reply to BF69
Re: hell ye
said by BF69:Nobody knows at this point how congestion is going to play out on 4G networks. Streaming video is obviously the next "killer app", but nobody knows how popular it will be on mobile devices. The 4G networks are obviously better equipped to handle heavy data consumption than the 3G networks, which sort of begs the question of why they are capped the same, but that's another discussion entirely.
Thus the congestion issue I referred to WILL happen. Which part was too difficult for you to understand?
Congestion need not be an issue, even with unlimited plans, it's just that as consumption goes up you need to spend more capital on plant and equipment to keep network performance at an acceptable level. The problem with unlimited plans, from an investment standpoint at least, is they require you to cater to an extremely small minority of users (<5% currently consume >2GB/mo) in order to keep network performance at an acceptable level for all.
Frankly I like what Verizon did with their unlimited plans. They don't cap, or throttle, they just give the heaviest data users a lower contention ratio during times of congestion. If the network is idle it doesn't matter if the kid down the street is downloading torrents. If the network is busy his torrents certainly shouldn't trump my ability to open a webpage, he won't notice a temporary slowdown, but I'll certainly notice if my webpage takes five minutes to load.
Verizon should have considered applying that model to the 4G network and keeping unlimited around, though they probably figured it was better to monetize the heaviest data users and feed the revenue back into the network. They did the same thing with SMS, it cost them almost nothing to provide SMS, but they charged an arm and a leg for it. Much of that revenue went into network expansion, and it helped to keep our voice and data rates lower than they would otherwise have been.