Unlimited data plans may be a distant memory for most in the US, but the situation is looking much better in Russia. There's perhaps no better example of this than a recent contest orchestrated by MegaFon, the country's second-largest cellular provider. The company challenged its customers to utilize as much data as possible between November 1st, 2011 and January 31st, 2012, offering prizes valued at up to 1 million rubles ($33,000) to those who could hog the most bandwidth. First place would receive an overseas vacation worth 150,000 rubles ($5,000), a reward which ultimately went to a subscriber who pulled down a staggering 419GB in just one week. Keep in mind that this is 3G data we're talking about, and while MegaFon's network is advertised as being capable of 21-megabit-per-second throughput, such an accomplishment clearly took some dedication. Sadly we're offered no details on what the winner was actually putting those resources toward; in terms of legality, we'd wager that might be for the best.
To bring this further into perspective, on both Verizon Wireless and AT&T in the US, customers tied to even the most expensive data tier with either carrier would be slapped with an overage fee exceeding $4,000 for downloading that same amount of content. It's not all bad, though — if Sprint should ever double back on its unlimited ways, salvation could be just a plane ticket away.