T-Mobile Unveils Free Video Streaming For Two Dozen Services, Doubles Data Plans

T-Mobile CEO John Legere today, at the company’s tenth “Uncarrier” announcement event, confirmed earlier reports that the big pink phone carrier will shortly stop charging streaming video against customers’ data plans.

Speaking to an audience of seemingly enthusiastic T-Mobile employees, Legere promised “to fix a stupid, broken, arrogant industry” while repeatedly slamming the competition his company faces from “Dumb and Dumber” businesses AT&T and Verizon. And what will fix the industry this time, according to Legere? Doubled data packs and free video.

Legere spoke out at length against family plans, overage fees, and every other pricing mechanism common to the wireless industry. He called family plans “the greatest ill in this industry,” and explained that they lead to “overages and overbuying.” Consumers will pay $2.4 billion in overage fees and pay $45 billion to expand data plans in the hopes of avoiding overage plans this year, said Legere, adding, “I don’t want this to sound like a super villain movie, but it is… Customers are living in fear or in shock of their bill. This is a big deal, and I’m pissed.”

The solution? Doubling data. As of this Sunday, all of T-Mobile’s Simple Choice plans — personal and business — will have double the data they currently do.

Legere’s data theme also carried through to the other half of the presentation, BingeOn.

Video is increasingly a huge driver of data use, Legere explained. The average user has gone from using 1.6 GB of data per month to using 3.4 GB and rising, while video consumption has grown over 250%.

Under the tagline “Start watching your shows, stop watching your data,” Legere introduced the program, the video equivalent of T-Mobile’s Music Freedom zero-rating program for audio.

“You can stream video without using any of your data bucket,” Legere confirmed. The service is launching with 24 participating partners, including Netflix, HBO Now, HBO Go, Hulu, Sling, ESPN, Showtime, Starz, Encore, Fox Sports, NBC Sports, Crackle, UStream, and others.

BingeOn is “open to any service that wants to come, anyone that can meet the technical specs,” said Legere. He added, “Before you ask, this is not a net neutrality problem. This is similar to music freedom. It’s free. The providers don’t pay, the customers don’t pay, and most important, what I’m going to tell you about is, you can shut it off. It’s complete customer choice.”

While YouTube is not included at this time for technical reasons, said Legere, Verizon’s Go90 service will be.

New customers will be eligible for BingeOn on November 15; existing customers can access it beginning November 19.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.