Now that unlimited data is a popular thing among the top four carriers, getting an unlimited data cell phone plan can be confusing due to all limitations imposed in those plans. Carriers such as Verizon and AT&T have come up with a bunch of shady unlimited data plans which are a total rip off, like Verizon’s Go Unlimited plan for example. Plans like the Go Unlimited from Verizon promise unlimited data but with so much limitations in it, that it will just get you frustrated once you realize that you are paying for an unlimited data plan that is as slow as dial-up.

These imposed limitations are not only found in Verizon, they are restrictions you will find in any cellphone carrier that offers unlimited data. The down side of it is that you might not notice those restrictions until you have signed up for an unlimited data plan and begin experiencing network inconveniences. All the major carriers claim that these limitations are there to help the customers. Whether you believe these limitations are in your best interest, or in the carriers’ revenue best interest, it’s very important to know and understand each one of them before signing up for any unlimited data plan. These are the major restrictions imposed by cell phone carriers when offering unlimited data plans.

What is throttling

Throttling is one of the older and most recognized term in the mobile industry. When the carrier starts throttling you, it basically means that they have reduced your data speeds to a lower transfer rate. Knowing if your carrier is throttling your data speeds is actually very easy to know, because it’s usually highlighted in the plan’s contract. For example, on Sprint Unlimited Freedom, although it’s an unlimited data plan, you’re only allowed to use 10GB of 4G LTE data. After 10GB, your speeds will be throttled to 2G speeds, which is basically as having no internet at all.

Another example of throttling is when your carrier put a limit on certain type of files. Verizon cheapest unlimited data plan comes with a 480p video limit. So it means that you will have a hard time watching HD videos on that plan whether is from Netflix or YouTube.

What is network congestion

Network congestion is a huge factor when it comes to determining your data speeds. When too many cell phones are transmitting data on the same tower, the particular cell tower will become congested, resulting in slower speeds for those connected to that tower. This is a temporary problem and your speeds should return to normal once the tower gets uncongested or your cell phone connects to another tower.

Deprioritization

In order to fight off network congestion, or arguably to create another source of revenue, carriers have come up with another method of throttling, and this method is called deprioritization. Deprioritization means that certain user on a particular plan will be put below other when it comes to bandwidth. For example, on Verizon Go Unlimited plan, if a tower is congested, the customer on the more expensive plan (Beyond Unlimited) will remain with fast data while the customer on the Go Unlimited (cheaper) plan will have slower data.