iPhone users looking to sign up for an unlimited cellular data plan have two more options this week. AT&T Mobility plans to start two additional new plans on Thursday, dubbed Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Choice. The announcement comes just days after AT&T first joined the other major US carriers in offering unlimited data to smartphone customers.
After years of moving away from unlimited data plans, the wireless industry has done an about-face. iPhone owners now have several unlimited options from major carriers including AT&T Mobility, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and Sprint. Data plans with no hard limit have proliferated over the past year, as carriers fight tooth and nail for data-hungry smartphone subscribers. Here are some highlights of the latest and greatest unlimited data plans for iPhone.
One of the most convenient ways to pay for iTunes, App Store and other content on iOS devices is through carrier billing. Using this service means that all charges are simply tacked onto your monthly wireless bill. In similar fashion, prepaid subscribers will have costs for music, movies and iBooks automatically subtracted from their account balance. Apple has already started to offer carrier billing to iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users in select regions.
It has long been a practice of wireless carriers to "lock" cell phones and other devices they sell to customers, so the customer can't leave them for another carrier. The U.S. House of Representatives today approved a bill that will outlaw that practice.
Legislation for the "Unlocking Consumer Choice Act" passed the Senate last week. President Obama will need to sign it into law, which he looks forward to: "The bill congress passed today is another step toward giving ordinary Americans more
A recent report accused Apple and wireless carriers of purposely slowing down data speeds on iOS devices. The controversy revolved around so-called "throttle coding" in carrier files used for network provisioning. The site AnandTech has now published a thorough report explaining why this is not the case.
Not only does Apple have no incentive to limit data speeds on iOS devices, but traffic is better managed on the network as opposed to locally on individual iPhones. AnandTech also throws cold water on the concept that installing modified carrier files can "magically" increase data speeds on iOS. Basically, nothing on Apple's mobile devices prevents the iPhone or iPad from utilizing whatever is provided by the cellular network.