If 2 GB is excessive, why is AT&T selling 3-GB mobile data plans?

When AT&T first started throttling unlimited smartphone data users plans last fall, it claimed it had to limit the “extraordinary” consumption of its greediest customers. It turns out extraordinary is only 2 GB – a full gigabyte less than it sells customers under its most-common data plan.

Leading the LTE pack, Verizon doubles data limits

Verizon is tops with 63 percent of the world’s current LTE subscriber base, according to Informa Telecoms & Media. But the U.S. carrier isn’t resting on its laurels. It now offers a promotion that doubles the monthly amount of LTE data for smartphones at no extra charge.

So what is a gigabyte for mobile users, anyway?

Now that the two largest mobile operators in the U.S. have abandoned unlimited data plans for new customers, understanding how much mobile broadband different activities use, is even more important. Here’s a list of guidelines to get you started, as well as a few online resources.

Verizon unplugging unlimited plans July 7

Thirteen months after rival AT&T stopped offering unlimited smartphone data plans, Verizon Wireless is following. New customers on or after July 7 will choose between three tiers of monthly mobile broadband service. Are Verizon’s new data plans better than those from AT&T? That depends on you.

T-Mobile Puts the Asterisk in Unlimited* Data Plans

T-Mobile today announced new smartphone plans that increase in price based on voice minutes and the amount of 4G mobile broadband data a customer wants in a month. Is unlimited with an asterisk still unlimited? Technically, yes, but the definition is getting a little loose.

Wireless Carriers Pitch Dumb Idea to Avoid Being Dumb Pipes

European wireless carriers are resurrecting a failed wireline move and trying to extract more money from the likes of Google, Apple and other web and mobile companies. The operators say the costs of building out their networks to handle growth in traffic is outpacing data revenues.

Flat-Rate Data Plans Are Dead. Is That a Good Thing?

As demand for wireless data grows for smartphones, tablets and other devices, networks are struggling to keep pace while operator margins decline. One solution addresses both problems and help carriers better predict demand: tiered data plans. But will customers buy in that these are good deals?

YouTube to Mobile Operators: Partner Up With Us

Consumers are flocking to mobile YouTube videos, with viewership growing more than 160 percent in 2009 and on pace for similar growth this year. But to keep the service accessible, YouTube is looking to strike partnerships with mobile carriers that would ensure video quality.