Tmobile Throttles Unlimited Data Plans, Forbids Tethering

Tmobile is going after technically inclined customers who use their cellphones as a cheap wireless modem with a two-pronged approach.

One, if you’re on the unlimited data plan, your web browsing speed will get slowed down after going over 5 GB a month. Two, according to a screenshot obtained by Tmo News, T-Mobile sent around an internal memo to employees reminding them that customers using their phone as a modem, known as “tethering,” are breaking the T-Mo terms and conditions, for now. They will be introducing new “tethering” plans in November.

While they’re at it, they should think of a different term besides “unlimited.”

Warning, heavy users: T-Mobile just now turning on data throttling? [Engadget]
T-Mobile Says Tethering Not Permitted, Will Support In The Near Future [Tmo News]

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  1. obits3 says:

    “While they’re at it, they should think of a different term besides ‘unlimited.'”

    You forget that it is only wrong when customers lie to companies (tethering).

    Companies lying to customers (saying unlimited and then limiting data/speeds) is just good marketing.

    • Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:


    • erciesielski says:

      No one’s really lying. They’re just slowing down the data for heavy users, not cutting them off. And for the record, 5GB in a month on a cell phone is HUGE. I consider myself to be a heavy data user on my MyTouch. You tube videos, web site visits, emails, pictures… and last month I used 750MB. That’s less than a sixth of the amount I’d have to use before I have something to worry about.

      • astraelraen says:

        You could hit 5GB a month really easy legitimately if you used your phone for even a small portion of your daily use.

        I mow the yard 4 times a month for 1-2 hours each time and use my Droid X as my audio player. I usually stream pandora or while doing it. I’ve checked my usage before and after using the Verizon App and it is approximately 200-300MB for 2 hours of streaming music.

        If you used your cellphone to stream music more frequently… at work… at home… if you use public transit, all month long. You could easily hit 5GB completely legitimately.

        • domcolosi says:

          Not to doubt you, but that’s an average of 2.5 MB/s, or 20 Mb/s. Verizon’s advertised 3G speed is something like 3 Mb/s, and most sites report the actual average speed at about 0.6-1.4 Mb/s.

          So, how are you downloading at over 6 times Verizon’s maximum speed?

          Also, why is Pandora sending you music at 20,000 kbps bitrate? I don’t even know if that makes sense!

          • astraelraen says:

            I just am telling you the numbers the Verizon Mobile app is telling me.

            I used 1.3GB last billing month. My summarized activity for the whole month is:
            Stream music for approximately 16 hours
            Surf internet
            Exchange email
            Download a total of maybe 90? apps a throughout the month. (had a few recovery snafu’s and had to reformat)

            All of that activity was done over a combination of Wifi & 3G, except for streaming music, that was all 3G usage.

            • SolidSquid says:

              So these numbers are a result derived from Verizon math? This might explain any disparities between the results

          • DataRaider says:

            “Not to doubt you, but that’s an average of 2.5 MB/s, or 20 Mb/s. “

            domcolosi, your math is messed up. If he’s transfering 300MB in 2 hours, that’s 2.5 MB/m or .042 MB/s (which is about 43KB/s). 300/2 = 150 MB/h 150/60 = 2.5MB/m 2.5/60=0.0416… MB/s (wasn’t sure how to do the repeating 6 without drawing a line above it). That’s well below the .6 – 1.4MB/s 3G speed you stated.

            • DataRaider says:

              Ops. Forgot to switch from bytes to bits. The 0.0416 MB/s = 0.33 Mb/s, still half of the .6 Mb/s you stated.

        • Destron says:

          I stream pandora and every single solitary day at work, 12 hours a day, and I use about 1.8 GB a month. I also use you tube heavily.

        • gman863 says:


          After Hurricane Ike my cable broadband was out for over two weeks. I teathered my AT&T 3G phone to my notebook PC as a backup during this time.

          Luckily I was smart enough to call AT&T at the beginning and upgrade to the unlimited data plan. Between e-mails, web surfing and Windows Updates (no NetFlix, no music downloads) my data usage was almost 16GB!

      • obits3 says:

        If 5 GB is so huge that it doesn’t make a difference, then why don’t they say “5 GB of data” in thier commercials?

        Answer: They don’t say “5 GB of data” because anyone on the street could tell you that Unlimited GB is greater than 5 GB.

        What do you call it when I tell you that a product has some quality (but it really doesn’t)?

        Fraudulent Misrepresentation

        • obits3 says:

          As a follow up, the use of “unlimited” is NOT puffery:
          Simply put, companies like Verizon and T-Mobile cannot say that they are using puffery because Sprint has unlimited plans that truly have no limit. Since there are plans that have no limit, a reasonable person would conclude that unlimited = no limit.

          • Destron says:

            Yupp sprints truly unlimited – except for this little clause

            Excessive Utilization of Network Resources: Wireless and Wireline networks have capacity limits and all customers can suffer from degraded or denied service when one or a small group of users consumes disproportionate amounts of network resources. Sprint Nextel, therefore, will monitor both overall network performance and individual resource consumption to determine if any user is consuming a disproportionate amount of available resources and creating the potential to disrupt or degrade the Sprint Nextel network or network usage by others. While the determination of what constitutes excessive use depends on the specific state of the network at any given time, excessive use is determined by resource consumption relative to that of a typical individual user of the Service and not by the use of any particular application.

            That right there is their license to shut you down any time they see fit. And I have seen it happen. So you can not say ANY carrier is truly unlimited. The carriers that have defined limits are just up front about what they are, sprint is not.

            • obits3 says:

              Ok, you got me there, but I do think that there is a material difference between “after 5GB we’re gonna slow you down” and “we might have to shut you down if you risk taking down part of our network.”

              For example, air is for the most part unlimited, but in sometimes (e.g. trapped in a room) we have to throttle air consumption. We only throttle when it is necessary, not because of some arbitrary limit.

              • Rena says:

                Air is unlimited, but if you consume more than 20L in a day, we’ll be throttling down the rate that air is supplied to your pod. Have a nice day.

        • erciesielski says:

          Because there is no limit. Like I said, they aren’t cutting you off, they’re just slowing you down. You can still access the internet after you hit 5GB, it’ll just be slower. If they advertised “5GB at full 3G speed” then there would be a problem.

          • obits3 says:

            Here’s a good one:


            Take a look at this statement:

            “Stream YouTubeâ„¢ and other video files at blazing speeds”

            The “blazing” part is puffery, but the “Stream” part has real meaning. Basically, I should be able to push play and see it play without interruption as long as I stay in the coverage area. If they slow down my data, then it will not “Stream.” That purposeful slowdown is what I would call lying.

