AT&T and Verizon’s speeds start to recover after launch of unlimited data

Cell tower FM radio
The mobile world is going unlimited, and that’s largely seen as a very good thing for consumers as we continue to stream videos from Netflix and connect to more and more smart devices. It’s a bit tough on carriers though. According to a report from OpenSignal, which monitors and reports on networks, the likes of AT&T and Verizon have been feeling the pain of their unlimited data plans, which were launched almost a year ago.

The report notes that unlimited plans do come with a performance hit, and in August OpenSignal’s State of Mobile Networks report mentioned that Verizon had seen an average drop of 2Mbps in LTE download speeds. AT&T’s average speed was down by 1Mbps. Now, however, it seems like things have changed a little — and for the better.

After six months of measuring decreases in LTE speeds, OpenSignal now says that both Verizon’s and AT&T’s speeds have leveled out — and Verizon’s speeds have even started going back up. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’ve fully recovered — on the contrary, the speeds were still far lower in November than they were in February.

But what about Sprint and T-Mobile? They’ve been doing great. T-Mobile‘s average speed was around 3Mbps faster than Verizon’s in November making it the fastest network out there, and while Sprint’s speed is still much lower than anyone else’s, it has been closing the gap significantly.

All this to say — now that Verizon and AT&T have stopped the plummetting of their data speeds, it will be interesting to see if that can make a comeback.

There are a few reasons why unlimited data plans affect overall data speeds. With more customers on unlimited plans, more data is being used — and greater demand on a cell tower causes the network to slow down. It’s kind of like a highway — the more cars there are, the slower the traffic goes.

What carriers need to do in the future is basically increase the bandwidth on their networks, and that’s very likely to happen given the rise of 5G networks and the fact that more and more people are getting plans with more data allowances. All the major networks are in the process of deploying their first 5G networks, with AT&T recently touting that it will be among the first to bring the new tech to consumers.

Computing

How 5G networks will make low-latency game streaming a reality

Faster speeds and more bandwidth are some of the many promises that 5G can deliver, but for gamers, the most important thing is low latency. To achieve low latency, carriers like AT&T and Verizon are exploring hybrid models for game…
Mobile

5G's arrival is transforming tech. Here's everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Mobile

The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G might be a few short weeks away from launch

Samsung has announced a whopping four new Galaxy S10 devices, from the low-cost S10e to the triple-camera S10 and S10 Plus. But it's the Galaxy S10 5G that steals the show as it's among the first 5G-ready smartphones to hit the market.
Computing

USB4 will be the fastest and most uniform USB standard yet

USB4 is on the horizon and alongside a massive boost in speed it's also unifying with the Thunderbolt 3 standard to help finally create a singular wired connection protocol that all devices can enjoy.
Mobile

This is the easiest way to save your iPhone data to your computer

Living in fear of losing your contacts, photos, messages, and notes on your iPhone? Fear no more -- in this guide, we'll break down exactly how to back up your iPhone to your computer using Apple's iTunes or to the cloud with iCloud.
Wearables

The Tacs Nato-Lens is a watch for those who live life through a camera lens

Not all watches have to be round, or connect to your phone. The Tacs Nato-Lens is a stylish piece of wristwear with a design inspired by classic SLR cameras, making it a geeky timepiece for the camera and watch fan.
Product Review

The new iPad Mini isn’t a beauty, but it performs like a beast

Apple’s new iPad Mini has beastly performance, fluid iOS 12 software, and good battery life. It also looks like it came straight out of 2015, because the design hasn’t been changed. Here's our review of Apple’s 7.9-inch tablet.
Mobile

HMD Global admits Nokia 7 Plus handsets sent user data to China

Nokia could be in some hot water. According to recent reports, Nokia 7 models may be secretly sending data to China without the user knowing about it. Nokia says that the issue was a software bug and that it has been fixed.
Mobile

Here are the best iPad Pro keyboard cases to pick up with your new tablet

The iPad Pro range can double as laptops, but they do need proper keyboards to fill in effectively. Thankfully, there are loads to choose from and we rounded up the best iPad Pro keyboard cases right here.
Mobile

24 must-have apps for rooted Android phones and tablets

Rooting your Android device opens up a world of possibilities, along with a few apps. Here are 24 of our favorites, so you can make the most of your rooted device and unleash the true power of Android.
Mobile

Wring the most out of iOS with the best commands for Siri

You may not know all the things you can say to Siri -- after all, Apple never released an official list of commands for its virtual assistant. Thankfully, we've compiled a list of the best Siri commands to help you out.
Computing

Breeze through security with these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags

Getting through airport security is a drag, but your laptop bag shouldn’t be. Thankfully, these checkpoint-friendly laptop bags will get you and your gear to your destination with ease.
Mobile

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.
Wearables

Alpina makes its AlpinerX smartwatch even more attractive with new colors

Alpina has introduced four new colors to its AlpinerX smartwatch range, breaking the usually sporty watch out into a more everyday casual design, and given the tech a slight makeover too.