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T-Mobile increases high-speed unlimited data 'cap' to 50GB

By Shawn Knight · 19 replies
Sep 20, 2017
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  1. T-Mobile is at it again. The disruptive wireless carrier is boosting its “network prioritization point,” a fancy term that simply means users will have access to more high-speed data before throttling kicks in.

    Starting Wednesday, T-Mobile customers will be able to use at least 50GB of high-speed data before prioritization is implemented. Up to this point, the limit was set at 32GB – still a decent amount and far more than AT&T and Verizon offer at 22GB. Sprint’s high-speed cap is set at 23GB.

    T-Mobile is quick to highlight that a customer will only notice prioritization when two things happen: they’ve exceeded 50GB of data in a single month and they are in an area of the network that is actively experiencing congestion.

    The wireless industry has drastically changed its marketing strategy over the years to adapt to consumer trends.

    One doesn’t have to think back all that far to remember a time when wireless plans were sold based on the number of talk minutes they offered. When SMS was in vogue, the carriers capitalized with some charging on a per-message basis although Apple decimated SMS with its iMessage service (BlackBerry also helped with its Messenger platform). Heck, mobile data was so underutilized at one point that it was often offered as a free or cheap plan add-on.

    Any bets on how long it’ll be before AT&T, Sprint and Verizon follow suit and increase their prioritization limits? This is a “monkey see, monkey do” industry, after all.

    Permalink to story.

  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,135   +1,553

    Every time I hear a wireless carrier use the word unlimited:
  3. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 539   +294

    The data is unlimited. The speed is not. It's not that hard of a concept.

    To answer your rebuttal about throttling limiting the data over a period of time it's a specious argument. Speeds are limited by the networks capacity and throughput to begin with so there never existed an unlimited plan (per your "limited definition") to begin with. Furthermore all plans have limits to prevent abuse from customers who clearly are using their service for activities non-intended for their use.
  4. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 2,135   +1,553

    Can't let me just have my fun, eh? ;) I like your profile pic by the way.
    Reehahs likes this.
  5. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,286

    “network prioritization point”
    The marketing crowd are at it again. Nobody knows what that sentence means and neither do they care just as long as they reap some benefit but it sure sounds impressive and pedantic. In a fight to the death, bullsh!t will always emerge victorious over brains, a fact the worlds politicians prove everyday.
  6. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 539   +294

    It's a pet peeve of mine when people genuinely lament the supposed unfairness of unlimited plans; in your case I apologize for not getting the joke and being way too serious about it.

    Thanks for the compliment on the pic - it's an ocelot.
    stewi0001 likes this.
  7. kcwilsonii

    kcwilsonii TS Rookie

    Perfect, it's all big joke anyways. They are just trying to suck every penny they can out of us
  8. kcwilsonii

    kcwilsonii TS Rookie

    Yes but it's a big joke... like when they claim you must use wi-fi-because a download is too big (100mb), but you can easily download 5 20 mb file without any problem.

    So now they can magically double the data to 50 gb before any slow down of speed.. ha. They have no speed issues. Not with all the fiber they use for those networks.
  9. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 539   +294

    I am not aware of any limitation of a download size on T-mobile (I have been a T-mo subscriber for the last 4 years). I've downloaded larger files on cellular service through apps (both my file server and Google Docs); this seems like an app limitation to prevent data overages and not a limitation by the carrier.

    If you have something documented I am willing to admit I am wrong here.

    Data is not being doubled - the threshold for throttling data when there is congestion in the area has increased 56.25%. If there is no congestion in your area then data will not be throttled.

    I experience congestion daily where I work on T-Mo's service as I work near large companies. During work hours service is noticeably slower. Between 6PM and midnight (I've worked some late nights) speeds nearly double. Some days, usually around lunch, it's near impossible to stream Youtube videos (limited to 480p) because people are using their phones. When I work from home in a residential area the inverse is true - around 6 PM usage and congestion skyrocket while during the day I can stream without hiccup.

    In those cases the whole network is slow already and throttling will stop the heavy users (read abusers) from exacerbating the situation.
    Reehahs likes this.
  10. petert

    petert TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +157

    It is unlimited but is limited. You gotta give it to the US customer base, a crowd so dumb that such cheap tricks are allowed and from time to time you can make a mockery out of it by offering "unlimited internet capped at 50GB" .
  11. Theinsanegamer

    Theinsanegamer TS Evangelist Posts: 1,516   +1,720

    And you gotta hand it to non americans being so illiterate they cant read the fine print.

    High speed is limited to 50GB before you get deprioritized on congested towers. Actual data is unlimited, ultra high speed 4g is limited.
    The 100MB restriction is an apple thing. no such restriction on android devices. Also, there are certainly bandwidth issues. Have you ever set up major wireless networks? There is only so much bandwidth when you are restricted to certain spectrum (as all carriers are) and there is only so much airtime to go around. Restricting bandwidth is the proper way to negotiate speed on these networks.
    petert likes this.
  12. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 539   +294

    That makes sense; I only use Android devices on cellular.

    Also I am on the side of throttling abusers so that navigation, email, etc. are available for all people at the expense of those who want to stream 4k Netflix 24/7.
  13. sac39507

    sac39507 TS Addict Posts: 239   +88

    Unlimited data cap is an oxymoron
  14. Draconian

    Draconian TS Enthusiast Posts: 80   +16

    Good on T-Mo. Does that include tethering data? If so, that's a game changer.
  15. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 539   +294

    The concept of unlimited, or infinite if you will, for a finite resource in 4 dimensions doesn't exist.

    The concept of unlimited data for US cellular subscribers is a known quantity; those who rail against it are puerile or pedantic.
  16. Unlimited cap. Hmm..
  17. ghostf1re

    ghostf1re TS Maniac Posts: 366   +230


    I actually use my phone enough to be throttled. I have T-Mobile and my plan is unlimited. I use 30gb per month pretty regularly, so this is welcome news. I have zero issues with throttling speed though. It makes perfect sense and anyone who complains about this is just really dumb.
  18. OcelotRex

    OcelotRex TS Guru Posts: 539   +294

    The only explanation I can think of that would appease the people upset with this are those that don't understand how phone service works or would prefer that during congestion all users are throttled and not just the bad actors.
  19. erickmendes

    erickmendes TS Evangelist Posts: 561   +246

    Whatever... Where I live (Brasil) I pay 50 dollars to have an 6GB cap on my mobile carrier... And the 4G coverage is so frustrating that I spent at best 2,5GB a month...
  20. petert

    petert TS Evangelist Posts: 358   +157

    Oh baby yeah, this explains everything - I even liked your post. Enjoy your limited/unlimited connection then. I guess streaming video on 2G is a fine pleasure people from other parts of the world cannot understand. I am sure all of you use your mobile connection to read emails or newspapers, the cool companies only capped 4G at 50Gb because nobody reaches that limit anyway.

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