Unlimited Cellular Wireless Internet
What Does Unlimited Data mean?
We realize that shopping for a wireless internet data plan for your cell phone can be a confusing task, especially for those unfamiliar with what the terms and restrictions associated with different plans really mean. One of the most misunderstood terms is “Unlimited Data” or “Unlimited Wireless Internet.” In this article, we will try to explain what it means.
You will notice that when the carriers such as AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint and others talk about “data” and “usage” in their marketing, it comes across as a very important consideration, and yes, you should be very aware of what this means. How your carrier handles and bills for data usage will have a direct bearing on how much you are charged on a monthly basis.
The Meaning of Unlimited Wireless Data
First off, there is the question: what does “Unlimited Data” really mean? Well, it can mean a few things, but in the world of cell phone Internet, or cell phone data, it is referring to the amount of data you transfer across the cell phone network.
In other words, every time you look at a website, watch a video, send a text, or anything else, your action is added up by the cell carrier towards your monthly “data usage” amount. If you are a user that does some texting and Internet surfing, you will probably not have an issue with “data overages,” however, if you like to watch movies on Netflix, or frequent YouTube for hours on end, you will find how quickly it will eat up your data allocation. For example, a regular movie can be up to 7GB (gigabytes) in size, and as you can imagine, a 20GB data plan will quickly be used up, if you watch three movies in a month (3 x 7GB = 21GB.) That means you will pay overages, or simply not have internet connectivity. If you have a router connected to your wireless connection, so that multiple users can connect to the Internet on the same connection, you will notice that you can use up your data allocation quickly.
If you have an “unlimited” account, that means you can transfer as much as you like over the course of the month. You can watch as many movies or transfer as much data as you want in the course of a given month. You can have as many users on the connection as you want.
Nowadays, unlimited plans are rare for a variety of reasons, and most plans have data limits such as 15 GB to 20 GB (gigabytes) per month, or more with limits such as 22GB or more, if you are willing to pay for it; ex: 100 GB is around $425.00 per month. You will find those plans that allow more data are generally more expensive.
So Who Is Offering Unlimited Data Plans?
Over the past few years, all the carriers had “unlimited” data plans to entice new customers to sign up for their network. Recently, in August of 2018, all of them stopped offering “unlimited plans” to the general public because it causes a lot of traffic on the network from a select number of users. However, some third-party resellers still sell them due to contractual arrangements with the major carriers that are “grandfathered” in. Grandfathered means that even though the major carriers no longer offer “unlimited plans,” those that have the plans now, will be valid in the future.
Some other things to know about “Unlimited Data Plans.”
Another thing that’s very important to know is that all of the carriers generally have two types of accounts: (1) Consumer Accounts, and (2) Business Accounts. This means that one-off residential users are in the first bucket, but those that pay a little more (the preferred customers), usually businesses, see their data treated a little better. What does that mean? That means that the networking equipment that the carriers run are set up to move the data for Business Accounts with a higher preference than residential accounts. Always ask for the Business account if you have a choice, and the amount they charge is usually just a little more.
What about Routers and Hotspots?
Some of you, who are supporting businesses or multiple users of a wireless cell phone Internet connection are connecting the cell phones to a router to support multiple users. Doing this is also frowned upon by some cell data carriers. Yes, they can tell if you are doing this, and they may (and will) deprioritize your connection if they detect that is going on. This brings up the term “deprioritization.”
Deprioritization is a term that the carriers use to “reduce the performance” of data throughput to those accounts that are overusing their data plan. Yes, they do this. If you read the small print for the plan you sign up with, you will see this term way down at the bottom in small print. This small print gives them the right to take extreme users, usually the top 3% and slow down their account from let’s say (as an example) 20Mbps download.. to 1Mbps download to make the network run better for everyone. Those that do NOT abuse the network are left alone and will continue to the get the 20Mbps downloads, those that are heavy users will see their throughput reduced. How do they decide who gets Deprioritized? It depends on how your local network traffic looks. If the tower you are connecting to is overbooked, and you are the heaviest of users, let’s say in the top 3%, you will see your account slowed down. It may last an hour, a day… all week. It depends on the carrier and how they set up their equipment.
So, in conclusion, if you are a heavy user, rely on your wireless data connection for important things, or what movies and do other activities that generate a lot of inbound data, what is the best thing to do?
Well, the answer is getting an unlimited account. But not just any unlimited account. You want a Business-Class Account that supports Routers and Hotspots and has a full throughput of the data. You HAVE TO ASK for this, and shop around for it. They are out there, make sure the company is reputable and is a member of BBB.
We, here at Rural Internet Headquarters (also known as Internet Headquarters the USA) are constantly looking to get the best deals for our customers and pass them along to you. Keep an eye on our website for new deals. They always come out in the course of normal business.
When shopping for wireless Internet data plans, make sure that the vendor (such as ruralinternethq.com) do a little work for you to make sure the carrier they recommend (such as T-Mobile) can deliver the service to you. You may have experience with some carriers not working in your area, but you would be surprised that with the purchase of a little equipment (such as specialty antennas, signal boosters) you can take something that was non-existent and make it work well. That is a matter of talking to the technician on the phone to have him help you determine if there is a possibility of improving your signal.
*Internet Headquarters USA (ruralinternethq.com)is an authorized re-seller and value-added service provider to all major carriers of mobile voice and data services.