AT&T, Sprint expect network congestion from T-Mobile's Binge On

AT&T, Sprint expect network congestion from T-Mobile's Binge On
As you might expect, the response from rival carriers to T-Mobile's Binge On plan was not positive. Announced yesterday as part of the carrier's Un-carrier X announcement, Binge On gives T-Mobile customers receiving 3GB of data or more each month, the ability to watch streaming video from 24 providers without having the data used count against their monthly data allowance.

Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T Mobile & Business Solutions, and Sprint CFO Tarek Robbiati both discussed the network congestion that T-Mobile will face with the launch of Binge On. The AT&T executive said, "When you give people unlimited, they use it in a significant way."

The AT&T executive told those attending the Wells Fargo Securities Technology, Media & Telecom investor conference, that his company offers customers a better video experience because of AT&T's purchase of DirecTV. He noted that unlike T-Mobile, which is shrinking the size of video streams on its network by using a proprietary adaptive bit-rate technology, AT&T offers high-quality video. De la Vega points out that T-Mobile hiked the price of its unlimited service from $80 to $95 a month to help Binge On become a reality. 

Sprint's Robbiati said, "I think the word 'binge' is very apropos. It looks like a hangover is going to come at some point." Like de la Vega, the Sprint CEO says that T-Mobile will face heavy congestion on its pipeline. Citing Sprint's inventory of 2.5GHz spectrum (Sprint owns more spectrum than any other carrier), Robbiati says that Sprint doesn't have congestion problems.

You can bet your bottom dollar that this is not over yet, not by a long shot. T-Mobile CEO John Legere is sure to toss his two cents in, so you might want to keep checking in to see his response.

source: FierceWireless



28. wkm001

Posts: 145; Member since: Feb 04, 2014

Sprint doesn't have congestion? Then what is their excuse?

36. Eclectech

Posts: 364; Member since: May 01, 2013

Tell me about it. Sprint's network certainly operates like it has congestion ...all the time

27. shinywindow unregistered

T-mobile smokes AT&T in charlotte nc area

24. erikhdz36

Posts: 19; Member since: Mar 04, 2013

Ha ha ha..all I see that att it's worry that tmobile is kicking there buts 480p or 1080 it doesn't matter all unlimited .....!!!

26. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

Matter for me I prefer 1080, I wud settle for 720p tho

20. SprintGuy26

Posts: 229; Member since: Mar 21, 2011

"Robbiati says that Sprint doesn't have congestion problems" thats because no ones one the network, lol sorry couldnt help myself maybe t-mobile has a crap load of backhaul and they know they can offer this feature

19. GreatBigPhoney

Posts: 71; Member since: Jan 27, 2015

No. This feature can be turned on and off and apparently the change will be instant. If you don't want to use it, you don't have to do so.

12. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

My question is this, if you have unlimited data and you wanted to watch your shows in 1080p glory will this uncarrier force your videos into 480p regardless even if you had unlimited data or a 10 gig plan, because if it do then tmobile one slick company lol no one will use high data even with unlimited cause they put all the major companies that people use data for and compress all of it on their network so the unlimited person would barely use any of their 4G beside Web pages to read news and everything else 3g

10. Gemmol

Posts: 793; Member since: Nov 09, 2011

For low music quality I do not mind so much, but low quality on movies and shows is not that good, it probably won't be so bad on the small screen iphone but once the screen size get bigger it's no good, but for people that do not mind it's a great option and great deal.......the situation I have now is better with free WiFi from optimum and AT&T all over brooklyn, but even though that option is there I already have enough data on the family plan and get roll over, so every video can be seen in high definition and all the songs can be played in high quality

8. engineer-1701d unregistered

cant wait to hear how sprints service could get any worse i got so many 911 disconnects its a joke of a network after 15 years, i finally switched to t-mobile, wish nextel was still a thing untouched my sprint that would be the number 2 in the us.

