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T-Mobile UK redefines the term "browsing" by restricting video and file downloading

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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T-Mobile UK redefines the term
The carriers have been getting all hot and bothered recently how their networks were never meant to handle the influx of smartphones that people use for so much, well, browsing the Internet. The European telcos went so far as to go Tony Soprano, requesting payments from YouTube, Facebook, Apple - basically everyone who generates a tad more traffic, but people frequent on a regular basis. The premise is that such sites have to be paying fees for allowing them access to the carrier's data networks.

This crazy idea obviously didn't travel far, so now T-Mobile UK is taking the matter by its no-so-smooth handle. The carrier distributed a new policy, in effect next month, that "Browsing means looking at websites and checking email, but not watching videos, downloading files or playing games. We've got a fair use policy but ours means that you'll always be able to browse the internet, it's only when you go over the fair use amount that you won't be able to download, stream and watch video clips.".

Wait, what? You are preventing me from watching YouTube clips on my phone after a certain amount of "fair use" data consumed? How much?  "From 1st February 2011 we will be aligning our fair use policies so our mobile internet service will have fair use of 500MB." Take that, subscribers who have signed for the 3GB option, better plan around watching YouTube in the first days of the month, because after you go over 500MB, you will only be rocking Solitaire and old school text-only articles.

Can they do that? Obviously it is technologically possible, and US carriers have also been at the partner presentations of Allot Communications and Openet, who provide tools for traffic segmentation, even if your connection is encrypted. We really don't like where this is heading, and can't fathom why a simple higher charge is not enough to safeguard the carriers' networks from overloading. There is only one step from T-Mobile UK's unilateral decision to pricing mobile Internet use according to content, as in the chart below.

source: TheGuardian
T-Mobile UK redefines the term "browsing" by restricting video and file downloading

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posted on 12 Jan 2011, 06:57

1. PhoneLuver (Posts: 481; Member since: 05 Jul 2010)

This is rather stupid! All that tech which I bet isn't cheap.let's see how long it takes them to reverse this policy once customers abandon the carrier in droves.. Who needs a marketing campaign when your competitor shoots himself in the foot? lol

Watch this space, this is definitely a blunder in the making!

posted on 12 Jan 2011, 07:40

2. Libertasian (Posts: 14; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)

A sad sign of the future. wait a year for an american operator to announce something simmilar.

posted on 12 Jan 2011, 08:36

3. Slammer (Posts: 1515; Member since: 03 Jun 2010)

Evidently, T-Mobile appears to like making up their own definitions of what something is. So essentially, it is going to boil down to carriers such as Sprint truly giving subscribers bang for the buck.

John B.

posted on 12 Jan 2011, 09:35

4. bigboombam (Posts: 4; Member since: 12 Jan 2011)


The article says T-Mobile UK, not T-Mobile USA, or even Deutsche Telekom for that matter. So what does Sprint, or ANY American based cellular service provider, have anything to do with T-Mobile UK?

And I'm sure you're not referring to the ITU 're-branding' the definition of 4G, making T-Mobile's HSPA+ network actually 4G, as T-Mobile "Making up their own definitions of what something is", are you? Because that'd just be straight ignorant, dawg.

posted on 12 Jan 2011, 11:08

5. joe187 (unregistered)

Keep in mind that T-Mobile USA was calling their HSPA+ network 4G BEFORE ITU decided to re-brand the definition of 4G. So techincally, T-Mobile USA did in fact make their own definition of what 4G is.

posted on 12 Jan 2011, 12:39

6. bigboombam (Posts: 4; Member since: 12 Jan 2011)

TECHNICALLY the most verbatim definition of 4G is 'Fourth-Generation Wireless', which T-Mobile's HSPA+ network is. So, technically, you're a bender.

posted on 12 Jan 2011, 16:45

7. Phoner (unregistered)

Well in all reality 4g is anything greater than 100 mb/s. T-Mobile is revamping their network and constantly improving until it reaches that mark. By the end of the year they are supposed to have 42 mb/s. Which is faster than any god damn cell phone can handle anyway....

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