Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
The Internet Wireless Networking Technology

Verizon LTE Can Use the Monthly Data Allotment In 32 Minutes 273

Posted by timothy
from the that-was-quick dept.
adeelarshad82 writes "Verizon's new 4G LTE network is so fast that you can use up your entire 5GB in as little as 32 minutes. The 2010-era speeds are soured by the 2005-era thinking on data plans. Verizon has priced LTE pretty much like 3G to encourage data sipping, not guzzling. As soon as you start using the latest high-bandwidth Internet services, your whole month's allotment can evaporate in no time. According to a test, the network's speed maxed out at 21Mbps, which means that it takes only 32 minutes to smoke up the 5GB monthly data cap on the plan. While the 21Mbps speed was hit on a low traffic network, Verizon estimates you'll be able to get around 8.5Mbps with a loaded network which still means that the cap can be exhausted in about an hour and a half."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Verizon LTE Can Use the Monthly Data Allotment In 32 Minutes

Comments Filter:
  • by Ironchew (1069966) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:24PM (#34425674)

    I bet it doesn't even stop the download when you exceed the limit. It just goes on to charge per megabyte or something.

    • by Ironchew (1069966)

      $10/gigabyte, nevermind. (Nearly three cents per second?) It still gets on my nerves.

      • by Firehed (942385) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:47PM (#34425966) Homepage

        Still cheaper than a teenager without an unlimited texting plan.

    • by rsborg (111459)

      I bet it doesn't even stop the download when you exceed the limit. It just goes on to charge per megabyte or something.

      Sounds just like Verizon... they are rich because of their overage charges and how they nickel and dime you.

      Loved the network but hated the "customer service".

    • I bet it doesn't even stop the download when you exceed the limit. It just goes on to charge per megabyte or something.

      I know this is Slashdot and articles are not read, as usual TFA refers to that. Higher bandwidth users can pay $80, $30 more, for a 10 GB plan. And Verizon charges $10 for every additional GB over the plan.

      Now just how fast could I burn through the bandwidth allotted? For years I've said I wanted mobile wireless broadband. I love both hiking and photography and would love being able to

  • This is what people mean about journalistic bias. No matter what the topic, no matter what the victim, journalists are always able to slant stories in a negative direction like this. What's the story? New network offers great speeds? Awesome! But no, the guy comes up with a negative interpretation and makes that the focus of the entire article. It happens again and again, and anyone who points it out gets shouted down as obviously journalists are white knights of integrity and are smarter than everyon
    • by CaptainPatent (1087643) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:30PM (#34425736) Journal
      Actually, I think the intent of the article is to show that while Verizon has a 4th gen awesome network, they still have a pricing framework that's about 5 years obsolete.
    • by Burning1 (204959) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:30PM (#34425752) Homepage

      Spoken like someone who's never been hit with an $800 data bill.

      • by Stregano (1285764)
        I've never been hit by a $800 data bill. See, I made sure to be smart and when I planned on using data, I went with a network that allowed for unlimited. Sorry for your loss, but in this day and age, you are not restricted to one carrier, so you should have switched.
        • by dgatwood (11270)

          I'm pretty sure no carrier currently provides or has ever provided unlimited cellular data for computers at any price (at least in the United States). This is a computer plan we're talking about, not a cell phone plan. For that matter, even the unlimited smart phone plans are being phased out rather rapidly in favor of capped plans, but that's another issue.

        • See, I made sure to be smart and when I planned on using data, I went with a network that allowed for unlimited.

          And there have always been unlimited data plans. NOT!!! I still recall the first mobile phones I saw, they were brick sized and 1 minute of use cost a lot, there were no unlimited plans.

          Falcon

    • by Tanman (90298) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:34PM (#34425820)

      While your interpretation is that the article is looking at the speed of Verizon's new service and then painting it in a negative light, my interpretation is that the article is about the pricing plans Verizon is introducing with their new technology and warning consumers that it's a bit like a booby trap. Take this:

      "Verizon has priced LTE pretty much like 3G to encourage data sipping, not guzzling."

      He is pointing out that although the service itself is vastly superior as far as speed, it is using identical benchmarks for pricing. As such, it is a warning to the consumer not to get caught unaware and be hit with a big bill. I, for one, appreciate that warning. It's the kind of thing I might not think to check when I go upgrade my smart phone to fast 4g service. I don't look at it as negative slanted journalism, but an article on how Verizon's pricing plans do not seem to be evolving at the same rate as their technology.

