Tuesday, February 8, 2011
After hearing from every AT&T hater (and I get it, they are a lousy provider) that the Verizon iPhone was going to be brought down from smartphone heaven by angels and unicorns, I found an odd sense of satisfaction from Verizon essentially pulling the same tricks to preserve their bandwidth:
The launch of the iPhone on Verizon adds to the mountain of evidence that you just can’t trust wireless carriers.
On the day that iPhone preorders began last week, Verizon quietly revised its policy on data management: Any smartphone customer who uses an “extraordinary amount of data” will see a slowdown in their data-transfer speeds for the remainder of the month and the next billing cycle.
It’s a bit of a bait-and-switch. One of Verizon’s selling points for its version of the iPhone is that it would come with an unlimited data plan — a marked contrast to AT&T, which eliminated its unlimited data plans last year.
Verizon incidentally announced a plan for “data optimization” for all customers, which may degrade the appearance of videos streamed on smartphones, for example.
Verizon didn’t send out press releases to alert the public of this nationwide change regarding data throttling and so-called “optimization.” The only reason this news hit the wire was because a blogger noticed a PDF explaining the policy on Verizon’s website, which Verizon later confirmed was official. Obviously it’s bad news, so Verizon wanted to keep a lid on it.
And here we thought Verizon’s network technology was better-prepared than AT&T to handle a big crowd of iPhone customers. While our initial tests showed that Verizon was better at making and holding phone calls, its data speeds are slower than AT&T’s. The company must be worried about the effects of an influx of iPhone customers — otherwise, why would it throttle bandwidth like this?