plans whose data usage is in the top 5% of all users. A majority of Verizon's users have switched over to a data plan that is capped at a tiered amount, but there is still a large number of subscribers that were grandfathered into unlimited data plans after it was no longer an option. On October 1st, Verizon will apply the network optimization policy to the top 5% of data users on its 4G network also.
The data speed of the top 5% of users will be slowed down when these users are connected to cell sites that are experiencing heavy demand 'so that all data users will enjoy a quality wireless data experience.' If those users move to a different cell site or eases down on usage, then the speed returns to normal. These users may experience video buffering, a lag while gaming online and slower Internet browsing. The network optimization policy will apply to the top 5% users that have passed their minimum contract term and consume around 4.7GB of data per month or more.
'We understand that our customers rely on their smartphones and tablets every day. Our network optimization policy provides the best path to ensure a continued great wireless experience for all of our customers on the best and largest wireless network in the U.S.,' said Verizon Wireless VP of Technology Mike Haberman in a statement. Verizon said that the majority of data customers will not be impacted from the network optimization policy.
If you do not want your device to be impacted by network optimization, Verizon suggests that you move to a MORE Everything plan or usage-based data plan. Verizon also has several tools to manage your wireless data:
1.) My Verizon and My Verizon Mobile
My Verizon and My Verizon Mobile lets you analyze the amount of wireless data used by each line on your account. When you 'Run Account Analysis' in My Verizon, you can click on 'Data Usage' for a breakdown of the usage.
2.) Data Usage Calculator
Verizon has a data usage calculator that shows a dashboard of the common features and activities that utilize data and determines estimated total monthly data usage.
You can check your data usage by dialing #DATA and pressing send from your Verizon Wireless smartphone to get a text message with data information.
4.) E-mail and Text Message Alerts
Verizon smartphone users can receive free text message alerts when data usage crosses thresholds of 50%, 75%, 90%, 100% and 110% of monthly allowances. Verizon users can also request e-mail alerts with the threshold numbers.
Verizon said that its network optimization policy is not considered 'throttling' because it uses network intelligence. Throttling means that your wireless data speed is reduce for the entire lifecycle, 100% of the time no matter where you are. Verizon's Network Optimization suggests that your connection should be as good as possible as long as it doesn't cause congestion. Once you are no longer connected to the site that experiences high demand, the speed could return to normal in seconds or hours based on the location and time of day.
On August 1st, Verizon will notify customers of the changes by sending out this message:
Wireless strives to provide its customers with the best wireless experience when using our network. In 2011, Verizon Wireless launched Network Optimization, which slows the data speeds of its unlimited data subscribers with 3G devices who are in the top 5% of data users when they connect to a cell site experiencing high demand. Effective October 1, Verizon Wireless will expand its existing Network Optimization policy to include its unlimited data subscribers using 4G LTE devices who have fulfilled their minimum contract term. Based on your plan and recent data usage, one or more lines on your account may experience a reduction in data speeds when connected to a cell site experiencing high demand. Customers on MORE Everything or other usage-based data plans are not subject to Network Optimization. For more information about our Network Optimization, please refer to http://ift.tt/1x8tQQE.