    • by Facegarden (967477) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:35PM (#34425832)

      This is what people mean about journalistic bias. No matter what the topic, no matter what the victim, journalists are always able to slant stories in a negative direction like this. What's the story? New network offers great speeds? Awesome! But no, the guy comes up with a negative interpretation and makes that the focus of the entire article. It happens again and again, and anyone who points it out gets shouted down as obviously journalists are white knights of integrity and are smarter than everyone else. That's an awful lot of undeserved respect for people who were Communications majors.

      There have been plenty of stories about the speed of Verizon's network. This is about something else. Are you suggesting that people shouldn't post stories unless they're positive? It's newsworthy that, although the plans offer great speeds, they offer very low data caps compared to the speeds. As someone who might be switching to Verizon when they get 4G phones, I'm glad that I've been reminded of this.

      I mean seriously, you get as little as 1/2 hour of data a month for your $50? That is worth talking about.
      -Taylor

    • by KiloByte (825081)

      False advertising _is_ a negative thing. Verizon advertises 21Mbps speeds while they offer 18kbps (assuming drivemaker's gigabytes which they surely use). They should be allowed to advertise the bigger number at most as a burst speed it is.

    • "No matter what the topic, no matter what the victim, journalists are always able to slant stories in a negative direction like this. What's the story?"

      The story is it is pointless to have such speeds at such shitty caps at such a shitty price point.

    • by TrippTDF (513419)
      I think the author is making a very valid point that yes, you'll have greater speed, but you'll have to be very careful with it. I had been considering getting a 4G device to be my main internet connection, but I'd chew through the plan after watching a couple movies on NetFlix.

      Verizon is going to have to come up with new pricing plans if they expect people to jump to this sort of tech en masse
    • They're saying that cap is what is bad not the network speeds which is true.

    • Then how do you explain these glowingly [pcmag.com] positive [pcmag.com] stories about the LTE rollout on PCMag (the same site linked in this article)? Or these non-critical [slashdot.org] postings [slashdot.org] here on slashdot? Maybe journalists just like to cover different aspects of an event rather than solely regurgitate press releases.

    • by z-j-y (1056250)

      bitching is American's favorite passtime.

    • by guspasho (941623)

      Just because you may think subjectively and start with your conclusions and then find evidence that supports them doesn't mean everyone else does.

    • No. This is by no means what people mean by journalistic bias. Reporting that they have great speeds, without pointing out that you had better not actually make use of the feature for very long would be in favor of Verizon, and would be bias. Reporting the facts, and then focusing on one of the most important facts which people may not have considered and Verizon is not mentioning in their ads is not bias. Biased journalists don't write things like: "My tests maxed out at an impressive 21Mbps." They al
  • That LG device is awesome! It has a fixed USB connector (was it broken?), and status LED and and internal antenna! How feature rich!
    http://network4g.verizonwireless.com/#/devices [verizonwireless.com]

  • Video (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Enderandrew (866215) <enderandrew.gmail@com> on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:27PM (#34425708) Homepage Journal

    Every cell phone company heavily advertises watching video on their network, but it was video that caused AT&T to yank their unlimited bandwidth and kill it. The second the iPad came out and people wanted to stream video (like AT&T sold them on) they freaked out.

    Then again, these are the same companies that asked the government for a hand out in building infrastructure while bragging about profits, pocketed the money, and then still didn't build infrastructure. That is why you can get faster internet and cell phone data plans around the rest of the world.

    I keep waiting for the free market to fix this. Shouldn't a competitor come out and win our business by responding to consumer demands and giving us fast access with unlimited data at a good price?

    AT&T's network has been exposed. Sprint has a 4G network. Stand apart and keep your unlimited data while AT&T and Verizon remain in the stone age.

    • Competitors? Hah. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Concern (819622) * on Thursday December 02, 2010 @08:47PM (#34425974) Journal

      You'll be waiting a very long time. Even if you really believe you will get competition in a market with a 10 figure barrier to entry, the spectrum is scarce and the federal government (in the form of the FCC) can't just license new cell phone carriers in your region all day long.

      If the government simply ran it, at least there would be more accountability and transparency to the users of the system. Not to mention that the prices could be lowered to have a relationship to the actual costs, and the profits pay for schools and roads, thereby doubly stimulating the economy. But, I know, I know, the government can only run the entire military-industrial complex. :( Far better that we simply allow the owners of the telecom trust to enrich themselves virtually without limit, including, yes, government hand outs to "encourage" them to build their infrastructure, with few meaningful strings attached.