            • erciesielski says:

              They’re not disabling streaming. You will still be able to watch all the video you want. Just slower. It will take longer to buffer but you won’t see any drop in quality. As far as streaming content, back when the oil spill was still active I used the ustream app to watch the video feed. After a month of watching 4-5 hours a day 3-4 days a week, I had used up less than 4GB of data.

              It’s just the same as a buffet. Most people are reasonable and understand all-you-can-eat means all-you-can-eat reasonably. But there’s those few hogs who pay for lunch and then stay through dinner taking up space in the booth and then ask for a doggie bag. They’re the reason buffets have time limits.

              You’d really have to work hard at it (and probably break some TOS rules) to get up to 5GB. In my opinion, for the vast majority of users out there, the only reason you would ever get up to 5GB is just to prove you can. And if that’s the case, you absolutely should be throttled. For the rest, that sucks. But just adjust your usage habbits a bit or deal with the slower speed. Just be reasonable and understand “unlimited” isn’t an invitation to be a data gluton.

              • obits3 says:

                “It will take longer to buffer…”

                That’s my point. True streaming video does not have a noticeable buffer. For example, do you see your TV buffer to watch NBC? No. It just seems to run smoothly. That is streaming. If you have to pause the video because they slowed down your data, then you are not streaming anymore.

                • SabreDC says:

                  Actually, there is no such definition of streaming that means you’re able to watch without delay. Streaming simply means that the content is being sent while it is being viewed. If there is a longer buffering period, it’s still streaming video.

                  • myinternetalias says:

                    Actually, there is such a definition, and it is the main definition for the noun ‘stream’: A flowing liquid, a steady current. That means no interruptions.

                    In communications, a stream means a continuous transmission of data. That also means no interruptions.

                    References below.


                    • SabreDC says:

                      Buffering delay does not imply non-continuous. Let’s say, for example, that you’re downloading a video stream from a server at 4mbps. Now, the network gets congested and the throughput drops to 250kbps. You’ll likely experience a delay on your end because you’ll view as much data as received and the system will wait for more. But the stream is still continuous because it never ended, it just slowed down. It might delay while it is being downloaded, but the data stream is still open and active.

          • mindaika says:

            Perhaps this will help:

            Is there a usage limit for normal data speeds? If yes, limit=exists, and plan is not “unlimited.”

          • MarvinMar says:

            SO you would be happy with your car, that is advertised to get 30 MPG, but that only count for the first 300 miles per tank traveled at 75 MPH. After that, you will still get 30 MPG, but where going to throttle you to a max speed of 35 MPH.

            We did not LIE, you still get 30 MPG, just some of those MPG take longer to drive.
            I drive all the time, I consider myself a heavy driver, and I never need to drive more that 200 mile a month, so you shouldn’t either… Right?

            • erciesielski says:

              I know that there’s likely no one who will read this since this post is old and dead, but I just had to reply here.

              No. You can’t do that. Picking some inane, impossible in the real world hypothetical out of your imagination is not the way to make a good argument. But lets just forget that for a moment and think about why this argument is flawed-

              1) There is a very real reason T-Mobile wants to throttle heavy users- because they want to make sure that their network remains available for the rest of their subscribers. Their business also needs to remain profitable. Your imaginary car company would get no benefit by slowing down your car.

              2) We’re talking about a service (data connectivity) not a product (cars). Service involves two active parties, the consumer and the provider. Once a product is purchased, the relationship between the consumer and provider is finished (except in cases of warranty, recalls and such, but that doesn’t matter here). When consuming a service, the use of the service has a direct effect on the provider- the provider has to keep providing. There’s no such relationship after a car is purchased.

              3) T-Mobile is not advertising data connectivity at any particular speed. They’re advertising data connectivity that will not be taken away once the consumer reaches a certain limit. Reducing the speed of a data connection does not constitute placing a limit on data consumption. Granted, the argument can be made that the amount of data that can be consumed in a particular time period is being limited by T-Mobile throttling the speed, however, with that argument it can also be said that there was a limit on the amount of data which could be consumed BEFORE the speed throttling was put in place. In fact, using this logic, one could argue that the concept of any service being “unlimited” is in fact not possible in any situation because there will always be a natural limit placed on any given service by the rate at which it is possible to consume the service and the passing of time. Thus, the argument that limiting the total amount of data that can be consumed by placing a limit on the speed said data is delivered is flawed and invalid.

              4) MPG isn’t determined by car companies. It’s determined by a government agency, the EPA. If the car you described behaved in the manner you describe, the EPA would need to reflect that stipulation in their MPG rating, either with a footnote or by lowering the car’s MPG rating.

              But let’s imagine for a moment that your analogy is logically sound. No. I would not be upset. At least, as long as the car company handles it the same way that T-Mobile is. That is to say, if I was shopping for a car and I chose the model you described. The car company would need to disclose the terms at which the 30 MPG can be achieved, just as T-Mobile is. If I was foolish enough to purchase the car anyway, or even worse, not read the materials provided before i signed a contract with the dealership, I would only have myself to blame.

      • jmhart says:

        That’s missing the point.

        It’s called unlimited, it should be unlimited. It has nothing to do with how much YOU (self described average) use your data. If it’s called unlimited, it should be suitable for even the heaviest user.

        Logic FAIL

        • Necoras says:

          It is unlimited. They aren’t stopping you from using more data, just how fast you are using it. Again though, 5GB is quite a bit. I’m a t-mobile user who tethered every day for quite a while, plus using pandora, and downloading video, audio books, etc. on my phone. My highest usage was in the 2-3GB range. To go over that you’d really almost have to be torrenting. It makes sense to slow the service when it becomes clear that it’s being used in a manner not compliant with the EULA. I’m perfectly fine with the throttling. I am not okay with my unlimited service being cut off completely at some capped level, nor am I okay with having to pay for more data after a certain cap.

          • dangermike says:

            When you’re driving around in a car and they local municipalities have post signs to inform you of a maximum allowable speed on a given road, they call those speed limits.

            Similarly, if your data provider is clamping the data rate transfer, that is a limit.

            Chances are, “unlimited” will be followed by an asterisk, and that asterisk will link to a long, legalese-ridden explanation of just what limits are imposed on their unlimited service.

            • SabreDC says:

              But we’re not talking about highways. That isn’t even remotely similar. Those are state and federal laws.

              T-mobile advertises “Unlimited data and email” on their website and specifically refers to the amount of data that you can transmit/receive, not the speed at which it is sent/received. You can’t just apply the “unlimited” definition on something that they never advertised was unlimited.

