T-Mobile CEO John Legere responds to Binge On controversy with video; feature adds 14 new providers



T-Mobile CEO John Legere took to video today to post his response to critics who have been bashing the carrier over Binge On. This is the feature offered by the carrier that allows subscribers to view video from certain providers without using any of the customer's data allowance. T-Mobile's top executive extols the virtues of Binge On, and there is no denying that T-Mobile customers are saving their precious data by using the feature. Legere says that his customers are receiving three times more video with the same amount of data by using Binge On. "Customers really love it," Legere says. "Trust me."

On the video, Legere  says, "There are people out there saying we're throttling, that's a game of semantics and it's bullshit." The CEO defines throttling as "slowing down data and removing customer control." Binge On does neither according to Legere. Instead, he claims that the plan optimizes the data stream. "So we built technology to optimize for mobile screens and stream at a bitrate designed to stretch your mobile data consumption." The result, says Legere, is that T-Mobile customers are watching DVD quality data, but are using only one-third as much data or no data at all in the case of a Binge On provider.

Keep in mind that it is in T-Mobile's best interest to define throttling this way because it means that the carrier isn't violating Net Neutrality regulations that specifically prohibit the throttling of data. While a report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) included the results of tests that showed T-Mobile was reducing all HTML5 video streams to a speed of 1.5Mbps, it is important to note that T-Mobile customers can disable Binge On if they so desire. However, the customer would then have to use his own data allowance to stream videos that might have been covered by the feature.

Legere's video does clear up this mess. The bottom line is that if you are a T-Mobile customer, using Binge On will reduce your data use by one-third if the content provider is not a Binge On provider. If the provider is signed up for Binge On, no customer data is used. And if the quality of the video is not to your liking, you can turn off the feature. This is why some of the carrier's subscribers were complaining about the quality of YouTube videos even though the video streamer is not a Binge On provider. Meanwhile, 14 new partners have been added to Binge On today including A&E, Lifetime, History Channel, and PlayStation Vue Live.

Had T-Mobile made it clear that all videos streamed to a customer would go through its "optimization" if he/she enabled Binge On, most likely no one would have even thought twice about all this.

source: T-Mobile

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31 Comments

1. cfprelude

Posts: 140; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

well said and nicely explained by John L... people that like downloading huge files (streaming included) to view on a 5" display just prove how little they know about tech :(

3. 2faraway

Posts: 75; Member since: Mar 26, 2014

yeah try to stream at 720p and see what happened........opps buffering........ u've been brainwashed again!!

5. Odeira

Posts: 300; Member since: Jun 29, 2012

Why do you need to stream video on HD? 480P is PERFECTLY FINE and adequately detailed! 480P is overkill for streaming, unless you can source your own HD-and-beyond content, stream in 480P. Leave the "HD" streaming to music!

6. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

All video bitrates buffer sometimes. Your point?

8. cfprelude

Posts: 140; Member since: Oct 27, 2011

lol - seriously do you not read??? why do i need 720p on my 5.5" screen??? even if it wasnt "free data" i see no point in making my phone download all that data. and i get 55-60mbps down and 30mbps up with tmobile lte so i have very little to complain about #atleastmybrainisclean :)

31. seret6

Posts: 279; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

When will 4k screen phones be launched by samsung or apple?

12. Acer_Predator unregistered

he really don't sleep ant night this guy.. he is too much recording himself.. others OPs never seen them...

2. zeppo

Posts: 200; Member since: Jul 21, 2015

I have $30 5gb plan. I never watched any video before. Now thanks to T-Mobile, I watched a lot of Netflix, hulu anywhere. Best $30 plan ever.

17. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Ikr Same Here, Smh Some People Just Don't Know To Appreciate A Good Thing And Binge On Is Nothing But Good.

18. aBoss

Posts: 164; Member since: Sep 15, 2014

is that a prepaid plan? Do their prepaid plan comes with free music and video?

