In the press release, it preambles the throttling section with admission that Sprint is the only awesome unlimited carrier left.
At this time, only Sprint, which owns Virgin Mobile USA, has
truly unlimited postpaid mobile data plans in place.
And yet Virgin Mobile will get hit with a throttling.
Beginning in October 2011, Virgin Mobile will also move to reduce data speeds when a
customer’s data usage exceeds 2.5GB in a month but still provide unlimited 3G access
without a contract, usage cap, overage or activation fees. Based on current usage patterns,
fewer than 3 percent of Virgin Mobile USA customers use more than 2.5GB of data usage
per month. After reaching this level, this minority of customers may experience slower page
loads, file downloads and streaming media. When a customer’s next month begins, the data
usage meter starts back at zero with unlimited 3G speeds.
– via 9to5Google
Anyone using over 2.5GB will simply have their speed reduced but not capped. That’s great. The reduction will still end up being faster than, say dial-up, and faster than slow DSL connections, as 265Kbps is probably fast enough for most work.
Overall, this isn’t a big deal as all major carriers are doing it. Nobody saw phones data usage exploding ten years ago; that’s when they needed to have started in order to make it happen now. At least the throttling is reasonable and if it means they can sell more phones but maintain service, well, that’s probably fine too.