T-Mobile to begin throttling heavy data users on October 16th

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| October 13, 2010

T-Mobile logo

As we move to faster network speeds and more data-hungry smartphones, carriers are switching or considering switching to tiered data plans and eliminating the traditional unlimited data offering, much to the chagrin heavy data users everywhere.  AT&T has already made the switch, Verizon has said that it's coming, and Sprint is considering the move, as well.  What about good ol' T-Mobile?  The No. 4 carrier has announced that, beginning on October 16th, they'll be throttling the speeds of customers that exceed 5 GB of data per month.  As you can see in the announcement below, T-Mo will inform you if you exceed 5 GB and then slow your speeds, which will be set by the device type.  Once a customer's new billing cycle begins, it'll be full speed ahead once again!

When AT&T replaced their unlimited data plan with 200 MB and 2 GB options, some heavy users were upset that there was no option above the 2 GB mark.  After all, with all of the data-intensive apps lately, some customers may legitimately need more GBs.  T-Mobile was smart to leave their plan at 5 GB, especially because they won't be cutting off data entirely when that mark is reached.  Even with those slowed speeds, a user could still access all of their social networks and websites fairly painlessly.  While some complain that only those that abuse the network (tethering without a tethering plan, for example) are affected by the removal of unlimited or nearly unlimited plans, it's still great that T-Mo will still be giving customers (semi) unlimited data.  Have any of you gone over 5 GB of data in a month or had your speeds throttled?

Beginning on October 16, T-Mobile will begin to reduce data speeds when a customer reaches 5GB of usage in a billing cycle, in accordance with T-Mobile terms and conditions. This change should only affect extreme data users (less than 1 percent) and is being made to ensure that all subscribers receive the best Web performance available by limiting the number of extreme data users on our network.

The majority of T-Mobile customers should not be affected by this change. The new 5 GB threshold limit, which is equivalent to approximately 125,000 yahoo.com page visits, is enough bandwidth to satisfy most customers’ Web and data needs.

If a customer happens to reach the 5GB limit, they will receive a free text message informing them their data speed will be reduced. Customers will continue to have Web browsing capabilities but at slower speeds, which will be determined by their device type. Once their new billing cycle begins, data speeds will no longer be restricted.

Customers can track their data usage through My T-Mobile, MyAccount, or the SIVR.

Via BGR, The Unlockr