4. brettschulte

Posts: 10; Member since: Oct 30, 2015

OK I am a T-Mobile fan boy to be sure, but I have to admit I don't understand the network utilization strategy of pushing more and more data use. For the first time, I'm seeing people in forums worrying aloud that the network will become congested. Think about that... customers worrying about congestion! T-Mobile fans know we have it good, and we don't WANT it to be slammed with idiots watching Netflix at home from their mobile devices instead on on an ISP. How can that NOT happen? I realize they have some cool compression and that will help, but this really seems to encourage some dangerous practices. Oh well, in John Legere we trust.

9. engineer-1701d unregistered

ok look at it this was if you have 10 people in a room all trying to watch a youtube 1080 vid on the same tower you get a buffer all the time and the videos are not setup for mobile compression code so, by having a proprietary software or tech that converts to 480 and 60fps all 10 people can watch the same video at the same time clean and no stutter or buffering, and you have safed 50% of the data used because of the packet loss protocol just like windows networking you can set up jumbo packet or or standard where it sends small packets and doubles as it goes unless a loss is found and starts again, causing the buffering.

3. bugsbunny00

Posts: 2267; Member since: Jun 07, 2013

we'll just have to see t-mobile's streaming service if it works,and that bit-rate tech it'll save battery.

2. Mxyzptlk unregistered

*grabs popcorn* Watching these carrier fights with T-Mobile is more entertaining than arguments in a blackberry article.

15. meanestgenius

Posts: 23091; Member since: May 28, 2014

Or an iOS/Apple article. Now stop being greedy and pass the popcorn and I'll pass you a beer.

16. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Pass me a beer as well!

18. meanestgenius

Posts: 23091; Member since: May 28, 2014

You got it!

23. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Popcorn's on the house if you're bringing the beer.

25. meanestgenius

Posts: 23091; Member since: May 28, 2014


1. stevetherican

Posts: 40; Member since: Sep 10, 2015

The AT&T rep's response was worse than Sprint's. Did anyone tell the AT&T rep that DirecTV is one of the 24 qualifying in Binge On? Why pay more at AT&T when I can stream it free through T-Mobile for cheaper?

5. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

Enjoy your 480p video compression.. I'll enjoy my 1080p and 4k videos I stream via my uncapped time warner. This was a lackluster uncarrier event

7. engineer-1701d unregistered

wow not up with the world of tech are we, time warner is south east usa not the rest of the country and on top of that the 480p high hz will look great, why do you think the iphone screen animation is better its 60fps lets just give it a try its free like john said.

13. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

480p will never look great.. Sorry tmobile can't make enough magic with it to impress.. Again why would I use This? They raised their prices for unlimited to pay for it. They are still not addressing the biggest issue with coverage.. Instead they are trying to duke people into jumping on their subpar network

37. EphemeralVapor

Posts: 3; Member since: Oct 04, 2015

Only ever enjoyed tv after the switch to HD broadcast and blu-ray I see... I remember getting dvds- they look marvelous compared to vhs, and vhs looked great compared to bad ntsc reception, and color tv looked great compared to my old small b/w tv my brothers and I shared as kids... I take your point about coverage tho..., hopefully that will change, along with reduced congestion, as those r the bigger deals...

34. thxultra

Posts: 494; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

It is optional you can disbale the compresson if you want. 480 is fine on a small screen phone anyway. Refresh rate is way more important then resolution when it comes to small screen watching. I have had bigger issues with motion blur dur to slow refresh then low resolution. I can't tell you how many people I know that have really nice hd tvs and are watching sd content and don't even realize it.

29. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

How was AT&Ts response worst than Sprints? "Citing Sprint's inventory of 2.5GHz spectrum (Sprint owns more spectrum than any other carrier), Robbiati says that Sprint doesn't have congestion problems." Sprint is plain out lying here. They have congestion problems all over Seattle. They still have 3GG only in the middle of the city, LTE no where to be found. Their network is totally humiliating. I have a AT&T phone and a Sprint phone and Sprint is a joke.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.
FCC OKs Cingular's purchase of AT&T Wireless