Data...

Katie has been an iPhone user for two years longer than I. She jumped on board with the iPhone 3G back in 2008 when she became highly disillusioned with the other phone options available through AT&T.

I point this out because her time spent with an iPhone has allowed her to be grandfathered with an unlimited data plan. I am highly jealous. While I was using a Blackberry at the same time she was on a 3G, I didn't have a data plan. I didn't need it. Web browsing on the BB sucked and I didn't see it being any better for $25 extra per month and, somehow, I had a working wifi connection (I was told by a tech that wifi should have only been enabled when a data plan was activated). I also wasn't planning on getting an iPhone until 2011 so why bother with data?

I missed out. Instead of waiting until 2011, I got my first iPhone in August 2010 and missed the cutoff for unlimited data plans by a handful of weeks. Now, each month is a game of Will I or Won't I in terms of going over on my 2 GB data plan. I never have gone over, thankfully. But I came so close a couple times that I updated to 3 GB and have actually shut off all data use on my phone when I'm at work.

The last couple months have been better. I don't know if the iOS 8 update did something to data usage, but whatever. This month, for example, I'm only at 1.56 of 3 GB used. But Katie, with her unlimited data plan, has never once surpassed 1.5 GB used. We've often mused that we should switch phones and numbers.

Not this month, though.

We often wind up using Katie's phone as entertainment for Nathan on the road. Since she has unlimited data, she can stream videos for him through YouTube or the PBS Kids apps. So we do. And he loves it... so long as there's a good connection. My wifi-only iPad winds up as backup because I have episodes of shows downloaded to it.

This month, the Entertain Nathan Plan is rearing its ugly head for the first time with Katie's data plan. 3.88 GB used. While that may not seem like a lot to some data munchers out there, it's a lot by our standards.

I don't think we'll be switching phones anytime soon.

I would still love it, though, if AT&T relented and gave me an unlimited data plan. I really would. I've been a loyal customer since 2000, c'mon!

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Marie

I also have the unlimited data plan with AT&T and was grandfathered in like Katie. Matt, however, doesn't so we have to watch his. When he is at work, his phone hooks right up to the wireless and at home too. For google maps, we use my phone if I'm with Matt so we don't eat up at his data plan. He definitely uses a lot because I'll get a warning sometimes that he's going to hit the limit (forgot what his limit is).

By the way, did you guys hear about how AT&T has been accused of throttling/slowing down the connection of people who have the unlimited data plan? This makes sense, because at a certain time during the month, my connection slows down (when I'm not on wifi). Here's a bit from the NYTimes article (didn't want to put a link in the comment section as it might think I'm spam!):

"Three years ago, AT&T warned smartphone customers with 'unlimited' data plans that their connections might be slowed if they used a lot of data. On Tuesday, the Federal Trade Commission said AT&T’s disclosure was deceptive because it was not specific enough.

The commission filed a federal lawsuit against AT&T on Tuesday, saying the company had misled customers by slowing the connections of people with unlimited plans after they used more than two gigabytes of data in a month." - Oct. 28, 2014 article, NYTimes

Marty Mankins

Nice that Katie is still able to keep her unlimited plan.

I have a friend that is still on his grandfathered AT&T unlimited plan. When I was with Sprint, i had unlimited data, which for a while, was nice. Then their service got really bad for the last couple of years I was with them. Pretty much struggled with even maintaining a 3G connection without being forced over to roaming most of the time. And that's using the phone in the city.

So when I switched over to AT&T in September 2013, I ended up going to their 10gb plan. We have 4 phones that share that 10gb and I'm the biggest user since I tether from mine at work (we block a ton of traffic and sites and services like Facebook and Dropbox). We regularly hit really close to that 10gb each month, so I took advantage of the double data deal they had and upgraded to the 15gb plan, which gives me 30gb a month. Some breathing room. And being an extra $25 a month for that upgrade, it's worth it not to worry going over.

kapgar


Yeah, we've been aware of throttling for a while but it's never been a concern since Katie uses so little of her data plan. However, this month she has been complaining that basic web processes like loading email are taking forever. We'll see what happens next month. 

kapgar


That doesn't seem bad at all. Something we might look into down the road. Once we break Nathan of his need to watch video over a data network. 

Ren

I switched from unlimited to the 10gb plan a couple of months ago so that my kids could have data. In the end, I think it is costing a bit too much and I may consider switching to T-mobile, but not yet. I skipped the 30gb upgrade as I really didn't want the increased cost and the 10gb was really enough, since my "unlimited" was really just 5gb (the 2gb mentioned in the article was moved to 3gb later and then eventually, on LTE at least, to 5gb).

This month, AT&T is offering to upgrade the 10gb to 15gb for free, so I jumped on that and certainly appreciate the extra room.

Luckily, I still have a truly unlimited iPad data plan from when they first offered that. I often use 10gb or so on that, as I stream video and switch off WiFi whenever the place I am has poor WiFi. (I don't usually watch video on the iPad at home.) I considered switching to the still-being-offered 30gb and adding the iPad, but the combined cost of those two things is more than my unlimited iPad plan.

kapgar


We really do live off Katie's iPhone as both our iPads are wifi only. Eventually I'll have to get Nathan to understand why all four devices can't do the same things. Not yet though. 

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