By now there’s been ample time to digest the consequences of AT&T’s 2 gigabyte data cap initiated earlier this summer. Would it be too little? Are the prices fair? These were some of the questions that only time and usage could aptly answer. Well, I’ve done the time, and I’ve certainly put in my fair share of mileage on my iPhone 4 to be able to draw a conclusion.

At $25 for 2,048 MB of data, that amounts to about .01220703 cents per megabyte. So a little over a penny per megabyte. Sounds fair enough. But cost was never the huge factor in my worries about AT&T’s new guidelines, real world usage was. In other words, how would my normal usage be affected by these new rules? Would I always have the data cap in the back of my mind causing me to stress unnecessarily? That’s something I didn’t want to have to put up with…

Well time and usage have indeed provided a satisfying answer to the primary question at hand. That answer is a resounding no. In real world day-to-day usage, the data cap has failed to impact me at all. In fact, it’s saved me about $10 dollars a month since I maintain a family plan with another iPhone user – my wife.

The worry factor is a thing of the past as well, because not once have either of us come close to going over our allotted amount of data. And even if one of us did happen to venture over the 2GB for some bizarre reason, the $10 we saved from the cheaper plan would essentially pay the fee for the extra data anyway

I consider myself to be a power user. I’m jailbroken and I take my iPad wherever I go. Hence, I use MyWi constantly to feed my iPad’s Wi-Fi connection while out on the road. Why pay extra for the iPad 3G model along with another data plan when the iPhone already provides you with such generous capabilities?

I also happen to be a moderate Pandora user, a constant emailing, app-downloading, and blogging data hog. Regardless of all of that activity, I think I’ve broken the 1 GB threshold, perhaps once. Granted, the ubiquity of Wi-Fi has helped my cause considerably, and while at home I stay on Wi-Fi as well. But doesn’t everyone?

For those of you who are still riding the fence because of AT&T’s data restrictions, get off the fence already and get in the game. Eventually all of the major carriers will implement similar restrictions anyway, so you might as well get used to the thought. Indeed, I was once a skeptic, but time and usage have proven that there’s more than enough data to go around for the average user.

  • I have had my iPhone since July 23 and I’ve went through 18.3GB down and 1GB up since then. I’m glad I kept the unlimited data plan.

  • Eric

    Wow. I use 16,000 to 18,000 mb per month. Dont know how you’re a power user. Or if you are. Then what the he’ll am I? Lol. Luckily I still have unlimited data. Wouldn’t even want an iPhone now. Couldn’t use the damn the thing.

    • Jeff

      18 GB? What in the world are you doing? Is that your primary internet connection? I consider myself a power user meaning that I use my 3G connection every day for work for hours at a time. I don’t stream video every day, but I do stream quite a bit of music.

    • Will

      it’s funny when you’re saying “more data I use” = “a more power user I am” lol, totally nonsense.

  • Kev

    I know where you are coming from, Sebastien, but Ideally I would really like to be able to stream music / tv / video when not near a wifi connection at least for a reasonably small time without worrying about going over my 1 gig (uk vodaphone, o2 is 500mb) limit. I recently left Grooveshark streaming by accident, not for a great deal of time, maybe a couple of hours, and got a warning. I don’t need that when I am paying £30 a month for the priveledge. Also, what the heck is the point of having 3g capable apps like sky sports, slingplayer, tvcatchup etc etc when you can’t even use them properley?

    • Not Sebastien… Jeff wrote this. He’s our new guy. Still on trial so don’t be too harsh on him 😉

  • JB

    The problem isn’t “real life”, the problem is users like me who utilize tethering to connect a laptop to the iPhone 4. I regularly use remote desktop applications and download large files for supporting my users.

    I regularly exceed 2Gb in a normal billing cycle. AT&T would have me paying through the nose if I downgraded my plan.

    • Jeff

      I regularly use tethering as well, every day even. But I use that connection to browse the web, use Google Docs, check Twitter, Reeder, Update my blog, etc. That admittedly doesn’t use that much data. In general most people aren’t going to be downloading large files simply because 3G is too inherently slow to do so. You’re case is more of the exception, otherwise I’d guess there would be more of a huge outcry from people with massive bills who don’t have unlimited data. It’s relatively quiet on that front.

  • Over

    Oh!… I use data plan: 1GB for 3 Euro(4,09 USD) or Unlimited data for 6 Euro(8,19 USD)
    Here in Slovakia…

  • I still have my unlimited data plan and I don’t plan to downgrade anytime soon. Let’s be honest, smartphones, especially the iPhone, will be more and more data hungry and I don’t want to be at this point next year where I say to myself “I should have stayed on the unlimited plan”.

  • Lequang242

    17gb and counting

  • Iconic

    It would be sweet if wifi actually worked on the iPhone 4

  • Spizikes

    50 gb and counting!!! Hehe. I love unlimited videos and netflix!!! Stream movies all day long and oh yeah, FACETIME on 3G!!! Thank goodness for the unlimited plan being grandfathered over!!!

