T-Mobile planning to throttle some unlimited data users

In the recent months, there has been a trend between cell phone service providers to throttle heavy data users. Following the fad, T-Mobile has joined the party, according to a leaked memo. The memo states that on August 17, the company will begin to throttle users that are misusing their unlimited data service by using it for peer-to-peer file sharing and tethering for use outside of the terms and conditions when they signed up.

It reads as such:

“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.”

The report states that they will contact the offender to explain their terms and conditions in addition to advising them that their service will be throttled until the next billing cycle, unless they abstain from misuse. After the customer is contacted, they will tack a "Misuse Warning SOC" onto their account, and if it continues, it will change to "Misuse Throttle SOC." These statuses will be visible to customer support and other staff to make them aware of the reason why the customers unlimited access has been slowed.

The memo also mentions that more serious offenses such as hacking, spreading malware, fraud, etc, while using their network will warrant throttling. Users without an unlimited data plan will not be affected due an already included cap on their 4G LTE data usage.

Source: TmoNews | Image via T-Mobile

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29 Comments

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It's fair for them to throttle connections if someone has breached the service agreement (ie tethering without paying.)

But I am on the fence in regards to the rest of their throttling. I understand they rent out towers which cost them a TON, which means they should bring back the old ROAMING warnings and throttle when someone is on a rented tower only.

FloatingFatMan said,
*Reads headline only.

Oh I say! That's a bit harsh!! :p

Yeah, choking your customers doesn't exactly build goodwill, now does it? :-D

Majesticmerc said,
Sorry Mr Legere, what was this "T-Mobile is here to do right by customers" mantra you were shouting just over a month ago?

http://www.neowin.net/news/leg...re-to-do-right-by-customers


They are still screwing people over with the charges on accounts. I see on their site that the Rhapsody was supposed to be free for unlimited customers, and I still got billed for this. I went back and had this removed and got a refund.

But, you paid for a service with terms and conditions, and you're only being throttled if you break those T&Cs.

I have a problem if they suddenly say "we're throttling the top 5% of users", but throttling when you breach their T&C is acceptable IMO.

-adrian- said,
The t&Cs on a unlimited data contract should by law not include limiting your use of data. clearly false advertising

They aren't limiting your data use though, just your speed.

spenser.d said,

They aren't limiting your data use though, just your speed.


Well .. maybe they should advertise it as unlimited GPRS Data rather than LTE

Here we go again.
I sign up for an unlimited service. No download caps. No monthly limits. Just pure unlimited downloading to do what I wish with.
However, if I even think about doing any of that, BOOM!!!!! instantly throttled.
Unlimited=No limits=Limitless=Not being punished for using as much bandwidth as I can within the confines of the bandwidth you provide me, as long as I like, because it's unlimited.

So technically, it's not an unlimited service then. Hmm. The once true advert has now become false advertising.
"Unlimited still, although really slow because we'll chop your speed down if you use our service".

That is the biggest pain that came with the wireless connections. it took already ages till land lines provided a full "unlimited" experience which they are also already taking away again since it works so well on their mobile contracts. selling something on flatrate or unlimited should provide a service which you pay for as the service you are paying for it

Odom said,
So sue them like they did in Germany. The ISP was forced to change their advertising.

I've seen ads before that say things like "Unlimited data!" then in super fine print it'll say something like "fair use policy applies". That's one way that they get around it. I wouldn't be against things like a "fair use" policy if it was some exorbitant amount, but the problem is that it isn't.

I wouldn't be against fair use policy if they wouldn't call the data option "unlimited"
Cant open a restaurant and say all you can eat but you can just take 3 plates

-adrian- said,
I wouldn't be against fair use policy if they wouldn't call the data option "unlimited"
Cant open a restaurant and say all you can eat but you can just take 3 plates

Incorrect analogy. It would be, open restaurant, and eat as much as you want, but not all at once; if you eat too much too fast, we will take longer to serve your plates.

I can see this happen with pirates but how will they throttle user when there behind a VPN plus if they are just heavy users will they get throttle because watching Netflix?

They have been doing this already for a while now, its just now its official. Also like the previous poster states VPN helps a lot with this.

What's that T-Mobile? I used 50GB of data on encrypted traffic?
No, definitely wasn't P2P. I was doing.... remote support!


Totally believable.

Raa said,
What's that T-Mobile? I used 50GB of data on encrypted traffic?
No, definitely wasn't P2P. I was doing.... remote support!


Totally believable.

At least they can't prove it was P2P. I'm sure 50GB of any traffic in a month would raise some flags.

Raa said,
What's that T-Mobile? I used 50GB of data on encrypted traffic?
No, definitely wasn't P2P. I was doing.... remote support!


Totally believable.

My friend is still on his old T-Mobile UK contract. 1GB of data, after that they throttle speeds for everything but web data. So he routes all his torrents through port 80. Unthrottled downloads for him.

nvllsvm said,

At least they can't prove it was P2P. I'm sure 50GB of any traffic in a month would raise some flags.


50gb? That's easy to do nowadays - without P2P or anything "sketchy".
ie: Downloading Steam games, console games, game updates, lots of Youtube streaming, and of course, Netflix.

Auzeras said,
Downloading steam games off a mobile connection?

Perfectly possible with a 3G connection but the article mentions P2P and tethering. Good luck downloading steam games without tethering.

Exactly my thoughts, it seems like they are targeting those who are genuinely abusing the system, not every day users. I'd find it hard to go over 5gb on my phone. I have 500mb (damn NZ Telecom's) but even then it lasts fairly well. I can't really see myself using much in excess of 3gb with normal use.