              How can the speed even be unlimited?

              • crazydavythe1st says:

                The laws of physics apparently don’t apply when many Consumerist readers get in a huff about a subject that they obviously have no clue about :)

                • RvLeshrac says:

                  “Unlimited” means there are no limits. Once you impose a limit, it is no longer “Unlimited.” It doesn’t matter if that limit is 5gb/mo or “Connections no longer than 8 hours/day,” the plan is no longer “unlimited.”

                  In this case, as with all cellphone plans, there’s a 5gb cap, after which your throughput is limited.

                  I guarantee that they’ll also send you a C&D, like Comcast, if you reach their next arbitrary limit.

                  • crazydavythe1st says:

                    When they refer to unlimited data plans, there is almost always fine print that describes this as being an unlimited amount of data transfer, not unlimited speed.

                    Now fine print is often considered to be a bad thing, but in this case it is necessary due to people like you. Due to the laws of physics, an unlimited data transfer RATE is impossible. There’s historical precedence for this too. Since the first unlimited internet plans in the mid to late 90s, unlimited has ALWAYS referred to the amount of data transferred. For those not in the know, that’s why there is fine print. I imagine anyone with any technical background is just astounded that this is even considered a story.

                    Complain all you want, T-mobile’s data plan policies are more generous than ANY other U.S. provider.

                  • SabreDC says:

                    But no one ever advertised it being unlimited speed. That’s impossible. From the beginning, it has been advertised as unlimited data transferred each month and that still stands.

                    • Rena says:

                      But if they impose a speed limit, does that not also limit the amount of data you can transfer? “Unlimited” means you should be able to use the system to its full capacity 24/7. Imposing an arbitrary speed limit prevents this, and thus it can no longer be called “unlimited”.

                      (Yes, physics and the capacity of the system also impose speed limits, so if you want to be pedantic, nothing can ever be called “unlimited”. That doesn’t really change the point.)

                    • s73v3r says:

                      Yes, they did. There were understood physical limitations, but it was also assumed that by “unlimited,” they wouldn’t be placing any other arbitrary limitations on me. By doing so, they should not be able to sell it as “unlimited.”

          • Pax says:

            A lSpeed (or “throughput”) limit is still just that … a limit.

            Other than the capabilities of the hardware, there should be NO limits on an UNlimited plan.

        • ShadowFalls says:

          Unlimited means without limits. If you limit any point, you are not upholding your usage of the word “unlimited”. Since there are technical restrictions to the speed, your accepted limit is what the device can do under normal circumstances.

          Once the company throttles the speed, it is now “limited” as opposed to being unlimited.. Even though they claim “Unlimited data”, once they throttle your speed, you can no longer use the unlimited as claimed. Once they apply their restrictions, the total amount of data you were possible of using is no longer possible.

          Also to note about 5GB being a lot of data. Not in a month it is not. Depending on your bandwidth, it isn’t hard to use that much in 15 minutes.

      • Difdi says:

        Still, they shouldn’t sell “unlimited” if they put limits on it. If they want to limit the plan to 5GB at full speed then reduced speed after that, they should advertise the plan that way.

        • sparkypinball says:

          I am a T-Mobile customer, and I read my contract. The 5GB before being throttled, but still able to access the internet is clearly stated in the terms of the Unlimited Data plan. You have unlimited access up to 5GB, after 5GB, you are throttled, but still able to access at reduced speeds.

          I know the term Unlimited implies “No Limits”, and I wish that was the way it was, but T-Mobile was very upfront, in their contract, and on the brochures for new plans, and not just in tiny legal text, but as a bulletpoint.

          I use my Phone to access the web, and am learning a language via media rich websites that use flash, video, and audio, as well as use Pandora when I drive, and the Google Navigation, and have never come close to 5GB, and I consider myself a heavy user of their mobile network.

          • s73v3r says:

            Still, as you said, the term “Unlimited” implies a certain level of service. It doesn’t matter that later, in the contract and fine print they say, “Well, we told you unlimited, but what we really meant was this:” They are still being extremely dishonest about the matter. ISPs should not be able to sell “unlimited” plans that are limited by their actions, even if it kicks in after a very large cap.

      • ajlei says:

        Really? Between browsing the web, Youtube, Pandora, and other stuff, I barely come in under 2GB/month on my iPhone.

      • sonneillon says:

        My brother does 60 gig on his iphone without any sort of tethering. I will do about 5 gig myself this month on my palm pixy maybe a little more but I could see doing 10 or 15 pretty easy. Watch a couple episodes of dexter and I’d be full.

    • guroth says:

      In networking there are two primary metrics:

      1) Latency, which is how long it takes a packet to reach its destination (this is measured in milliseconds). This is the actual ‘speed’ of the network, although when most people say the ‘speed’ or how ‘fast’ their connection is they are usually referring to the throughput.

      2) Throughput, which is how much data can be stuffed through the connection at once (this is measured in bits per seconds). When you see that a 3g connection is giving you 2mbps, this is the throughput of the connection, not the ‘speed’.

      When they say unlimited data they are not referring to either of these, they are referring to total data transferred. The maximum throughput of a connection determines the maximum possible total data transfer in a given time frame, in this case one month. Obviously they cannot offer truly “unlimited” data transfer because that would infer that there is no limit on the throughput of a connection, but the very wires leading to a cell tower, or radio waves going to your phone, impose limits on the throughput.

      What they are saying when they tell you unlimited data is that there is no artificial limit being imposed on your total data transfer, which is to say that there is no point at which they will cut you off, and this is true if all they are doing is limiting your throughput after you hit a certain data transfer point.

      Now if they said something like “unlimited data throughput” then they would be lying, and they would have the laws of physics to answer to as well.

    • Griking says:

      Perhaps it’s just the way that I see it but when I see a phone with an unlimited data plan I assume that it means that there’s no limit to the amount of data of data that I can transfer through the phone. I never imagined that it implied that I’d be able to use my phone as a router for my desktop PC.

      The thing that I never understood however is how can I have an unlimited data plan that doesn’t include texting? Aren’t my texts data?

      • jamar0303 says:

        Oh boy- texts are only data if your phone allows for it. An option typically labeled “Send SMS over GPRS” or some such. Otherwise it’s sent through empty bits of signaling channels instead of being sent as data. This is if your phone is GSM.

        • SkreanAme says:

          It was originally GSM only but was quickly added to other technologies when they noticed how much people liked it.

  2. RxDude says:

    Two less reasons to go with T-Mo.