      The entire pricing model of the cell carriers in the US is just the outcome of a game to see what tricks will and won't get past the feds. Charging for overages is ludicrous in general. It forces customers into the losing game of predicting their future calling needs and creates the illusion that they are responsible when they inevitably get a $400 bill. Of course, they can pay more every month to avoid that, and if the jump between the first and second pricing tier is inexplicably huge at every single carrier... can you really prove it's price fixing?

      The problem with the telecoms is similar to those of the even more transparently criminal "privatized electric utilities" - who can only fail to profit if they somehow manage to build more capacity and alleviate the shortage of their commodity. Don't even get me started on the various funny attempts at market-oriented reform from the 90's.

      Caps and per-megabyte charges are obviously rapacious. In a sane, well-regulated system, we could cope with scarcity by letting people pay for priority. Similar to an auction, if you pay more, then when there is contention on the network, your data rates are better than those who paid less. Easy, done.

      If you can't understand why we don't already have this, why not call your senator and ask?

      • Even if you really believe you will get competition in a market with a 10 figure barrier to entry, the spectrum is scarce

        That's what they say but the airwaves aren't as scarce as they're made out to be. Of course it's to the incumbents' favor that scarcity is the perception.

        The problem with the telecoms is similar to those of the even more transparently criminal "privatized electric utilities" - who can only fail to profit if they somehow manage to build more capacity and alleviate the shortage of their co

    • by Arker (91948)

      I keep waiting for the free market to fix this.

      Considering the market is not free, you may be waiting a long time on that.

  • by hipp5 (1635263)
    Just because your connection is fast doesn't mean you're going to use more data. A website that is 10MB is still 10MB whether or not you download it in 0.00001 seconds or 10 hours. Even video files have finite size. I'm not limited to how many videos I watch on Youtube by the speed I download them at.
    • by jaymz666 (34050)

      You'll download fewer 10MB websites at 10 hours than if you download it in 10 minutes. Obviously.

    • by forkazoo (138186)

      If each website takes 10 hours, you can only view two full websites in a 24 day. So, you can load the google home page, and look at the first page of search results. If each website takes 1 second to view, then I can easily view many more web sites.

      Similarly, if it takes 10 hours to view a 1 minute YouTube video, I just won't bother. If my connection is fast enough to stream YouTube in real time, I'm much more likely to bother with it, which increases my data usage. Similarly, as the connection gets fas

    • by garcia (6573)

      I purposefully went to a business class connection so that I could do more with my connection. While I pay for 10/1 and generally get 20+/1 if I was still using my 4500/400 connection I wouldn't be hosting my own website, streaming Netflix nearly non-stop all night long, and having my wife and I surf the web the way we do because we simply would not have the bandwidth to do it.

      I mean when I had a 640/160 DSL connection do you think I would have been uploading 500MB worth of fullsized DSLR photos to Flickr o

  • ...and the small print taketh away.

  • by kindbud (90044) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @09:10PM (#34426206) Homepage

    I have a grandfathered unlimited 3G data plan for Verizon Mobile Broadband. I use it for my primary internet access method (3 the Mifi). I exceed 15 Gb monthly on a routine basis. If it wasn't grandfathered, they'd want to charge me in excess of $100 for the overage. Now that I know about the deal with LTE, they can kiss my upgrade from 3G goodbye.

  • bandwidth used (Score:5, Interesting)

    by falconwolf (725481) <falconsoaring_2000 AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday December 02, 2010 @09:17PM (#34426292)

    If a user wants to guzzle gigabytes, Verizon wants that person to sign up for DSL or FiOS.

    TFA gives the above as a reason Verizon caps the LTE service. That's stupid as Verizon has no presence in many locations like mine. In those locations I bet many people would pay more for mobile wireless broadband. What Verizon could do also is bundle that 5GB LTE with DSL or FiOS.

    Falcon

  • Welcome to America's broken mobile phone market. Customers have little to no choice that the carriers can get away with selling plans with data volume caps that made the service impractical to be actually used.

    In Asia, we have the opposite, carriers sell 3G plans priced by data volume, more data = more expensive, but with the option of a FEE cap that limits the max fee you need to pay if you downloaded way over your plan's volume.

  • I think someone's been smoking a little too much medicinal pot if they think this is a good deal.

