Many people love to user their iPhone 4 as a GPS device to help them get around their jobs. But over the past few weeks, they have not been able to do that as AT&T Inc has virtually jammed the facility on their phones. Web pages fail to load and maps don't display and neither do YouTube videos, as their data speeds have been reduced to dial-up levels.
Users say this makes their smartphone virtually useless. Last month AT&T throttled users' phones slowing downloads by roughly 99 per cent which slows down the loading of web page from a second to almost two minutes.
Critics say the reason for the crackdown on heavy data users via speed throttling is that AT&T wants to regulate the consumption of its heaviest cellular data usersand therefore cuts down users' data speeds as part of an attempt to manage data usage on its network.
AT&T has some 17 million customers with "unlimited data" who could end up being ''throttled''. these users represent just under half of AT&T's smartphone users. The company stopped signing up new customers for those plans since 2010. It warned last year that people who consumed the most data, also experience slowing down of speeds.
However users are surprised by how little data use it takes to reach that level which is at times less than what AT&T offers people on its "limited" plans. Users pay $30 per month for "unlimited" data.
Meanwhile, the Dallas-based AT&T has now come out with a limited, or "tiered," plan offering 3GB of data for the same price.