  3. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    While they’re at it, they should think of a different term besides “unlimited.”

    How about…unlimited*limited…see how I put the special star in the middle…cause that way no one will know which one it goes with. All I can see, when I ponder this, is the old Miller Lite commercials, but instead of great taste/less filling…they should use Unlimited…no Limited….and the Chicago Bears can do the commercial.

  4. dragonfire81 says:

    Is tethering a carrier service or a physical function of the phone? Would I be able to unlock a cell phone and use it as a tether for a laptop to connect to a wireless network in my home?

    • apd09 says:

      You would be using the phone as opposed to your wireless network. So you get rid of the internet at the house and just hook your phone up to the computer then surf the internet on the computer while getting the internet from your phone.

      • Aesteval says:

        But then what if the phone supports WiFi? Could the phone tether over WiFi? And when I say that, ignore the entire part of “why would anyone ever want to do that when there are cheaper and easier ways to connect a computer to WiFi.”

        • tbax929 says:

          Yes, some phones can tether via WiFi. My rooted Samsung Moment could. My current phone, an un-rooted HTC Evo does it as well.

    • apd09 says:

      actually to make it easier look at it this way, the phone replaces the modem in your house.

      A normal network is hooked up basically like this:
      Computer is hooked to modem which provides access to the internet

      By tethering you do this:
      Computer is hooked up to phone which functions as modem which provides access to the internet.

    • Jasen says:

      Tethering is a function that the phone provides. For example, AT&T banned tethering on the iPhone for the longest time, however if you had a jailbroken phone you could still do it after installing the appropriate app.

      • obits3 says:

        I feel like being Cellco’s advocate for a second:

        You may have the ability to make your car drive on the median of a highway, but that ability does not give you the right to drive on the median.

        Thus, even it your phone has the ability to tether on a network, that does not give you the right to tether on the network.

        • Jasen says:

          You have any more irrelevant and bad car analogies to make? Let’s just get them all out of the way now.

          • obits3 says:


            Please tell me why my example was irrelevant. The TOS are the terms by which the carrier agrees to give you service. For example, you have the ability to text message, but for some reason the TOS say no text messages. Thus you would be in violation of the TOS if you text messaged.

            • menty666 says:

              it’s irrelevant because it’s a limitation of your “unlimited” data plan. You have an app to send email, watch movies, play games, why is using an app to power a more user friendly interface any different?

              I can certainly see a complaint from the carriers on data load, but frankly they’re selling a data access service, I’m simply choosing to use it in a different way than THEY intended. Their short sightedness is their problem, not the customer.

              • Rena says:

                Mhm, my plan has a clause something like “data usage incurred through a PC will be charged at (some huge rate)”. I always wondered how they’d be able to tell the difference between an app using a bunch of data, and an app forwarding a bunch of data to a PC…

                • LastError says:

                  It depends on the carrier and what your device is telling the carrier, and whether the carrier cares.

                  I use tethering on my Sprint phone literally every day. Nothing more to the tethering than running a simple app on the phone and it just works. Sprint cannot tell it’s not just the phone itself.

                  fwiw, your user icon is familiar to me, but I cannot place it. Do you know what it is from?

            • Megalomania says:

              Your example is irrelevant because “driving on the median” is completely ludicrous with respect to the situation.

              The phone (vehicle) is owned by the user. The only aspect of the “road” defined by the carrier is how fast you can go. Tethering is opposed by carriers because (to use the car analogy) it lets you drive at the speed limit 24/hours per day if you choose. On a real road, this is of course totally legal. It’s a bullshit rule created so that they can keep selling bandwidth they don’t have.

    • Awesome McAwesomeness says:

      I am not sure if this is what you are asking, but if I want to use my laptop and don’t have a connection, but I have my phone, which does have an internet connection, I can technically use my phone’s connection to connect my laptop to the internet.

      I know for the G1, you have to have your phone rooted and you have to have a tethering program. Rooting can jack up your phone if you don’t do it right. My phone is rooted for another reason. I don’t use it for tethering b/c I have Clear and have a mobile connection.

  5. StrangeEmily says:

    Hmm, I’ve been considering signging up for T-Mobile, the only reason I haven’t is because I have no signal at my job. All I want to do is surf the net during my lunchbreak or google when customers ask me for silly items we don’t sell. As long as its unlimited and slows down the connection after 5 GB in a month sounds perfectly reasonable to me since it puts the smack down on people abusing the terms and conditions anyway. If it was something that would charge me after i reached my 5 GB limit like most other wireless providers then I would get upset.

  6. jvanbrecht says:

    Well.. if you ask them what the definition of unlimited is, its that you have no limit on what you can use it for, not an unlimited amount. Sure its splitting hairs, but that is how they get away with it.

    Personally, I am a heavy internet user, but I have no real need to use significant amounts of data on my wireless.. even when I travel, I have never even come close to 5G of data a month on my wireless (or my legit corp wireless usb stick with vz). That includes significant web surfing, streaming of music (not video), patches being pushed from corp while on vpn, persistent SSH connection whenever I am on the laptop.

    So I see no problem with them limiting the amount of data, as long as they don’t pull a verizon and drop the cap and up the costs (ATT as well). What I do have a problem with… is being dictated how I use the data. I pay for the data, I paid for 5G or whatever, I will use that 5G anyway I see fit, which includes tethering.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      Yeah, we stream pandora in my boyfriend’s car pretty much constantly. He usually stays under 1Gig, unbelievably.

    • tmac40 says:

      If there is no limit to what I can use it for, I want to use it for downloading 25GB blue ray movies.

  7. snarkymcfarkle says:

    When did we accept, as a country, that the fine print supercedes the large print?

    The large print: UNLIMITED

    The fine print: blah blah blah blah blah (30 pages later) — not unlimited.

    We need to start suing the bastards. Just because T-mobile places a tiny asterisk next to its claim of unlimited use does not mean they should get away with whatever caveats they place in the fine print.

    • MeOhMy says:

      “You got it buddy: the large print giveth, and the small print taketh away
      Step right up…” -Tom Waits…so that takes us at least back to 1976 :-D

    • obits3 says:

      In contract law, what comes first should have greater influence. Also, any ambiguity is to be interpreted against the writer of the contract. Thus, cell phone companies should not win.

      • Jasen says:

        You’re pretty much correct here.
        Unfortunately, not enough people have sued them for the practice to become unprofitable. And profitability is the only factor they seem to look at when deciding on these practices lately.

      • wrjohnston91283 says:

        Wouldn’t contact law say whatever is in the contract has the greatest influence? The issue to sue over is false advertising (you advertised unlimited but are capping me at 5gigs) vs breach of contract (the contract sales 5gigs and you capped me at 5gigs).

