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Thread: Switch to new total plan or keep prepaid?

  1. #1
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    Switch to new total plan or keep prepaid?

    Ultimately, I have 2 questions:

    1. Is there a soft cap on the new USC total unlimited plan after you use the allotted 22 GB, or are you automatically throttled to "2G" speeds thereafter, regardless of network congestion?

    2. When USC throttles to what it describes as "2G" speeds over LTE is this the same as 1X / 128 kbps, or is it a different, greater amount? If so, what kbps?

    I have had a Simple Connect prepaid 6 GB plan. This last month I increased to the 12 GB plan. Looking back at my data usage for the prior three months either I or one of my kids must have removed the android system data limits and I wound up receiving 12 to 14 GB of data on those months. Twice+ what I would have expected.

    So, it would seem the Simple Connect plans did have a soft cap. I haven't pushed beyond the 12 GB I got this month to see if the soft cap turned into a hard throttle or not yet.

    I live way out in the boonies and this is my only viable access to high speed data. No other cell service is functional here and I have to use one of the larger Wilson signal boosters to get 4G with USC.

    Although the 22 GB seems like a better deal on its face, if it's hard capped and I'm going to get throttled to 128 kbps after 22 GB, it seems like I'd be better off sticking with a soft cap on the 12 GB.

  2. #2
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    1. Hard cap. At 22GB you drop speed.
    2. 2G is assumed defined as about up to ~128 Kbps or the max speed of Edge GSM data throughput. Most carriers on LTE throttling are doing 128 Kbps.

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    Not sure where you live but check on other rural high speed providers. More and more are popping up now for rural users. Sister lives in SW WI and they are now serviced by a company out of Iowa via antennae on a silo. LTE. Uncapped. They get 15-18Mb/s in speed. More than enough for streaming for them even. I think they pay around $75/month for it. I know Bug Tussel offers areas also in WI and they are expanding to SW WI now in 2017 (courtesy of ATTs 700 spectrum). US Cellular is also expanding to a rural internet provider per their filings but I haven't heard any specifics on it for plans.

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    Thank you, thxdude21!

    I am so envious of your sister.

    The Oregon border is about ~40 miles north and Eureka, CA is ~65 miles south of me. I'm up the Klamath River ~4 miles from the ocean. Redwood National and State Parks are just north and south. Hills and mountains everywhere to occlude signal. US Cellular is the only carrier that gets any usable data signal to our area.

    Tried Verizon recently because their updated maps claimed 4G out here. Nope. Couldn't even get usable 1X with it sitting in front of the amp for the signal booster.

    The only other wireless in the area is MetroPCS, which I think is on Edge's old towers. Just talk and text out here though.

    The scenery and solitude here make up for the limited cell and nonexistent broadband most days.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by thxdude21 View Post
    Not sure where you live but check on other rural high speed providers. More and more are popping up now for rural users. Sister lives in SW WI and they are now serviced by a company out of Iowa via antennae on a silo. LTE. Uncapped. They get 15-18Mb/s in speed. More than enough for streaming for them even. I think they pay around $75/month for it. I know Bug Tussel offers areas also in WI and they are expanding to SW WI now in 2017 (courtesy of ATTs 700 spectrum). US Cellular is also expanding to a rural internet provider per their filings but I haven't heard any specifics on it for plans.
    What Iowa company is this? I have family in Iowa county paying highway robbery rates with Hughes-Net satellite. I've encouraged them to check out the new USCC unlimited plans, too. Bug Tussel is about 10 miles away from them, unfortunately...

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    Comelec out of Dubuque. They also live in Iowa County.

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    I just spoke with a salesperson at our local USC store and she said that with the unlimited plus plan after you use up your allotted 22 GB then data speeds are throttled to 3g instead of 2g. I can't find any info about that anywhere. Can anyone confirm this?