  • But while surfing via DSL i tend to use something like 100Meg-500Meg/Hour.

  • by digitaldc (879047) * on Thursday December 02, 2010 @09:49PM (#34426580)
    Imagine if they priced your internet usage like this? No one would use the internet either.
    • by lennier (44736)

      Imagine if they priced your internet usage like this? No one would use the internet either.

      What do you Americans mean, 'if'? That's how we buy Internet in Australia and New Zealand. I have a 15 MB connection and a 20 GB monthly transfer limit.

      Last month I installed Lord of the Rings Online and it exceeded my monthly bandwith just getting the game.

    • by wvmarle (1070040)

      Do you remember the early days of the ISP? The days of dial-up only? Mobile data is in that stage now.

      Those days you would routinely see plans of "five hours a month, extra fee per hour of usage". When it comes to Internet use, data and time are related measures. Now they measure data; with dial-up they measured time. And it's not that no-one was using the Internet! It was growing really fast, many people buying computers and modems just to be able to go on-line.

      Then the unlimited plans came: fixed price

      • Re:Cell phone scam (Score:4, Insightful)

        by N0Man74 (1620447) on Friday December 03, 2010 @01:01AM (#34427794)

        You are exactly right, this is mimicking the early days of ISPs in that regard. However, what isn't mirrored here is that the early days of ISPs also had a much lower cost of entry. There were small ISPs all over the nation competing with eachother to gain customers with cheaper service, more time, and more features. They used to offer shell accounts, FTP accounts, free Usenet, and free personal webpage space.

        Of course, as we moved to broadband, we started seeing fewer and fewer players involved, competition diminishing, extra frills slowly being removed, and now caps are coming back in.

        Like wired broadband, mobile internet also has a limited number of players, high cost of entry, and I think it's more likely to drag it's heels in becoming more consumer friendly compared to the much more highly competitive early days of dial-up internet.

        • by wvmarle (1070040)

          If you have to set up your own network from scratch, good luck entering the market as newcomer without heaps of cash. Which is why many countries, especially in Europe, have legislated that the cables are open to anyone.

          As a result a few big and numerous small players offering ADSL connections - all over the cables of the (former) monopoly telephone provider, who is obliged to rent them out at pre-set prices. Keeps service quality up, and prices down.

          Same can be done with mobile networks (telephone and da

  • Most people aren't downloading huge amount at a time. They're checking facebook, twitter, and browsing the web. Even if they were streaming video, it'll still take a lot to reach 5 Gigabytes.

  • by Caerdwyn (829058) on Thursday December 02, 2010 @10:45PM (#34426986) Journal

    The real bottleneck that wireless carriers worry about is not their network. It's the capacity of a single cell tower to carry a finite number of simultaneous connections.

    Have a look at the info about LTE frequency assignments [radio-electronics.com]. OK, all you hams out there, how many MHz of the frequency band to carry a data rate of 21MHz at the various assigned frequencies? How much frequency spectrum is available? Divide X by Y and you get the number of simultaneous full-speed downloads. Exceed that, and you have to start some sort of time-sharing scheme in which individual users grab a few milliseconds of exclusive ownership of each channel at a time. (Token Ring, anyone?)

    Because of the way radio works, you can only get so much network bandwidth out of a particular frequency spectrum. You can do phasing tricks and subcarrier acrobatics to squeeze more out, but there will be a point at which you can't handle more devices per cell tower, no matter how much (wired/fiber) network there is behind it. And putting two cell phone towers right next to each other doesn't double the number of connections that can be handled; a phone connecting at 2410MHz to one cell phone tower will be putting out radio noise that a second tower right next to it will pick up. This is why AT&T is getting hammered in places like San Francisco and New York where there is a very high density of 3G users; they just can't add more cell towers. They're saturated; it's not because they're cheap bastards (they are), it's physics. That's how radio works.

    Think of it this way: your FM radio has channels from 88.1MHz to 107.9MHz in 200KHz steps. Once all 101 channels are allocated, just "adding more towers" doesn't get you anything.

    Smart phones differ from traditional cell phones in that they are "on the air" more than voice-only phones (insert teenage-girl joke here). A voice call might need 50kbit/sec for the duration of the call, and thus consume very little radio spectrum during that call (a handful of KHz). But a data session is a steady high-bitrate stream that can consume several MHz. Yes, interlacing occurs, but it really comes down to this: the limitation is how many MBits per second an allocated frequency spectrum can carry, divided by the number of simultaneous users of that frequency and their data demands. Once it's all in use, there ain't no more. Users get timesliced to slower and slower connections, until the granularity demanded by timeslicing and channel-juggling among X-thousand users of a single tower is so small that you can't even get a voice call through.

