Friday, May 26, 2006

Carriers Restrict 'Unlimited' 3G

Light Reading reports that not all U.S. network operator's all-you-can-eat 3G data packages are just that - unlimited. According to the article, both Verizon Wireless (VZ) and Sprint Nextel (S) "acknowledge that they reserve the right to cut off customers who are unreasonable in their interpretation of unlimited."

Craig Mathias at the Farpoint Group said, "The raw capacity of an EVDO revA channel is 3.1 megabits per second. The problem is how many users can they keep happy on any given channel at any given time. If everyone is downloading music at the same time, there's going to be a problem. One of the reasons that EVDO is working so well now is that there aren't that many users."

The article states that "Verizon Wireless' unlimited data plan for 1XEVDO modem users is in fact extremely limited, although the terms don't list a specific limit of megabytes." This comes as little surprise and the article outlines some of things that Verizon deems unreasonable.

Sprint is less strict in its definition and enforcement of unreasonable unlimited access. In fact it recently "certified the use of wireless access routers from Junxion Inc. , Kyocera Corp. (KYO), and Linksys which allow multiple users to share a cellular connection over WiFi."