    • I believe this to be the most valid reason yet of why a person would reject a limited data plan, not that ATT cares for this reason, but jailbreak users. Many apps that jailbreak users might want to utilize are data consumers, this facetime over 3g for example. Not to mention the rising acceptance of stream-line apps such as Hulu, Netflix, and the ONN. As iPhone screens take on a higher resolution and our data connections increase in quality we’ll want to do more. Take ustream for example. There are many who stream from their iPhones. Imagine higher frame-rates, higher quality lenses, and faster data connections; I could see that unlimited data plan coming into importance quite fast.

  • Jeff

    I definitely wouldn’t downgrade if I already had unlimited, but for those who don’t you shouldn’t feel that bad.

  • Nelson

    I hope they bring back unlimmited plans once the AT&T 4G network is up.

  • Dan

    The 2GB cap totally DESTROYS mi iPhone experience. I’m a heavy music streamer- in car and at home. What’s the point of having an account with Rhapsody? Went over limit twice already since June.

    I hate this situation. Always stresses me out. Freakin AT&T…

  • Derrick

    25 gigs and still another 8 days left in my billing cycle. It is my main Internet connection and I rarely if ever am around wifi. I’m in a remote area and they don’t run cable back my road.

    I consider myself on the extreme end of the spectrum and I’m sure AT&T hates me. I would pay a lot if not for unlimited. Before the jailbreak I used 20 gigs on the phone itself (no tethering)

  • Derrick

    using nextlix, g4, & revision3 apps suck up quite a bit of data in a day. A gig easily. You don’t need a jailbreak for any and video will only get higher resolution.

  • Ryan21

    40gb so no 2 won’t do for me

  • Jon Garrett

    Im one of the lucy ones with $30 unlimited. I used to leave my phone downloading torrents over night with mywi.

  • brent

    I’m on the unlimited plan and my iPhone tether is my primary internet connection (outside of work) and I use 4-6gb a month. I could burn through a lot more but I have that 5gb soft cap in the back of my mind. All of you guys that say you’re using 17, 50, 25, and 40gb, have you not run into any problems with AT&T? I guess some of you may be outside the U.S.

    • Derrick

      I live in the states and haven’t had any problems from AT&T. Been using around 20 gigs a month for a over a year now. Pdanet and mywi. (used both of them)

      I used to have the 5 gig soft cap in my mind too but after awhile I decided to ignore it.

      • brent

        Interesting. Good to know. I’ve always wondered…IF they were to enforce that 5gb cap, how does the contract not contradict itself? They use the word “unlimited” to name the data plan. As far as I know “unlimited” is not open to interpretation. It means there is no limit. Then within the verbiage of the contract they attempt to put a LIMIT on data usage. And is that not false advertising? (at least back when they still offered/advertised the unlimited plan)

    • Z

      That’s why it’s called unlimited =)
      I used to go through 100gigz a month easy before I got wifi. Now it’s down to 25mb per week lol 3G is too slow in comparison with my wifi connection, so I rarely use it.

  • JB fiend

    At&T only did that data plan shit because they wanted to kill off people who use a lot of the internet like you guys and girls. I don’t blame you, you pay for your data plan, so you have the right to do what ever you want with it. Saying that, It’s YOURS, why should I be limited or you people be limited on what the fuck you could do with it. AT&T is F’ up because by cutting off those unlimited plans, they want their 3G network to go as smooth as possible, but if so, take all the $ your raping people with and make a better service to handle heavy users. I use T-Mobile so I don’t get 3G but that Edge has actually been quicker than AT&T’s Edge and 3G at times. I guess I have to blame you all for the slowness lol

    If AT&T really wanted to give us choice, they should have made the plan only 20$ not give me 5 less for basically no choice in using Pandora and other stuff. I have wifi around in school and my house, but seriously not everyone does and do I really feel like a person having to run over to starbucks every time I want to do something. I think you should all keep your Unlimited plans. If I had $ to pay my bill like I use to maybe I’d still be on AT&T today. Than again, I love having the choice to do what ever I please with my company wanted to kill me.

  • Mao

    For those of you want to get the unlimited data plan back. go to the link below and see how they do the trick. I tried it last month and it still works.

    http://www.funkyspacemonkey.com/toget-unlimited-data-plan-att

  • Romuald Czajkowski

    Actually, $25 (or 2,500 cents) for 2,048 MB equals 1.2207 cents/MB. Here in Canada, I have my iPhone 4 on Rogers network and I pay $30 for 6 GB. That translates to 0.488 cents/MB. Looks like AT&T customers pay 2.5 times more per MB of data than Rogers customers.

  • JB Fiend

    @ Romuald Czajkowski
    We pay more for everything for someone reason but were at this moment ” broke ” funny right

  • tom

    Im grandfathered in on the unlimited plan and have no plans to walk away from it just yet. Im keeping track of my useage over the course of several months to see exactly what i do or dont use. then i’ll decide whether to leave things as they are or make the switch.

  • 411monk

    The best fix for the new limited data plans is for AT&T to apply their roll over program to data.

    • Tal

      I was just thinking that!

  • lmhaeften

    @411monk that is the best idea ever. I hate AT&T and cannot use less than 2GB a month…its ridiculous…I kinda can’t wait to switch to Verizon if they get an iPhone I don’t care, I’ll pay the cancellation fee as long as I am not capped on data.