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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Anybody will be affected by the 2GB data cap?

Anybody will be affected by the 2GB data cap?
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The Godfather
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Jun 22, 2010, 03:20 PM
 
If so, what percentage of your 3G usage will you have to shave off to avoid the stiff penalties?

If you didn't have an iPhone before June 7, did you rush to get an ATT account in order to get grandfathered in the unlimited 3G plan? (then hopefully sell the old iPhone to pay for the new iPhone).
     
x user
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Jun 24, 2010, 02:06 AM
 
I have the unlimited plan I just converted to the 2gb. Even with the tethering hack i've been using for the last yearish, I've still only hit 2gb once, and never exceded it. With the iPhone 4 it might be more possible, but I'll be tethering less too, so who knows.
     
osiris
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Jun 24, 2010, 08:38 AM
 
I have the unlimited plan and will keep it, but my peak usage for one month was just over 400 megs.
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jokell82
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Jun 24, 2010, 08:58 AM
 
I'm keeping my unlimited as well, but I could probably get away with the 200mb plan for most months. However I expect my usage to go up with iOS 4 and the new phone.

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Hodog16
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Jun 24, 2010, 09:54 AM
 
Also kept the unlimited plan. The decision was made easier as I get a business discount. I'm upgrading from a 1st gen phone so I imagine my data usage will increase on 3G versus EDGE.
     
Zeeb
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Jun 24, 2010, 03:11 PM
 
Even streaming a few Netflix episodes, several YouTube videos, and surfing the web extensively over 3G on my iPad I've only hit the 750mb mark. I've got 14 days left so I might get to 1Gb or go slightly over.

I could conceivably exceed 2Gb if I was cut off from wifi for an entire month for some reason and could *only* rely on the 3G. It's probably not worth it to hang on to my unlimited plan--though I still think its shady that AT&T pulled this option so soon after Apple advertised it on the iPad.
     
asxless
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Jun 24, 2010, 05:29 PM
 
Apple has crippled the network I/O on the iPhone so badly that I'm amazed anyone can use more than 2GB /mo of 3G + WiFi.

By crippled I mean....
... not allowing you to download apps bigger than 20MB*
... restricting the number of photos that you can upload to .me albums
... forcing most data I/O to be via email attachments
... then restricting the size/number of email attachments
... not allowing you to directly transfer photos from your iDisk to your iPhone

Just try to use your iPhone to download the latest MacOSX update and transfer it to your Mac for installation to understand just how limited the 'unlimited' data plan is.

For practical purposes an unlimited plan, is really only unlimited for streaming video, audio, etc consumption.

asxless in iLand

* The requirement of only downloading >20MB apps via WiFi is pretty ironic at our house. Our only internet connection is via 3G. So switching to WiFI does not reduce the load on AT&T's 3G network, it simply shifts which unlimited 3G account is being used for the transfer.
     
The Godfather  (op)
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Jun 24, 2010, 10:03 PM
 
Why don't you move the ipad's sim card to your 3G modem slot?
     
asxless
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Jun 24, 2010, 11:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by The Godfather View Post
Why don't you move the ipad's sim card to your 3G modem slot?
Both the 3G USB Modem and the iPhone 3Gs are on unlimited data plans. So moving the SIM doesn't accomplish anything.

Our issue is bandwidth not data limits. To some degree we can increase our total bandwidth by using the 3Gs for email and light duty web surfing while downloading a large file (e.g. an OS X software update) on the 3G USB modem. But this provides only a modest increase in total bandwidth. And is more trouble than its worth given the limitations of the iPhone's screen etc.. For example I'm not posting this from our iPhone

Despite all the 'magical' things an iPhone can do, the Apple imposed limitations on moving data to/from the iPhone (without physically plugging it into a real computer with it's own internet connection) make any iPhone a 'nice-to-have' not a 'must-have' for us.

