WSJ: Apple 4G LTE and Data Caps on New iPad is a “Speed Trap”

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Apple offers an ultra-fast 4G LTE connectivity for its new iPad, which enables users to stream their favorite online videos in a jiffy. However, many of them found out that the feature is also a data hog. In an article written by Anton Troianovski on The Wall Street Journal last Wednesday:

“It has only been five days since users of Apple Inc.’s newest iPad first took the device out of the box. Some are now finding just how quickly the promise of superfast wireless connections collides with what the reality of those services cost.”

The Truth behind 4G LTE Connectivity

The news made a buzz when owner of the new iPad Brandon Wells claimed that he burned his entire 2GB monthly 4G data allotment from Verizon after streaming just two hours of March Madness college basketball. Now, the carrier requires him to pay $10 for every extra gigabyte he used after exceeding his $30-per-month data plan.

However, streaming videos over 4G as a data hog shouldn’t come in as a surprise. According to Verizon, streaming a high-definition video using the LTE connectivity to a Retina display-capable iPad can consume 2GB of data per hour. That’s why it’s advisable to stream and save data via Wi-Fi network, if possible. Moreover, Verizon shared that customers can either go easy with their monthly data allotments or get higher data plans.

Verizon and AT&T are the only carriers that offer Apple’s devices with 4G LTE connectivity. However, they also implement data caps that other users find to be too restrictive. In turn, their consumers are caught off-guard whenever they stream data-intensive files.

The Journal describes the combination of 4G LTE connectivity and data caps as a “quandary of wireless carriers.” It was also noted in the article that carriers are “banking on mobile video” to entice users to buy 4G-capable devices.

“The carriers, suffering from a decline in voice-calling revenues, hope that LTE boosts monthly bills for wireless service, and they charge by the amount of data consumed.”

Because of the data cap implemented by carriers, users cannot enjoy much of the latest tablet’s high-resolution screen and fast connection to watch videos online. Regardless, this issue boils down to one thing: Someone has to give. It’s either consumers will have to get used to paying more, or wireless carriers will be pressured to rethink their pricing models.

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