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AT&T data plans for the iPhone

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AT&T data plans for the iPhone

Postby HOMOsapien » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:43 am

I'm considering getting an iPhone 4 if and only if the benefits outweigh the costs.

I've read that AT&T is capping its data plans at 2 gigabits a month for new iPhone subscribers. I'm guessing it's a resource management tool until they expand their network infrastructure; which will take years. This move is probably in anticipation of increased bandwidth consumption due to new data intensive features of the new iPhone 4 as well as an expanded user base using these features.

This is for the current users: How much data do you currently use a month? What features do you use? What features demand a lot of data transfer?
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Re: AT&T data plans for the iPhone

Postby fisticuffs » Thu Jun 10, 2010 8:54 am

I'm pretty attached to my iPhone and have used 2GB in the past 11 months.
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Re: AT&T data plans for the iPhone

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:40 am

A couple points of note.

1) You haven't been fully informed of AT&T's data plan changes. No more new unlimited plans: correct. Capped, per se, at 2GB: incorrect.

http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=4 ... leid=30854

DataPlus. Provides 200 megabytes (MB) of data – for example, enough to send/receive 1,000 emails (no attachments), plus send/receive 150 emails with attachments, plus view 400 Web pages, plus post 50 photos on social media sites, plus watch 20 minutes of streaming video – for just $15 per month.** This plan, which can save customers up to 50 percent off their wireless data charges, is designed for people who primarily like to surf the web, send email and use social networking apps. If customers exceed 200 MB in a monthly billing cycle, they will receive an additional 200 MB of data usage for $15 for use in the cycle. Currently, 65 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 200 MB of data per month on average.

DataPro. Provides 2 gigabytes (GB) of data – for example, enough to send/receive 10,000 emails (no attachments), plus send/receive 1,500 emails with attachments, plus view 4,000 Web pages, plus post 500 photos to social media sites, plus watch 200 minutes of streaming video – for $25 per month.** Should a customer exceed 2 GB during a billing cycle, they will receive an additional 1 GB of data for $10 for use in the cycle. Currently, 98 percent of AT&T smartphone customers use less than 2 GB of data a month on average.


2) If there's one thing that will crank your data usage into the stratosphere, it's push email. The chart (which should hopefully be posted below) indicates the change in my data usage before and after turning push email on. And I don't even have it check as often as it could.

Chart.JPG
Chart.JPG (8.21 KiB) Viewed 902 times
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Re: AT&T data plans for the iPhone

Postby Athena » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:41 am

The cap is only for data over the 3G network. So if you're like me and you only download stuff over wifi at home and use 3G just for looking up directions on the road then you'll never come close to their limit.
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Re: AT&T data plans for the iPhone

Postby TheBookPolice » Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:44 am

Good point, Athena. I'd taken that as assumed, but then I realized that my graph above has two variables. Push email, and the lifting of AT&T's 15MB (or whatever) cap on file downloads over 3G. I only listen to one podcast, but I've recently been able to download it over 3G connections and not just wifi at home. That's probably bumped up the data usage, too.

But my wife doesn't download any podcasts directly, and her graph spiked similarly when she turned on push email.
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Re: AT&T data plans for the iPhone

Postby TAsunder » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:38 pm

I have used a total of 3.0gb since June of 2009. I average about 250mb.
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Re: AT&T data plans for the iPhone

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Jun 10, 2010 12:45 pm

Note that even if you go over the new cap, the "penalty" would make your bill come out to what it is now, pre-cap. This will benefit 90% of iPhone users (which makes me suspicious ... why is AT&T doing this).
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Re: AT&T data plans for the iPhone

Postby talagaster » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:02 pm

For me it's suspicious that they are changing the data plan at almost the exact time Netflix is introducing iPhone streaming. That's the exact kinda app that can suck down a couple gigs quick.
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Re: AT&T data plans for the iPhone

Postby Endo Rockstar » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:08 pm

tethering is coming...at least that's the most logical reasoning I've heard so far concerning the cap. I'm in the same boat, I'm on my iphone a ton, but I have a hard time cracking 250 Mbs per month.

Tethering may change that number drastically, but since I already have my unlimited plan, I think I'm safe.

Dan Motor

Sent from my iphone *wink*
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Re: AT&T data plans for the iPhone

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:10 pm

talagaster wrote:For me it's suspicious that they are changing the data plan at almost the exact time Netflix is introducing iPhone streaming. That's the exact kinda app that can suck down a couple gigs quick.


Is Netflix gonna work over 3G? I had thought the video chat app would consume a lot, but that is only going to work over wifi (at least initially).
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Re: AT&T data plans for the iPhone

Postby mrak » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:26 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:
talagaster wrote:For me it's suspicious that they are changing the data plan at almost the exact time Netflix is introducing iPhone streaming. That's the exact kinda app that can suck down a couple gigs quick.


Is Netflix gonna work over 3G? I had thought the video chat app would consume a lot, but that is only going to work over wifi (at least initially).


The Netflix employee who demo'ed the iPhone app at WWDC this week did say it will work over 3G. Not something I'd care to try myself, knowing how rough YouTube videos look on 3G.

Execs at AT&T and Sprint (and probably other wireless companies) have been murmuring about dropping unlimited data for at least several months. It really grates on them that a small percentage of heavy data users "wreck the curve" on their plans.

Once AT&T breaks this barrier, don't be surprised to see plenty of other carriers follow suit. Over in the UK, O2 is also in the process of dropping unlimited data.
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Re: AT&T data plans for the iPhone

Postby green union terrace chair » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:51 pm

mrak wrote:The Netflix employee who demo'ed the iPhone app at WWDC this week did say it will work over 3G. Not something I'd care to try myself, knowing how rough YouTube videos look on 3G.


That "employee" was the CEO, I believe.

Hopefully it would ramp up in quality when wifi was available. I'm curious how HD video will look on the Retina screen.
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Re: AT&T data plans for the iPhone

Postby mrak » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:57 pm

green union terrace chair wrote:
mrak wrote:The Netflix employee who demo'ed the iPhone app at WWDC this week did say it will work over 3G. Not something I'd care to try myself, knowing how rough YouTube videos look on 3G.


That "employee" was the CEO, I believe.

Hopefully it would ramp up in quality when wifi was available. I'm curious how HD video will look on the Retina screen.

The employee who spoke about WiFi and 3G (John something, who shared the stage with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings) mentioned "adaptive bit rate streaming", which sounds like it's probably what you're hoping for.

It's about 17 minutes into the keynote.
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