    • VeganPixels says:

      We accepted it when we accepted that corporations are persons. Persons, for the most part, possess a language capability. “Fine print” is theirs.

    • flarn2006 says:

      I think the law should be that in an advertisement, the larger print supersedes the fine print. What I don’t know is how “fine print” would be legally defined.

      • Rena says:

        Simply “larger print supersedes smaller print”? Though I can imagine crazy things like large, near-invisible print…

  8. Span_Wolf says:

    Every single in store and phone rep I have ever talked to from T-Mobile has used free tethering as a sales pitch, if they are now going to reneg on it while calling the customers the bad guys, they can go stuff themselves.

    • BurtReynolds says:

      They’ve been enabling the built-in Froyo hotspot on the G2 recently and not charging for it. I actually was gearing up to consider them because I am disgusted by the idea of paying extra for tethering and would prefer to not worry about being “caught” using PDANet. Looks like I might as well just stay with Verizon now.

  9. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Crai. I was thinking of ditching AT&T for Tmo in May BECAUSE of the data pricing problems AT&T has.

    • UCLAri: Allergy Sufferer says:

      I wouldn’t leave any carrier if that’s your MO, since pretty much every carrier will find ways to limit data usage.

      It’s a fact of life that as data usage goes up, ways will be found to allocate it as a scarce resource.

  10. Sunflower1970 says:

    While T-Mo’s at it, they need to get a data counter out there so us customers know how much data we’re using. I’ve got the ‘unlimited’ plan non contract, yet there is no data counter. (although I know I’m not anywhere near 5GB/mo.)

    • erciesielski says:

      If you have an Android phone (going by your avatar I’m guessing you do) get netcounter from the market. Works great for me.

    • Destron says:

      Right there on the Tmo website

      • Sunflower1970 says:

        Nope, doesn’t work for me. I’m not on contract. I have a Nexus One, so I use the Even More Plus 500 Talk + Text + with the T-Mobile Android Unlimited Web with FlexPay. So no counter has ever shown up for me. And still doesn’t

      • Harmless Gryphon says:

        T-Mobile’s data counter doesn’t work right, or doesn’t measure some things properly.

        For example, I had to do an emergency repair on a production machine yesterday. Failed hard drive was recovered from a recent mirror, but it still needed updates applied. No permanent outgoing connection for security reasons, so I tether my phone to it.

        250+ MB of updates later, not to mention the 30-40MB I use daily in tethered surfing, and my data counter states I used 142MB in the last 27 days. It seems that, for BIS at least, the data counter only records actual phone use.

  11. Destron says:

    Well T-Mobile as a company has never offered tethering, and to tether decently on an android you need to root the phone which also is against the phone manufacturers wishes and will void your warranty, as of now, the only few apps on the market that allow you to tether without root sucks.

    Your data is still unlimited, they don’t shut you off at 5GB, they just throttle your speed. Considering it would be hard to hit 5GB a month of mobile data, you almost have to be breaking the TOS to hit that cap anyway, so I don’t really see a problem with this, they could cancel your contact and hit you with an ETF for breaking their TOS so there are definitely worse approaches they could take. They could be like the dick server companies that will shut you down and delete all your files and cancel your account for “excessive usage”.

    I will admit, I tether when im away from home and wifi hot spots, but I do it for legitimate purposes and not to download torrents, so even on my heaviest month the most i have ever uses is 2.5GB, and that was about 3 weeks in the middle of nowhere.

    • rhobite says:

      PDANet doesn’t suck on Verizon, and I assume it’s no different on T-Mobile. Sure it’s not free, but for the one time fee it’s worth it if you tether regularly.

      • Destron says:

        No, it doesn’t suck, but its not the best either. I get much better speeds and more ability to tweak settings with a rooted phone.

    • GoBobbyGo says:

      >…and to tether decently on an android you need to root the phone…

      Simply not true. I have software FROM SAMSUNG that allows me to tether my Vibrant, and it works quite well.

      • Destron says:

        again i said decently. I also have a vibrant, and I have also used samsungs software, and again I can double the speeds achievable with tweaks that can only be applied to a rooted phone. I did not say you could not tether without rooting, I said the experience is better, because without root access there are some tweaks you cant use.

    • d0x360 says:

      Rooting an android phone is not against any terms of your contract and as for voiding the warranty…thats up to the manufacturer. HTC honors the warranty on rooted phones bought through tmobile. My friends Nexus One had a broken screen, it was rooted and running Cyanogen mod firmware and they repaired it. My old G1 was rooted running custom firmware and it flaked out and HTC replaced it and it was even sent to them through Tmobile.

    • Jasen says:

      Who gives a fuck whether it’s against the manufacturers wishes? This has no bearing on the topic. The manufacturers also wish we all signed our paychecks over to them and elected them as president of the universe. So what?

    • supersat says:

      The stock FroYo image on the Nexus One supports tethering out of the box. No rooting needed.

    • chirish1025 says:

      I have talked to TMOs G1 Technical support and had conversations with them as to rooting the G1, at the time (When G1 first came out) THEY were rooting theirs too and told me it was not against my TOS. I guess things have changed. Honestly they should not make a big deal about the tethering, but it is obvious that their only issue with it is they are not making extra money off of it. Though with the cost of their unlimited data plan (and I understand the newer ones don’t include text msgs) I cant imagine their costs are not being sufficiently covered

    • LastError says:

      Rooting is NOT required for tethering. Where did you ever get such a silly idea?

      There are at least two different apps in the Android marketplace. PDANet is one. Install the app on the phone, install another app on the laptop, plug in the USB cable and off you go. Works great. Connects as fast as the dedicated EVDO modem I used to have.

      A coworker saw how well it worked for me and got himself a different Android phone which he tethers the same way. Didn’t need to root or jailbreak either phone. It just works.

  12. NeverLetMeDown says:

    This is actually pretty reasonable, I think. They don’t cut you off or charge you more if you go over 5GB, they just bump you to the back of the line if the network’s congested. Given that network resources are finite, particularly at peak times, seems a fair way to do it, and they’re open about it. As for tethering, it says in the TOS that it’s not allowed, they’ve never claimed it was allowed, so what’s the surprise?

  13. B* says:

    It’s okay, I almost never use the data plan since my phone does wi-fi too. But wait, I’m forced to pay for the data plan to have this phone. DAMN YOU CELL PHONE COMPANIES!!!