FWIW if my antique SE 616T died tomorrow, we'd probably replace it with an iPhone 4 and the minimum data plan AT&T offers (e.g. 200MB). OTOH we'll probably keep the 3Gs on an unlimited plan just in case Apple is forced to open up the I/O because of Android completion.

asxless in iLand
     
jokell82
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Jun 25, 2010, 08:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by asxless View Post
Just try to use your iPhone to download the latest MacOSX update and transfer it to your Mac for installation to understand just how limited the 'unlimited' data plan is.
This makes little sense. Are you complaining that there is no file access on the iPhone? Or that the unlimited plan prevents you from downloading the update? Because if it's the former, then you have no reason to complain about the plan. And if it's the latter, tether your phone to find out that it does actually work.

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x user
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Jun 25, 2010, 09:47 AM
 
I downloaded both the latest MacOSX update and iTunes for my Mac Mini through the 3G last month and JUST BARELY hit 2gb for the first time ever. My theory is that the $60 I save every year on the 2gb plan vs the unlimited makes it very worth it, if I hit 3gb twice a year, it's STILL worth it 'cause the overage charge ain't that bad.
     
turtle777
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Jun 25, 2010, 09:38 PM
 
I used 9 GB in two years of using my iPhone 3G.

So no, I don't need to keep the unlimited data plan.

-t
     
asxless
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Jun 25, 2010, 10:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by jokell82 View Post
This makes little sense. Are you complaining that there is no file access on the iPhone? Or that the unlimited plan prevents you from downloading the update? Because if it's the former, then you have no reason to complain about the plan. And if it's the latter, tether your phone to find out that it does actually work.
Ummm... Thanks for demonstrating my point Which in case anyone else missed it was...

AT&T's 2GB limit data plan for the iPhone is quite manageable; because Apple has built into the iPhone's OS and apps sufficient direct limitations and more subtle barriers to extensive data transfers, that exceeding 2GB/mo would difficult unless someone views an awful lot of streaming video.

IMO the 'just tether your iPhone' gambit is a Red Herring. Tethering simply converts an iPhone into a very expensive 3G modem for a real computer. At that point the computer to which it is attached, becomes the active device doing the downloading and storing of any data. IOW having to resort to tethering clearly demonstrates just how limited the approved data I/O of an iPhone, all by it's lonesome, really is.

FWIW the OS X Update is one example of data that you can not transfer to/from an iPhone, given Apple's design restrictions. But you don't have to go to exotic .dmg files to see these limitations. There are other examples of data which the iPhone can easily display/produce/store that can not be easily transfered to and/or from an iPhone in any serious quantity. Just try moving a dozen or so jpegs from your iDisk to your iPhone without using a real computer. Or try doing the transfer the other way.

asxless in iLand
     
osiris24x
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Jul 21, 2010, 09:26 PM
 
I just got my iPad 3G so I'm not sure yet how the 2GB cap will affect me. I'd consider myself a pretty heavy user being a tech, but I hear its pretty difficult to hit the cap with normal usage. That said, I don't plan on watching Netflix movies over 3G or anything.
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JohnD
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Aug 1, 2010, 07:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by asxless View Post
Both the 3G USB Modem and the iPhone 3Gs are on unlimited data plans. So moving the SIM doesn't accomplish anything.

Our issue is bandwidth not data limits. To some degree we can increase our total bandwidth by using the 3Gs for email and light duty web surfing while downloading a large file (e.g. an OS X software update) on the 3G USB modem. But this provides only a modest increase in total bandwidth. And is more trouble than its worth given the limitations of the iPhone's screen etc.. For example I'm not posting this from our iPhone

Despite all the 'magical' things an iPhone can do, the Apple imposed limitations on moving data to/from the iPhone (without physically plugging it into a real computer with it's own internet connection) make any iPhone a 'nice-to-have' not a 'must-have' for us.