    So yeah, I understand why wireless carriers would want to cap data usage. It sucks, but physics doesn't care how angry a consumer is, you can't sue to force 1000MHz of in-use spectrum to fit into 200MHz of allocated spectrum, and carriers can't throw money at physics until it goes away. Radio spectrum is a finite resource, data at a given rate requires a specific portion of that spectrum, and that's it. Something has to be capped. Data rate or data cap; something has to throttle usage, because there's not enough to go around for everyone to max it at once.

    • by MonMotha (514624) on Friday December 03, 2010 @01:26AM (#34427918)

      It doesn't quite work this way. This is going to be a bit technical, but you asked a technical question, so bear with me. Yes, I am a ham (since you asked for one), and I've also done some commercial RF data systems.

      As others have pointed out, cellular telephone systems aren't like broadcast systems. You really can "put up more towers" to increase the amount of "service" (available data transfer per unit time, number of simultaneous voice calls, etc.) in a given geographic area without using more RF bandwidth. The reason for this is that you can turn the power on the base and handset down to reduce the coverage of the cell allowing reuse of the RF bandwidth more frequently within a certain geographical space. This is already done: cells on rural highways are much larger than cells within a city. In fact, the cells on rural highways would often be capable of covering an entire city from a geographic point of view, but there wouldn't be enough capacity to handle all that traffic, so smaller (lower power, lower antenna angle, etc.) cells are placed in cities allowing reuse of that RF bandwidth. Broadcast services can be thought of as "cellular" with very large cells (depending on the service, up to and including the entire planet for HF "shortwave" radio, for example) if you want, but that's not a traditional interpretation.

      As for how much bandwidth it takes to attain a certain information rate, that varies with a number of factors. Assuming a uniform RF environment (noise, propagation, etc., which of course isn't true but is handy for discussion), the key tradeoff is made by how "aggressive" your modulation scheme is. A more aggressive modulation scheme packs more data into a certain amount of RF bandwidth, but it requires a stronger signal to noise ratio at the receiver to demodulate and recover the data. The exact relationship between how much data you can chuck into a given amount of RF bandwidth and the required receiver SNR varies with your chosen modulation scheme and receiver design. The reason data rates have been increasing with time is that newer, better (easier to demodulation) modulation schemes and better (mostly less noisy, but also more cost effective for a given complexity) receivers are being developed. More cells are also being added (see above) to lessen "competition" for the channel's bandwidth, but we're also seeing a lot more users and demand, so that probably averages out. The amount of RF bandwidth allocated to the cellular telephone services has remained roughly constant since the late 90s (800MHz cellular band + 1900MHz PCS band, though other bands are also used regionally, and some of these are new).

      In a two-way scenario like a cellular telephone, you also get to play with the fact that the two directions don't behave equally. The base-to-handset link (downlink) has the advantage of no access contention (there's just one base, and it knows everything it's doing), expensive equipment (there's only one, so the company can pump some money into it), and lots of power available (it's plugged into the wall). The handset-to-base link (uplink) is messier: it has access contention (multiple handsets coordinated remotely by the base), cost sensitive equipment (consumers don't like to pay thousands of dollars for their handsets), and limited power (batteries). Antennas are something of a wash since antennas are effective about equally in both directions. What all this means is that it's easier to use a more aggressive modulation scheme (and hence cram more bits per second into a given chunk of RF MHz) on the downlink than the uplink. Fortunately, this is roughly in-line with consumer demand: most consumers want to transfer large stuff to their phones, not from them. FWIW, Cable Modems have similar concerns, and a similar situation results.

      You also seem to assume a TDMA based uplink channel. Modern standards are all CDMA based. While the theory of operation is totally different, the effect is the same: multiple people contend for the same resource. Various

    • You described the issue with instantaneous capacity that has always been a problem for cellular communication, but that doesn't explain the 5GB limit. I'm sure most users would rather be connected all of the time, some or most of it being at less than the maximum data rate rather than to use their LTE service at full speed for a few days and then have to cease usage completely because they hit the 5 GB limit.

Disclaimer: "These opinions are my own, though for a small fee they be yours too." -- Dave Haynie

Working...