60 is the new 40. Republicans are the new John Birchers. Hyundai is the new American car. Corn sugar is the new sugar. And, unlimited data really means only 3-gigabytes.
Has the world gone mad?
Redefining terms to mean what you want them to mean is a tried and true and timeless technique. For dictators, religious zealots, and angry gods. Oh, and AT&T.
The latest redefinition of an obvious term comes from AT&T. If you bought into AT&T’s unlimited plan for the iPhone, then guess what? There’s a limit to unlimited. Starting at 3 gigabytes, AT&T customers on the unlimited plan, using 3G and 4G on their smartphones, will start to see a slowdown.
During your normal monthly billing cycle, as your iPhone’s data usage approaches 3-gigabyte, AT&T will send you a text message reminder. It probably goes something like this:
Dear Valued AT&T Customer
Your unlimited data plan for your smartphone is nearing 3-gigabytes this month. If you continue to use our valuable bandwidth as if it really were unlimited, we’re going to throttle your data speeds back to the 28k dial-up modem era.
This is your first and last notice.
Have a nice day!
When you bought AT&T’s unlimited data plan, what did you think you were getting. Unlimited data usage, right?
unlimited |ˌənˈlimitid| adjective
not limited or restricted in terms of number, quantity, or extent
See? Unlimited doesn’t mean what you think it means. AT&T just redefined unlimited.
To be fair to AT&T (though I don’t have to; are they fair?), I understand their need to have tiered pricing for network usage.
Big data hogs should pay more. Data piglets should pay less. I pay less than $20 a month for unlimited DSL. I checked my usage a few months ago. It seems to average about 15-gigabytes per month.
It’s unlimited. I never hit a limit. They still charge me the same amount. That’s what unlimited means.
That covers a MacBook Air, an iMac, an iPad, and my iPhone. If Sprint has any success with their unlimited plan for iPhone users, expect them to adopt AT&T’s newly minted definition of unlimited.