    • psm321 says:

      T-Mobile, unlike all the other carriers, does not force you to get a data plan to use a smart phone unless they’re giving you a subsidy to get the phone

  14. crazydavythe1st says:

    “They should think of a different term besides ‘unlimited'”….

    No. Unlimited refers to how much data you can transfer, not how fast you do it. It pains me when I see all these people lumping bandwidth with the amount of data transfered, but I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

    Throttling someone down after 5GB is fairly generous as every other cellular service provider in the U.S. would immediately cut you off completely.

    • JoeTheDragon says:

      I think ATT just makes you pay like + $60 DataConnect plan includes 5 GB of data
      then $0.05 per MB

    • Jasen says:

      Sadly, this is mostly true.
      Throttling after a certain data limit still doesn’t violate the “unlimited” claim.

      Now, broadband carriers who send you threatening letters (or cut your service) for using “too much” of your unlimited service are indeed breaching their unlimited claim. This has been going on for years.
      They figure that by setting the cap at a number the average consumer won’t hit, they’re safe in erroneously calling it “unlimited” even though they do indeed have a limit.

  15. framitz says:

    Thanks for the information. I was just thinking seriously of changing to T-Mobile. That change will not be happening.

  16. golddog says:

    Oh T-mobile. Your biggest selling point was that you weren’t AT&T or Verizon. I guess that’s out the window now.

    Your lack of towers makes it really hard for alot of people to actually hit your new unlimited limit. I’m surprised at the need actually. And can someone explain to me, if you’re going to establish a cap, why you’d care if I hit said cap through tethering or just through the phone? 5 gigs is 5 gigs.

    Final note to T-mo: Anyone with an Android phone can get around your silly little “you must pay us to tether” fee, so suck it.

    • golddog says:

      In reading some of the other comments, they make good points in that T-mo is just saying they’re going to throttle you back to Edge speeds from 3G at 5 gigs. I’m in a top 12 population size city and I’m on Edge half the time anyway so I’m sure I won’t notice the difference :-)

      Also I’m pretty sure Nexus One users have different ToS that allow tethering. It comes with the firmware.

  17. Geekybiker says:

    The whole tethering thing doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. It they are capping their service, even if it is a soft cap, data is data. It shouldn’t matter is its my phone, my PC, of my internet enabled toilet seat.

    • DanRydell says:

      There is an expectation of what the average data usage will be when they price their plans. Some people are above average, some are below average, and that’s fine. But that average is based on their TOS which prohibit tethering.

      It is a lot easier to consume a lot more data with your computer than with your phone. If you just read the comments in this thread, hitting 5 GB in a month with a phone is not typical. Hitting 5 GB on your home broadband IS typical. You can easily use hundreds of GBs in a month on a PC. So obviously these people who tether regularly are going to use a lot more bandwidth and will push that average up.

      Instead of allowing a small number of people to drive up their costs which are shared by all customers, they’re enforcing their rule against tethering.

  18. Macgyver says:

    Well, if they’re using it for tethering, people are lucky that they aren’t kicked off for breaking the TOS.
    According to T-Mobile, unlimited is the amount of data received or sent, not how much you used.
    So after 5GB, you still receiving data, but it’s just throttled back.

  19. d0x360 says:

    Rooting an android phone is not against any terms of your contract and as for voiding the warranty…thats up to the manufacturer. HTC honors the warranty on rooted phones bought through tmobile. My friends Nexus One had a broken screen, it was rooted and running Cyanogen mod firmware and they repaired it. My old G1 was rooted running custom firmware and it flaked out and HTC replaced it and it was even sent to them through Tmobile.

  20. APCO25guy says:

    UNLIMITED does not mean UNREASONABLE. Tethering to download email, or occasional use when you’re on the road and no WiFi is available is REASONABLE, but people who are using it in place of a DSL, cable or other fixed connection are abusing it. The bandwidth on mobile networks is optimized for mobile devices, and using it as an always on connection streaming hi-def movies on Netflix means less is available for everyone else on the particular node one is connected to. I can see why T-Mobile, who already has the weakest and smallest network of any national carrier, would do this. They are following suit with at&t and Verizon.

    • Jasen says:

      Actually, no. “Unlimited” means exactly that. “Reasonable” plays no part in the term. “Unlimited within reason” is not unlimited at all, but in fact, limited. Setting a reasonable limit is fine and great, so long as that limit is clearly outlined in both advertisement and contract and not fraudulently marketed as “unlimited,” which it is clearly NOT. Truth in fucking advertising, please.

      • APCO25guy says:

        What they are doing by closing the LOOPHOLE allowing tethering is no different from kicking the guy out of the all you can eat buffet who stays in from open to close eating three meals. You do realize all the TOS’s on every provider prohibit tethering UNLESS you pay for it. So the free ride has ended, get over it. T-Mobile says they may offer it in the future, but you would have to PAY extra for it. Have you actually read all the wireless providers’ TOS? this type of activity, including using such data connections full time in place of DSL/Cable, are not allowed. If you don’t agree, than don’t sign up for their services. But don’t whine when the loopholes get closed because people abuse it.

    • Doncosmic says:

      You realize that Netflix will be available as an Android app fairly soon right? So that even without tethering some people who use their phones alot will run into the limit.

      • APCO25guy says:

        there is a big difference between an app running on a phone versus tethering to a full blown PC and watching Netflix. I am pretty sure the mobile version will use much less bandwidth than going to Netflix from your PC browser and watching hi-def movies on your PC.

    • luusyphre says:

      I disagree that abuse is the problem. If I were to buy their cellular USB modem, which presumably uses the same network, would I be expected to only use it for email and not watch streaming video? I believe this is merely a response to market conditions where more and more people are using the network for tethering and they just want to create a separate tier of service to make more money.

  21. malibumaniac says: says unlimited means:
    not limited; unrestricted; unconfined: unlimited trade.
    boundless; infinite; vast: the unlimited skies.
    without any qualification or exception; unconditional

    Let’s see, these plans are NOT unrestricted, unconfined or without qualification or exception (haha) so T-Mobile (and every other cell phone provider in this country) is using misleading and false advertising. Really, why stop with unlimited they should start saying “FREE CELL SERVICE* and then in fine print “free service with a $100 monthly access fee.”

    • crazydavythe1st says:

      haha good luck with that. It’s well established what unlimited means in the broadband market. And even if it wasn’t for that, you’ve got fine print to cover it.

  22. madmallard says:

    whelp, glad I dont have a contract

  23. gopena says:

    uhh…does anyone know if this is enough of a change so that I can get out of my contract? at the very least I can get out and then go month to month and pay 10 less a month :D

    • B* says:

      I want to know this too!

