Unlimited Data

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So, I'm curious if people here have a rasonable explanation as to why most phone companie don't provide unlimited data access with their service. Not here and not in the US. And I don't mean the small outfits who have no choice but to do it. Any thoughts?
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Chris Petersens

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Posted 5 years ago

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Rocky Balboa

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Prevent the network from being overused whichc an cause serious lag. Also, if you give any consumer unlimited data why wouldn't they stream movies or downlaod excessively?What that being said, if you consider charging a flat rate for this unlimited data how much money would a wireless company lose in revenue?The revenue any wireless company needs to pay its employees,expand the network especially which is most costly. Keep in mind I think its about $150,000 per cell phone tower.
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Jorden, Mobile Master

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Beat me to it, saying pretty much the same stuff lol.
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Jorden, Mobile Master

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My understanding is it's a bit of two factors.

1) Money. If offered they have no means to charge more than whatever the unlimited price is set at, decreasing profits as there is such a demand for data these days.

2) Network congestion. For example I went to a U2 concert in Edmonton a few years ago. My data simply did not work at the stadium (70,000+ there I believe). With data caps right now it keeps people from using data for everything (hotspots, netflix etc) all the time whenever they want, allowing bandwidth to be freed up for the other users. There's only so much one tower can do at one time.
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Technically, the reason is that the carriers can only operate their service on a limited number of frequencies. Each frequency can only support a limited number of simultaneous users before it gets saturated and quality of service degrades to zero. Unlimited data would likely saturate their frequencies as people would drop their ISP or WiFi as they could use cellular data "everywhere" at anytime with no caps.

Unlike wired Internet Service Providers (DSL, cable), if their lines get saturated, they simply need to add a new pipe or light up an inactive optical fibre to add additional capacity. Carriers can't just use a different frequency because that would be illegal (and they would possibly hijack a frequency being used for other purposes).

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