John Legere (Uncarrier 001)

It looks like Verizon isn’t the only carrier planning to throttle select unlimited LTE customers in the near future. A leaked internal memo surfaced today, confirming that T-Mobile will also begin slowing down the connections of some of its subscribers later this month.

According to the memo, throttling will only apply to heavy data users that are using their connection for peer-to-peer file sharing and unapproved tethering. Like Verizon, the carrier claims the move is part of a larger effort to improve its overall network performance…

Here’s an excerpt from the internal memo, provided by TmoNews:

“T-mobile has identified customers who are heavy data users and are engaged in peer-to-peer file sharing, and tethering outside of T-Mobile’s Terms and Conditions (T&C). This results in a negative data network experience for T-Mobile customers. Beginning August 17, T-Mobile will begin to address customers who are conducting activities outside of T-Mobile’s T&Cs.”

This only applies to T-Mobile customers on the old $70-per-month unlimited plan, or the new $80 Simple Choice plan. 4G/LTE data usage is already being capped with other offerings. For those that are on one of these plans, check out T-Mobile’s Terms and Conditions page.

The move shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as Verizon and other providers have long been throttling their unlimited data users. T-Mobile has positioned itself as the ‘uncarrier’ though, so it’ll be interesting to see what its customers think of this very me-too carrier policy.

Following Verizon’s throttling announcement last month, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler sent out a letter to the company asking for clarification on its initiative. He has since asked for thoughts from all US carriers on the matter, but it’s unclear if any further action will be taken.

T-Mobile is expected to begin throttling customers on August 17.

  • Well now it looks like all the major carriers want to throttle our data. Nowhere to go except prepaid. Just to give you some insight: ALL prepaid ‘unlimited’ plans have a data cap. If you use to much they will cut off. Same goes for minutes, its part of their fair usage policy agreements.

    • Antzboogie

      This is messed up news, I don’t like it at all Wheeler looks like he is just playing games he isn’t really going to do anything to help us. He might just be a decoy. This throttling stuff is annoying and unfair.

  • A’s Network

    I think it is reasonable to throttle only those who torrent too much or abuse their plan, but I am against throttling. Maybe if everyone UPDATED THEIR NETWORKS to better technologies then we would not need tethering.

    • JulianZH

      who will pay for the upgrades?

      • GuyBey0ndC00L

        I agree, upgrade come out our pockets. They keep asking customers to pay more only to keep giving us less and less.

      • mnm221988

        If you’re a carrier who makes money off the people who buy your phones and pay for your service, yet you can’t upgrade your service to provide better speed and handle the usage people tend to use on their devices, then wtf are you getting money for?

        What we pay is to get our services, but we shouldn’t pay more for a network that we pay to have and give you to upkeep.

        If you can’t handle the usage, take whatever money you get from your customers and update it.

  • iPhone Gruru

    a couple of years ago AT&T kicked people off their unlimited plan is they were tethering. This sounds very similar.

  • Franck Kamayou

    LTE can be faster than some home networks… and some people use their mobile data as their primary connection, reaching sometimes the 80-100GB a month… it would make sense to throttle then.

    • Foellarbear

      no it doesn’t make sense to throttle those customers. They originally signed a contract with truly unlimited data. You pay for something you get it until you allow the wireless company to change your plan. I’m certain a multi-billion dollar company can afford to optimize a network to be smooth sailing for all customers. This is clearly a sales tactics to get all these people off unlimited plans.

      • Franck Kamayou

        The contract never said “truly” unlimited. Also in their contracts, you are always agreeing to a clause where they reserve the right to change the terms or cancel your line if you are abusing it.
        And I’m not so sure they can optimize a network if they aren’t even able to offer coverage everywhere.

      • Foellarbear

        I was referring to Verizon… which was suppose to be truly unlimited data. I can understand on T-mobile’s situation because their wireless LTE infrastructure isn’t as developed.

      • Jack Wong

        I am on Franck’s boat, my office is on west 36th st at Broadway, when I first got my iPhone 5 on day1, the LTE speed were ~20/~12mbps, it was GREAT, I did not abuse that with my unlimited data plan.

        And now… ~5/~3mbps… it is still better than 3G…

    • hebron2000

      Why they call it unlimited then?

  • latinlegacy

    i use 17 gig a month for my 2 iphones and 2 ipads sometimes 30 gigs

  • ivan

    why would company CEOs who have millions to billions throttle UNLIMITED PLANS. that are TRULY UNLIMITED. arent we suppose to spark the technological time frame of our lives . stop letting bulls*** take over reality. .

  • Mgggb

    This is fine so long as they throttle people who are outside their terms of service. If it is for high usage within the bounds of their tos, that would be reprehensible.

  • James Allen

    First off when a lot of us signed up for the unlimited plan back in the day. They didn’t have any to no smart phones. Damn iPhone wasn’t even around. or apps. So back then a lot of was getting ripped off. But not that the tables have turned they want to try and cut us some how or make us suffer. Like i always say. when u go to a all u can eat place. and u pay for that. i don’t see them telling u. u have to leave. u eating to much. These companies have Billions of dollars to upgrade there system. I hope the FCC steps in and does something.

  • Dani Hayes

    Yet if you are not on an unlimited data plan with Verizon or AT&T you can use as much data as you want with no capping. Odd.

    • The article you are commenting on clearly identifies verizon as a provider that throttles.

      • But that’s when you’re on the unlimited plan, so, no overage charges. But when you’re not on the unlimited plan, they proudly let you go quickly, magnitudes over your limit and charge you outrageous fees…that’s what @danihayes:disqus is referring to.

  • Eli aka Mr. Haha

    you’re seriously telling me that with all the money carriers make off of us, and all the technology we have available to us in this day and age, that the best option is to throttle your paying customers? Makes no sense at all.

  • So the “ALL YOU CAN EAT” buffet is now “ALL YOU CAN SLOWLY EAT”…wonder how throttled the data speed will be, if it’s throttled to 3G, I’m personally not complaining, ’cause that’s fast enough for me (based on experience when sharing my iPhone 4S data with my Surface Pro 2), but it’s still a rip-off for those who agreed to pay for the $70/$80 plan each month of UNLIMITED LTE.