    • crazydavythe1st says:

      No provisions in the contract have been changed. You’re still being provided data service with an unlimited amount of data transfer. You were never guaranteed a specific speed.

      • KrispyKrink says:

        But, one of their key sales pitches in store is free tethering. That’s what they sold me on when I bought my Black Berry Bold 9700. Now they’re saying tethering is banned. That sounds like a good reason to dump the contract without penalty.

  24. Awesome McAwesomeness says:

    T-Mobile has has a 10 GB soft cap for while. They are just moving it to 5 GB instead of 10.

    I don’t know how I feel about decreasing speeds at the soft cap or offering tethering plans. Part of me thinks that unlimited should be unlimited and they shouldn’t even be keeping track of who uses how much so that they can slow speeds to people who use over a certain amount. All they need to know is that the over all customer base streams x amount of data on average and that they need to be able to accommodate that and grow.

  25. Blow a fuse? I can fix that... says:

    I dunno, these terms just seem like so much BS. No tethering? WTF? What business is it of the operator if I happen to use an app that communicates with some other device of mine?

    Am I tethered when I use my bluetooth headset to listen to streamed music? What if I stream that to my computer and listen through its speakers? What if I run the music player on my computer and just get the data through my phone?

    Luckily, I’ve left all that behind when I moved to Europe. My current plan charge

    Which worked out very nicely for me, as my 100mbps broadband at home was down for three days after a fire. I just started a nice little app that transforms my phone into a wifi hotspot, and used it for all my internet needs at home. I racked up 4GB of data in just those three days.

    And a happy coincidence that my mobile operator owns my broadband provider, so they got to bear the cost of my broadband being down. :-)

  26. pyehac says:

    There goes my plans to root my MyTouch 3G to tether my iPad. Now, to find some other way to use my iPad on the go.

  27. p. observer says:

    i make my own unlimited* data plans at home

  28. DanKelley98 says:

    So its not really unlimited, eh?

  29. Crazytree says:

    I’m under a two-year contract… and although I probably use about 50MB/mo… this sounds like a material change to the terms of my contract… which could give me a way out.

  30. uber_mensch says:

    Seems like a good opportunity to terminate early once they change the contract.

  31. JimMarch42 says:

    OK, this is officially insane.

    The *stores* have all been saying Tmobile is at least tether-tolerant. I have the oldest Tmobile 3G phone, the Sony-Ericsson TM506. It’s not tether-blocked. I’ve been able to get speeds close to what I was getting with a Verizon datacard – and the phone was able to do voice calls while I was connected. It was a very happy thing and no, I wasn’t going anywhere near 5gb/mo, it’s not my primary connection.

    So basically, instead of paying Verizon $60/mo for the datacard (capped at 10gb/mo with my older plan) and $80/mo for unlimited voice (and a much larger coverage area on both than Tmobile), I’ve been paying Tmobile $70/mo for unlimited voice/text and $10/mo extra for data. Saved money over Verizon, but lost a lot of coverage area. I was OK with that on balance.

    Now Tmobile is cracking down on tethering? God…dammit. They’re killing off the only reason I went with them. If they want me to pay a bunch extra to do data, well hell, it’s not worth it, because their coverage area blows chunks compared to Verizon or Sprint.

    Frackin’ idiots.

    • LastError says:

      Jump on over to Sprint. The $70 “everything” plan will do what you need, and unlimited data is included with that unless you get the Evo, which does add $10 for the 4G coverage. Add an app like PDAnet for tethering and you are set.

      My typical monthly data use is right at 5GB, probably 80% tethered. No complaints from Sprint whatsoever. knock on wood

  32. tubedogg says:

    Wow, guys, overreact much?

    a) T-Mobile has always had a soft cap of 10GB. The fact that they’re lowering it to 5GB is to encourage people to stop tethering, which…
    b) for the record has always been against the TOS. The fact that tech support explicitly supported it, then didn’t support it but directed you to their forums, and now instead of that will flat-out tell you it’s against the TOS, is just bringing their support into line with their TOS.

    I’d rather have a soft cap of 5GB than a cap of 2GB that allows me to start spending $10/GB if I exceed that. (AT&T, I’m lookin’ at you.)

  33. firemunkie says:

    tmobile is an unlimited data plan, not and an unlimited bandwidth plan. you can use as much data as you want just not at the speed you want. 5GB is plenty. that sounds fair enough for the average or even above averge joe.

  34. Harmless Gryphon says:

    Right after reading this story, I hopped on a chat with a T-Mobile rep to ask about tethering. I didn’t specifically ask about changes, seeing as how they probably have not filtered down yet. This is a transcript of the conversation (names removed:)

    You have been connected to ~Rep.
    ~Rep: Hi [me] , welcome to T-Mobile live Chat. I’m Rep xxxxxxx and I will be happy to assist you. Please give me a moment to review your question.
    ~Rep: Thank you for your patience. I can certainly help you with taking a look at this.
    ~Rep: Tethering is permitted, but it is not something that we support.
    Me: Ok, that is what I figured. Is this something that the Blackberry plans expressly permit? It seems that the other plans offered do not allow this per TOS.
    ~Rep: It is permitted with all of our data plans, but again, it is not something that we support.
    Me: Ok. According to the general TOS I just reviewed on your website, connecting phones to other machines via tethering is not permitted. I will see if I still have that document open.
    Me: Section 10: Permissible and Prohibited Uses: Your Data Plan is intended for Web browsing, messaging, and similar activities on your Device and not on any other equipment. Unless explicitly permitted by your Data Plan, other uses, including for example, using your Device as a modem or tethering your Device to a personal computer or other hardware, are not permitted.
    Me: That is why I wondered if the BlackBerry plans allowed it as an exception.
    ~Rep: I can tell you 100% that you are permitted to tether your device.
    ~Rep: I will also make a note on your account that I told you this.
    Me: Thank you, I appreciate that.
    ~Rep: Is there anything else we can assist you with today?
    Me: That was my only question tonight. Thank you.
    ~Rep: Thank you for contacting T-Mobile Chat, have a great day!

    To add to the confusion, I called in one day to ask about problems I was having making a connection. The rep I spoke with was kind of coy about answering tethering questions until I stated that I had already done it, and was having problems today that were not present yesterday. The rep brightened and said “Oh, let me transfer you to one of our BlackBerry as a Modem specialists…”

    I’m confused here. Can I or Can’t I? You’ll let me do it but you won’t tell me how?

    Me: Thanks!

    • Harmless Gryphon says:

      And, that lonely last comment at the bottom of my post should be with the rest of the transcript conversation.