FWIW if my antique SE 616T died tomorrow, we'd probably replace it with an iPhone 4 and the minimum data plan AT&T offers (e.g. 200MB). OTOH we'll probably keep the 3Gs on an unlimited plan just in case Apple is forced to open up the I/O because of Android completion.

asxless in iLand
I assume this is an AT&T limitation?

Acquired an Internet-WiFi router two weeks ago with a 20€ Unlimited PayG SIM from Wind Italy. Just for the fun of it I updated some 15 Apps from the Appstore one being Google Earth and the other I belive was TruePhone going over 20Mb and all was installed without fuzz. Terrible speed though.
     
ort888
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Aug 1, 2010, 10:51 AM
 
I want to step down from the $30 unlimited plan to the $25 2GB plan. Is there a way to do this on the terrible confusing attwireless website or do I have to call them? I couldn't find a way to do it.

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Cold Warrior
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Aug 1, 2010, 11:08 AM
 
The mywireless at&t app for iPhone has the option for me in Features to change data plans from unlimited to either 2 GB or 200 MB.
     
subego
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Aug 1, 2010, 01:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
I want to step down from the $30 unlimited plan to the $25 2GB plan. Is there a way to do this on the terrible confusing attwireless website or do I have to call them? I couldn't find a way to do it.
Think long and hard my good man.

You'd be saving $60 a year, what's your data usage going to be in a year? Two years?

People are going to start putting their unlimited data plans in their will. I'm 100% serious.
     
turtle777
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Aug 1, 2010, 01:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Think long and hard my good man.

You'd be saving $60 a year, what's your data usage going to be in a year? Two years?

People are going to start putting their unlimited data plans in their will. I'm 100% serious.
I'd tend to agree. However, what drives down the utility of the unlimited data plan is the inability to get tethering with it. But there might be solutions around this one day.

-t
     
asxless
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Aug 1, 2010, 02:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
...People are going to start putting their unlimited data plans in their will. I'm 100% serious.
"And to my nerdy nephew I bequeath my original form factor iPhone 3Gs with an UNLIMITED data plan, that he has coveted low these many years."

asxless in iLand
     
subego
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Aug 1, 2010, 02:44 PM
 
Originally Posted by asxless View Post
"And to my nerdy nephew I bequeath my original form factor iPhone 3Gs with an UNLIMITED data plan, that he has coveted low these many years."
Are you kidding? Put that in, next thing you know the little shit's dumping radium in my niblet corn.
     
ort888
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Aug 2, 2010, 01:10 AM
 
Meh. By the time 4G networks hit everywhere we'll all need new contracts anyway... and that's probably only 1 or 2 years away. I don't anticipate my data needs changing radically in the next 2 or three years and the market will have to evolve with customer need.

If 5 years from now we're all downloading HD movies all day long on our 5G iPhones, then surely the market will have adapted to meet the demands of its customer base.

I guess a good question might be... How much data does a facetime call use?

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smithjohnson159
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Aug 4, 2010, 12:10 PM
 
I hate AT&T, why put a cap on the data if they say most people are using less than a gig or so. If thats the case then whats the problem why cap it just leave it unlimited. Thats why Sprint is one of the best networks out there and thats why I use the sprint overdrive 4G for my iPad.
     
hab
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Aug 4, 2010, 08:00 PM
 
For those who want to keep their unlimited plan forever I am wondering if that is good for your current phone only. Don't you have to sign a new contract when you get a new phone? And will the new data plan come with that? Just askin' ..
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turtle777
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Aug 4, 2010, 08:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by hab View Post
For those who want to keep their unlimited plan forever I am wondering if that is good for your current phone only. Don't you have to sign a new contract when you get a new phone? And will the new data plan come with that? Just askin' ..
They allowed keeping the data plan when switching to the iPhone 4.

Y future MMV.

-t
     
ort888
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Aug 4, 2010, 09:03 PM
 
Yeah, but like I said, that's the plan for the 3G network. A lot of people hung on to their original $20 data plans from the original iPhone... but they are all stuck on 2G. 4G will be everywhere in 2-3 years, and this unlimited plan will be pretty useless.