20. nahusiv

Posts: 100; Member since: Apr 20, 2015

"Now thanks to T-Mobile" that sounded like you are being paid, no offense

4. hellonerds

Posts: 334; Member since: Aug 27, 2013

thats it im going to download 2/5 gb movies and see...i did notice my youtube would go "DVD quality" on my note 4 quad hd screen and looks like crap..i have unlimted data and im not this bingo thing.. but its been pretty smooth now..idk maybe t-mobile updated it after all this talk lol.. but yeah im going to try and rack up 30GB data next month and see what happens lol..

10. joevsyou

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

if you are on unlimited, why don't you just go disable it?

19. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

LOL He's A Dumbass Cause If He Has Unlimited Then He Shouldn't Have A Problem Anyway.

24. TheMan68

Posts: 21; Member since: Nov 15, 2015

If you have unlimited then Binge On works with devices on the Hotspot. Its question number three on the Binge On site. I stream free Netflix to my computer and tablet as well as Slingplayer to both.

29. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

So He Probably Isn't Doing That.

7. matistight

Posts: 982; Member since: May 13, 2009

I'm just irritated that I have the unlimited data plan, no throttling, and my 1080 video buffers now in the same area in my house that 1440 streamed flawless before the BingeOn

9. ShadowHammer

Posts: 201; Member since: Mar 13, 2015

Have you tried streaming with Binge On enabled and then disabled? With an unlimited plan, your only real benefit with Binge On is the Vudu thing. If you don't care about that, I would disable it and it should go back to what it was before.

25. HighOnAndroidFTW

Posts: 185; Member since: Apr 26, 2015

Sure it did, troll

26. TheMan68

Posts: 21; Member since: Nov 15, 2015

If you have unlimited then Binge On works with devices on the Hotspot. Its question number three on the Binge On site. I stream free Netflix to my computer and tablet as well as Slingplayer to both.

21. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

disable it....disable it....disable it....disable it This only goes to show how the job of a Tech Agent at Tmobile when people call in is so infuriating.

11. joevsyou

Posts: 1091; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

program sounds a little fishy but i think it's fine. You're welcome to opt out.

13. eN16HTMAR3

Posts: 253; Member since: Oct 08, 2013

Before Net neutrality got throw out from what I understand; Verizon was illegally slowing down my data rates via Network Optimization. They claimed that it was because I was ruining the experience for everyone around me by soaking up so much bandwidth. I asked how I could fix this issue and the only response I could get was switching to a tiered plan with a cap. I respectfully said "no", got in touch with the better business bureau and made Verizon release me from my contract beings they weren't honoring their side of the agreement.. So when the other guys says this about T-MO remember that Verizon did it first and they did it better without most of the general public ever even knowing about it.

22. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

No and again no. What Verizon did was not what tmo does. With TMO you can TURN IT OFF. The only time they slow you down is during peak times, which is usually less than 1hr a day for overly heavy users. I have seen customers with 80-120GB/month usage. One was a legitimate HD streamer, the other was bypassing tethering with a 3rdparty app.

14. mike2959

Posts: 694; Member since: Oct 08, 2011

Take the same phone, & stream the same content. One on AT&T and the other on TMO. I just did it here with a friend and you can clearly see a difference in the quality. On a 5.5" display you can CLEARLY see the difference between 480, 720, 1080. Not just a little. It's massive. For everyone defending TMO, are the same guys that every time the display tech gets better you say it's not needed?

23. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Then turn it off...how is this so hard to understand. It is like complaining you cant see the sun when you go to the basement...then freaking go outside.

15. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

I have unlimited on both lines and it was turned on automatically. Turned that s**t off. No need for it since we have unlimited. Noticed a huge difference in video's willingness to play HD content.

27. TheMan68

Posts: 21; Member since: Nov 15, 2015

If you have unlimited then Binge On works with devices on the Hotspot. Its question number three on the Binge On site. I stream free Netflix to my computer and tablet as well as Slingplayer to both.

30. ojdidit84

Posts: 462; Member since: Jul 16, 2011

Yeah, I don't use the hotspot as much as I used to. I have wifi at home & work and don't tether to anything while I'm out. I'll have to keep that in mind though.

16. Pattyface

Posts: 1658; Member since: Aug 20, 2014

No thanks.. Im not into bargain cell coverage that compresses the hell out of my video just to look like they are doing customers a solid.. Just like everything else.. You pay for what you get.

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