      That’s what I get for not paying attention.

  35. vastrightwing says:

    I take issue with definitions and lying: Unlimited*, Free*, Everything*, etc.

    All I ask is that when there is advertising, it be truthful. That is all. The test for truth is that the definitions be generally accepted by the target audience understanding. If there is a need for fine print to clarify, then the ad wording should be changed so you don’t have to hunt for the real meaning. It’s not hard.

    For example: instaed of offering “umlimited” data plans, offer 500Mb, 5Gb & metered plans with reasonable fees. And if all carriers have to adopt these rules, then it shouldn’t be a problem.

    I still have a problem when mobile carriers (T-mobile) shows a “web” plan ncluded but then charges an extra $25 for “smart” phones. They’re forcing me to make a distinction between the definition of web on one phone vs. another phone? Really? Why? Isn’t the web, the web? Or is there some other kind of web I don’t know about?

    *with some limitations.

  36. coffee412 says:

    Unlimited – “Having no restrictions or controls”. This is in violation of the term unlimited. It seems alot of people have different definitions of the term “unlimited”. Lets clarify things here – If I drive down a road and see a speed sign it says ” Speed limit 55″ then its a limit. If I go to a store and see a sign that says “Candy bars – 55 cents, Limit 3” thats also limited. Tmobile and comcrap and the others that advertise “Unlimited” should be investigated for such false practices. To infer that “Unlimited” means anything than what it is defined as makes me think that those posts are from tmobile employees.

  37. loueloui says:

    Their numbers don’t seem to be correct. 5GB/125,000 = 40KB? I just did a quick download comparison, and on my desktop the Yahoo home page was 823KB. That’s about 20 times more than what they say it is.

    Also, who pays for unlimited data just to look at the homepage?

  38. katarzyna says:

    In reality, no plan is “unlimited”. Networks have finite speed, so even if you’re pulling down data 100% of the time, the amount of data is limited by the speed of your network.

  39. LanMan04 says:

    Yep, rooted phones can allow multiple computers to connect to them via WiFi and then use the 3G/Edge connection to pass data back and forth from the internet.

    Phone can get pretty hot running both the WiFi and GSM radios, however, so watch your throughput.

  40. psm321 says:

    Phone carriers should start advertising unlimited minutes plans and then have fine print that says they degrade voice quality after you use 100 minutes. I wonder if the people who support arbitrarily degrading data connections here after a particular limit would support that? After all, they never promised you would have _good_ quality voice service….

    // Normally a big supporter of T-Mobile, but this is BS.

  41. ciara says:

    we just got our unlimited t-mo phones.. and we were ENCOURAGED to tether by the sales rep at the store — and i called beforehand and was told Which phones to buy to allow it… that it was fine also… nice…

  42. Destron says:

    Was talking to my neighbor that lives about 3 houses down from me, that works for T-Mobile (corporate not a store). He said they discussed this in a meeting about 2 weeks ago, and that they are not going to stop you from tethering your phone, they are just going to throttle you at 5 GB, you if you currently tether you are free to do so.

    The paid tethering plans are being offered for those folks who expect to exceed 5GB every month, and as a substitute for the wireless data cards that other carriers offer.

    Also I did not know this, but he said the reason that up until now that T-Mobile has not “officially” supported tethering (as in, their TOS says you can’t) is because T-Mobile data only covers about 20% of the country, the rest of the country is covered by partners. If you look at the coverage map for data only on the T-Mo website you can see this is true. But T-Mon invested heavily in helping their partners upgrade their data networks, so the trade off is that those networks will allow T-Mo to tether on them.

    • psm321 says:

      Now, that actually sounds reasonable. If they advertise it appropriately (as a 5GB then throttled plan), and get rid of the old TOS wording, I could actually get behind this. I hope you’re neighbor is right

  43. flarn2006 says:

    What I don’t like about the whole forbidding tethering thing is that in order to enforce it, they actually have to put software in a device legally owned by the customer (i.e. not the carrier) that makes it act in a way the programmers knew the end user would not like. I’m against anything like this, where my own devices answer to someone else.

  44. BurtReynolds says:

    Well I was thinking of switching to T-Mobile mostly because I refuse to pay extra to use the data I’ve already paid for. I would also prefer to not worry about getting “caught” using a rooted phone. In the past week, they’ve been rolling out an OTA update for G2s restoring the Froyo hotspot for no charge. Now they “don’t support it”?

    Virgin Mobile now has an Android phone in their lineup which might be earning my business now. I am sick of these other carriers gouging you at every turn.

  45. kingoftheroad40 says:

    I can tether my Blackberry 8520 to run internet on my laptop through desktop manager it is built in .
    No need to spend 50 bucks to do it through app world .

    • whittygirl says:

      me too. This idea that it’s against the ToS is new–I meet with tmobile on a regular basis and it’s always been one of the things they tout as making them more user-friendly than other carriers. Granted, with the increased use of wireless cards and the slow tethering speed it’s becoming obsolete, but sure has been handy in a pinch.

  46. bennshu says:

    please tell me that somehow in slowing down a user’s browser speed after exceeding 5MB on an UNLIMITED PLAN is a material change to the terms of the contract allowing me to get out without paying an ETF!

  47. pot_roast says:

    I use my iPhone for streaming music every single day on a 35 mile commute to/from work. We have great coverage here and I can usually get 3mbps down/1mbps up with AT&T. I listen to music and watch videos via Netflix frequently. It’s rare that I have run close to 5gb.

    I don’t think that throttling it back when you hit 5 gigs is a bad thing. Would you rather they do what the other carriers are doing and start hitting you with ridiculously priced overage fees? Or just cutting you off entirely? I would prefer the throttling.

  48. Link_Shinigami says:

    THIS ISN’T OLD NEWS! T-MO HAS DONE THIS FOR THE LAST YEAR! My God, do people not freaken pay attention at all anymore? The policy has ALWAYS been the same, now they are just openly telling people about it.

    For ages I’d open someones account and see “throttled” checked out.

    It’s still unlimited, it always was. Once you hit 5gigs used in a month, you drop to EDGE speeds, so around 25kb/s instead of 3G. NEVER has it not been like this.

    They are the only company doing unlimited still for 30 bucks a month (20 if you’re on Even More Plus) for regular lines. They are openly talking the throttle now and suddenly people freak out? This isn’t T-Mo being mean, this is American’s continuing to think they deserve everything without realizing how other companies work. Freaken glad I don’t have to deal with American’s that want to whine and complain over nothing for T-Mo anymore. So freaken glad.