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HenryMelton
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Aug 4, 2010, 11:14 PM
 
On my laptop connect ATT account, I was running 70-90gb/month. It was providing household internet including iTunes TV shows and Netflix. This month they capped it at 5GB and the account was suspended on the second day of the period. (I cancelled the account since it was now useless.) On my iPad, I used about 5GB the first month. I was lucky to get an early unlimited account which I'll try to hang on to. There is a big difference between home and portable computing usage. Unfortunately, I live where there is NO wired internet available (dialup maxes out at 14000 baud) and any wireless signal is marginal. I had to use a signal booster for the laptop connect card.

So, due to my particular circumstances, I can't imagine converting an unlimited to a 2GB account.
     
SSharon
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Aug 5, 2010, 11:40 PM
 
I averaged about 450mb on my original iphone and just passed 1gb of data on my iphone 4 which I've had for less than a month. I will most certainly be keeping the unlimited plan. Some day facetime will open up to 3G, I'll start using skype more, or I'll sign up for netflix or hulu+ and then I'll need all the data I can get.
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stevesnj
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Aug 6, 2010, 11:47 PM
 
I kept the Unlimited for the iPhone 4, I stream radio everday for 3-4 hours a day. Email addresses, web, YouTube. I need it, glad I kept it.
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mkerr64
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Aug 10, 2010, 12:13 AM
 
i've got an 6gb plan, some sort of special deal :s
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smithjohnson159
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Aug 12, 2010, 01:24 PM
 
Do yall understand the you can use up 2 gigs of data by just watching 40 to 50 minutes of YouTube videos and thats suppose to last a whole month.
     
ort888
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Aug 12, 2010, 05:58 PM
 
Not really because they downgrade the video quality when you watch over 3G.

I think many of us are around wifi the majority of the time. I spend about 80% of my life in wifi range. I do use my phone when I'm out and about, but at the end of the month it doesn't really add up to much.

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SSharon
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Aug 13, 2010, 10:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by ort888 View Post
Not really because they downgrade the video quality when you watch over 3G.

I think many of us are around wifi the majority of the time. I spend about 80% of my life in wifi range. I do use my phone when I'm out and about, but at the end of the month it doesn't really add up to much.
An hour of youtube might be an exaggeration, but my bill last month had 1.4gb of usage and I watched less than 10 minutes of streaming video. The rest was pandora, email, facebook, and safari.
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Aug 13, 2010, 10:27 AM
 
I've tripled my data usage this month (200 MB on average for the past 6 months and then spiked up to 700+ MB the past 30 days) but can't really say what is the specific cause (I don't really watch YouTube clips and I use pandora sparingly). Still, well below my 5GB "unlimited" plan cap.
     
mrtew
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Aug 28, 2010, 09:52 AM
 
Just because you can keep your unlimited plan for now doesn't really mean you can keep it forever can you?

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SSharon
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Aug 29, 2010, 02:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by mrtew View Post
Just because you can keep your unlimited plan for now doesn't really mean you can keep it forever can you?
I sure hope so. I'm at 1.3gb this month and counting.
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Aug 29, 2010, 11:03 AM
 
I think they'll eventually phase it out. Capped data is another way to monetize subscribers and/or reduce capital costs. But doing it now would have been too much PR headache to deal with, or maybe it was part of their agreement with Apple.
     
glideslope
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Aug 29, 2010, 11:47 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cold Warrior View Post
I think they'll eventually phase it out. Capped data is another way to monetize subscribers and/or reduce capital costs. But doing it now would have been too much PR headache to deal with, or maybe it was part of their agreement with Apple.
+1 All carriers will be moving to tiered systems. I'm very interested what things will be like when I'm up for renewal the end of Jan 11. If your a power user you will pay as a power user. If your a casual user you will pay as a casual user.

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