The options for unlimited data are getting smaller by the day it seems, and today, in the words of Queen, another one bites the dust. NET10 has announced that effective March 1, 2013, all AT&T SIM cards on its network will be limited to 1.5GB of high-speed data a month, even though you are technically on the "unlimited plan." This restriction is reportedly due to AT&T placing data caps on its MVNOs, which in effect, just T-Mobile yet another huge advantage. Customers using a T-Mobile SIM with NET10 will still receive unlimited data.
"Effective March 1, 2013, NET10 Wireless Bring Your Own Phone (BYOPâ„¢) AT&T-compatible SIMs will be limited to 1.5GB of high speed data usage per 30 day period on the Unlimited plan," the company said in a blog post. "Any redemption made prior to March 1st will not be affected by this policy."
It's never been 100 percent clear as to how much data you can actually go through on NET10 before being throttled, so it's all together possible that this cap has just been lowered from before. In order to try to lessen this blow for its customers, NET10 is offering a free T-Mobile SIM card to anyone looking to make the switch.
As to whether this will affect other MVNOs remains to be seen. StraightTalk, which is run by the same people as NET10 has yet to announce any sort of cap similar to this, so if we all cross our fingers, maybe StraightTalk won't be hurt. Though, it's worth noting that StraightTalk has been sold out of AT&T SIM cards for quite a while now, but the carrier promises that they will make a return at some point.
The abolishment of unlimited data on nearly every carrier out there is certainly disappointing. It was to be expected though, as more and more people adopt the modern smartphones, carriers have not made the necessary improvements to the network to handle the increased load. Take the iPhone for instance. When the original model launched back in 2007, it crippled AT&T's network in large cities. Now, the networks have improved greatly, but how? By limiting data usage, among other things. It used to be that every carrier offered an unlimited plan that was rather cheap, now it's hard to come by.
Are you still on an unlimited data plan? What carrier? Let us know down in the comments!