  8. #8
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    I'm south of you in Redwood Valley (halfway between Ukiah and Willits) in Mendocino County. We're also a former Edge Wireless area, but they have nothing to do with Edge, Metro PCS had their own network, and are part of T-Mobile now (T-Mobile shut down Metro's CDMA network, and converted all the sites to GSM). It's pretty dang beautiful up here in Northwestern California, so true!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by K_Glen View Post
    I just spoke with a salesperson at our local USC store and she said that with the unlimited plus plan after you use up your allotted 22 GB then data speeds are throttled to 3g instead of 2g. I can't find any info about that anywhere. Can anyone confirm this?
    The way it works with Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T, there's a possibility you will be throttled down on busy sites or when the network is congested, speeds will return to normal after things lighten up, but in areas like ours, you may never see that happen to you. I can't imagine USCC making it a "you get to 22, you go to 2G until your next billing period", that wouldn't be wise for them if they want to compete.

    Edit-USCC being boneheaded, I'm not surprised-

    "Unlimited data plans will stream at standard definition speeds and will automatically shift to 2G when each line reaches 22GB. 2GB and 6GB data plans will stream at high definition speeds and will automatically shift to 2G when each line reaches the plans high-speed allotment.
    Read more at https://www.uscellular.com/uscellular/plans/showPlans.jsp#JRmzRmzAiuJpK409.99"



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    Hey, nice to meet you, ilvla2! We just drove through for a Bay Area trip a few days ago and saw the Skunk Train sign. We've been meaning to ride for many years. Our 2 youngest are 16 and 19 and we may have to bribe them, but we're hoping to ride the Northspur Flyer in April or May. June's too dry and warm down there for us! I'll have to check out some of the other links you have too.

    Don't know if you've been north lately, but storm flooding did some serious damage to one of the rail bridges that skirt Humboldt Bay. It's visible from the southbound lanes in the 50 mph safety corridor between Arcata and Eureka. I held out hope they would reopen those tracks for something fun, but it looks less and less likely.

    Thank you for the clarification about Edge.

    My husband managed to blow through 17GB+ of his data Monday night (left it on as a hotspot and not sure what used it all) and it was indeed throttled. He says it was usable to open most web pages, but not good enough to keep him playing online games successfully for very long though.


    Quote Originally Posted by ilvla2 View Post
    I'm south of you in Redwood Valley (halfway between Ukiah and Willits) in Mendocino County. We're also a former Edge Wireless area, but they have nothing to do with Edge, Metro PCS had their own network, and are part of T-Mobile now (T-Mobile shut down Metro's CDMA network, and converted all the sites to GSM). It's pretty dang beautiful up here in Northwestern California, so true!
    Quote Originally Posted by ilvla2 View Post
    The way it works with Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T, there's a possibility you will be throttled down on busy sites or when the network is congested, speeds will return to normal after things lighten up, but in areas like ours, you may never see that happen to you. I can't imagine USCC making it a "you get to 22, you go to 2G until your next billing period", that wouldn't be wise for them if they want to compete.

    Edit-USCC being boneheaded, I'm not surprised-

    "Unlimited data plans will stream at standard definition speeds and will automatically shift to 2G when each line reaches 22GB. 2GB and 6GB data plans will stream at high definition speeds and will automatically shift to 2G when each line reaches the plans high-speed allotment.


  11. #11
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    I have serious doubts about the US Cellular network being able to sustain reasonable network speeds if unlimited takes off. I can barely hit 2 mbps in some areas as is. Most providers have been densifying and turning on new towers/bands, but US Cellular does not seem to be doing much of anything.

  12. #12
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    So wait a minute, didn't good ol' Carlos Slim get sued for this a few years ago? I know it wasn't 22GB, but, same idea?

    Joking aside, it really wouldn't surprise me if their network simply doesn't have the technology to prioritize like the others do, but kicking it straight down to 128k smh....Might as well call it the 22GB plan....I was actually considering using USCC again when they started offering this because they do have native coverage here. Oh well, they STILL don't have BYOD as far as I can tell anyway. They used to be awesome.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by adrenatek View Post
    So wait a minute, didn't good ol' Carlos Slim get sued for this a few years ago? I know it wasn't 22GB, but, same idea?
    I believe StraightTalk didn't have the fine print defining the limits and also claimed there weren't any when pressed about the issue.

    I do agree that the word 'unlimited' seems to not mean what it should. If the Government did their job and protected us from false advertising (cable triple play that advertises as 89.95 but really costs 140+ a month after fees/equipment/etc. comes to mind), that'd be just swell.

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