As reported by the TMoNews blog, Deutsche Telekom-owned T-Mobile, the nation’s fourth-largest wireless carrier, has introduced a soft cap on data usage for its Simple Choice customers in the form of 21 gigabytes of high-speed 4G LTE cellular data. Exceeding this monthly allotment won’t incur additional charges, but your speed may be throttled during periods of network congestion.
Previously, T-Mobile would specifically throttle only the three percent of its top data-hungry subscribers. With today’s change, other users may see their speeds temporarily dropped after exceeding 21 GB of data usage during a billing period.
According to TMoNews, the carrier has made the change silently, without great fanfare, by updating the fine print on its 4G LTE Simple Choice plans and without bragging about it on social media, as it typically is its wont.
“Unlimited 4G LTE customers who use more than 21 GB of data in a bill cycle will have their data usage de-prioritized compared to other customers for that bill cycle at locations and times when competing network demands occur, resulting in relatively slower speeds,” notes the refreshed message.
Because throttling kicks in only when there’s actual network congestion, not all of the affected customers will see their download speeds dropped to 1Mbps, or lower. If anything, the introduction of the 21GB soft cap at last makes it clear exactly how much data you’re allowed to use before being throttled.
“Previously, the 97 percent marker was ambiguous at best,” explains TMoNews. “You have no idea how much data other customers are using, and so you will have no way of knowing if you’re in the top three percent of data users, or not.”
Flagged customers may only be throttled until a new monthly billing cycle begins.
See t-mobile.com/OpenInternet for details.
Curiously, by the time of this writing T-Mobile’s PR department had not issued a press release to formally announce the move.
The change arrives just 24 hours ahead of T-Mobile’s next slew of major announcements at the ‘Un-Carrier Amped’ event slated for June 25. The press conference will be live-streamed at tmobile.com/uncarrieramped.
“We keep listening to customers and battling to change wireless for the better,” the company teased. “While the carriers are still trying to figure out how to respond to our Un-carrier moves, we’re going to amp them up.”
We’ll be covering tomorrow’s event so check back with us throughout the day for news on T-Mobile’s latest disruptive initiatives.