Give me unlimited video streaming, carriers

Evan Selleck
Contributing Editor from Arizona
Published: June 19, 2014

Before T-Mobile's latest Uncarrier event, there were a lot of rumors swirling around about what the next event could be focused on. Some thought it might be about T-Mobile's future support of unlocked devices, among some finer details. Other rumors weighed the options, and thought T-Mobile was going to start being more "up-front" with their pricing when it came to phones and plans.

None of those panned out. What we got instead is probably more interesting anyway.

While we all thought we were just seeing the announcement of the Uncarrier 5.0 initiative, T-Mobile's CEO John Legere actually decided to give us *two* initiatives in one night! That's right, Uncarrier 6.0 was what took most of the media by storm, and for good reason. Though, that isn't to say that Uncarrier 5.0, which was all about the "Test Drive" of the Magenta network for 7 days with an iPhone 5s, wasn't exciting. That's an interesting way to do things, for sure. But, for many, Uncarrier 6.0 raised the most eyebrows.

Uncarrier 6.0 basically had two announcements in one, but they were both focused on music. The second, because it's the first we're really going to bury our teeth into here, was all about T-Mobile's partnership with Rhapsody, and the launch of Unradio (un- all the things!). It's basically a Super Pandora, and lets you do things like unlimited skips, listen to your favorites whenever you want, among other things. It's free for T-Mobile customers that are on the right monthly plans, and $4.99 for everyone else. Including non-T-Mobile subscribers.

The first part of the announcement was about music streaming itself, and the fact that a lot of people do it. Apparently it's a craze, and pretty much everyone has jumped on the bandwagon. Which is interesting in and of itself, considering the loss of unlimited data pretty much across the board. Despite that, people have been streaming more music than ever before, and T-Mobile wants to give their subscribers some peace of mind when they do their streaming.

The way they're doing that is by offering unlimited music streaming, which doesn't impact your data bucket in the slightest. So, basically, you can stream as much music as you want, and it will never cost anything against your data allowance every month. And even if you *do* reach your maximum data allowance before you start to get throttled, your streaming music should never take a hit from that. It's essentially in its own bucket now. One that's forever overflowing.

While T-Mobile was busy with the event, I just kept thinking that I stream music just fine. When I need to. More often than not I've downloaded a lot of my songs to my phone, usually in the thousands, so I don't have to worry about streaming at all. (I hate when a song pauses, or flat-out stops, because a hiccup in the network happens.) I've never had a problem with streaming music and my data cap, though. Not once. While Uncarrier 6.0 may speak to a lot of people out there, it doesn't do anything for me.

It does make perfect sense alongside the launch of Unradio, though, doesn't it? "Hey, here's a new streaming service -- oh, and you can stream all you want now!" There's nothing wrong with this, but it was a lot of build-up for a music streaming service. But, let me reiterate: I know that unlimited music streaming is going to be great for a lot of people, and hopefully those folks are able to get under T-Mobile's umbrella to take advantage of it.

I have issues with T-Mobile choosing some companies over others to have "privileged" access to T-Mobile's network, but this is obviously where we're going, and I'm sure the other carriers are going to follow suit in some way or another. So, with that in mind, I thought about what I'd like to see be given special attention, or, more accurately, what type of streaming I'd like to have unlimited access to.

And that's video. Without a doubt. If T-Mobile really wanted to win me over with an Uncarrier initiative, they would have announced that their network now offers unlimited video streaming from services like Netflix and Hulu. For me, that would have won me over immediately. I find myself traveling, and when I do, the Wi-Fi that I generally find is so weighed down by others that using my network connection oftentimes just makes so much more sense. If I could stream unlimited TV shows or movies, that would make me an extremely happy camper.

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