T-Mobile defines the “limit” on its Unlimited LTE plan


Like many others, T-Mobile offers an "Unlimited" data plan for its mobile customers. It differs from the alternative offerings in the provider's portfolio in that it doesn't limit or throttle a user's connection speed when they go beyond certain threshold of monthly data use. At least, that's what the carriers would like you to believe.

Fact is that even "unlimited" plans have some sort of mechanic that is meant to discourage users that go over the top. AT&T, for example, has been accused of throttling "Unlimited" users' data after they used up a certain amount, which kind of goes against the way the carrier markets the plan. T-Mobile, on the other hand, claims that it doesn't drag speeds down, however, the 3% of its users that end up consuming "too much" data per billing cycle (month) will get their connections "de-prioritized".

What this means is that said users will still be potentially able to reach T-Mobile's top LTE speeds, however, their network requests will be pushed back in the queue in favor of users who have used their mobile Internet more sparingly. So, while not throttling per se, said customers will feel a significant drop in data speeds when they are in a heavily populated area and during the active hours of the day.

But what constitutes as “using too much data”? The 3% guideline was vague to say the least and consumers could rarely know whether they have been “de-prioritized” for the month or not. Well, thankfully, T-Mo has added a line of information about the cap on its official website. Said line explains that users that will get the short end of the stick are the ones that have consumed more than 21 GB in the current bill cycle.

Does this sound fair to you? On one side, if one pays $80 per month for something that is advertised as “Unlimited”, we'd see their point if they were to cry foul over any limitations, no matter how generous. On the other hand, other paying customers who also shell out the same $80 may suffer due to data hogs in their area, which also doesn't sound very fair. Which side are you on? Let the “Un-unlimited 2.1” memes begin!



source: T-Mobile via TmoNews

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67 Comments

1. namesib

Posts: 97; Member since: Feb 08, 2015

Meanwhile, Three offers 1TB of data and stopped throttling over a year ago in my experience. Why are American carriers such a rip off and why do they have so much control? support.three.co.uk/SRVS/CGI-BIN/WEBISAPI.DLL?Comm​and=New,Kb=Mobile,Ts=Mobile,T=Article,varset_cat=i​nternetapps,varset_subcat=3583,Case=obj%283833%29

3. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

They get away with it for two reasons: 1. They own the legislative process. They spend tons of money to buy politicians who in turn have given them sweetheart deals that have made them bigger, more powerful, and able to buy up smaller competitors and the best spectrum. 2. Because of 1., the big two, Verizon and AT&T, and to a much lesser extent, T-Mobile and Sprint, are the only ones with decent coverage and speeds. So, we choose poor service and coverage or we keep making the big boys richer and more powerful. It's a vicious circle.

30. pancakepaddle

Posts: 12; Member since: Jun 24, 2015

File complaint with FCC ATT just got sued 100m for slowing down speeds.

41. Niva.

Posts: 440; Member since: Jan 05, 2015

They did not "just get sued," that has been an ongoing saga for years. The FCC has been very slow in terms of handling this and it's been rather embarassing. I personally support the 3% deprioritize plan and even throttling so long as it's advertised that way.

47. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

You want towers? techs to service them when they go down? unlimited bandwidth? and the list goes on and on, but you don't want to freaking pay for it. They are not throttling, what they are saying is, your data requests, which is handled like a zipper, one after another, is put back in line instead of at the front. And it is only during high peak times. Meaning it will happen at say 11am when everyone wants to check the score, or it may happen at 4pm when everyone and their mother wants to use maps. If there is not a lot of traffic on the network you will get your 15Mbps, your 50Mbps or even 80Mbps on T-Mobile. This is NOT throttled.

13. waddup121 unregistered

T-Mobile be like "The Sky's the Limit!"

28. pancakepaddle

Posts: 12; Member since: Jun 24, 2015

They want to make money off us and keeo us held back while making profits.

46. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Because the coverage sucks?http://www.three.co.uk/Discover/Network/Coverage The entire population is 65million in the UK. According to their information, their 4G covers just 53% of that, so 34million give or take potential customers. Tmobile covers this amount alone in just one tiny region of the US alone (New England and NY). Not only that, their speeds are lower than what T-Mobile is offering. There is a huge difference. I regularly get 15Mbps, and near some areas of town hit 50Mbps constantly. From what I have seen from other tests including ookla net index they are not even listed in the top 4. At any rate, I couldn't visit their site (down for maintenance) to see the costs.

2. rsiders

Posts: 1935; Member since: Nov 17, 2011

Seriously 21gb of data. Unless they are using that amount of data for work related reasons, which I can't think of a legitimate work related use case(insert your example below), they should probably be doing something more productive with their time anyway or find a WiFi spot to connect to. Seriously 21gb? They have no reason to whine of that's the case.

4. Napalm_3nema

Posts: 2236; Member since: Jun 14, 2013

Some people use that connection as the only connection to the internet. Since when do carriers control the Oxford English Dictionary and have the ability to redefine "unlimited"? It's a "bait and switch" tactic.

48. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

You are still unlimited data. Since when do people have a reading comprehension issue. Unlimited Data. No where does it say Unlimited Speed. It states that you will not be throttled. Which you are not. Throttled is meaning that no matter what time of day, you will see say 1Mbps vs 50Mbps (where I live). This however is saying....hey you have used 21Mbps, during peak times when others who are paying just like you, want to use the service, they might get in front of the line first. once the traffic goes down, enjoy your front of the line. Imagine it to a water hole. You can get unlimited water. However at certain points of the day, everyone wants a drink. Just cause you pay like they are paying, doesn't mean you get to jump in the front whenever just because you are the 'only' customer on the planet. You are not charged for 21GB of data, or the 50GB, or the 85GB of data. I literally get people complaining weekly, that they have no data for 3 weeks, yet somehow they have used 55GB of data for the month.

65. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

All their plans are unlimited data. The highest tier is unlimited HIGH SPEED data. And if we are to maintain the FCC broadband definition, as the minimum requirement for "high speed", that means 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up at minimum. That's what people are complaining about. It isn't that the amount of data is restricted, but the speed get's dropped down to laughable figures. 0.05Mbps is hardly "high speed".. and we have yet to see someone that's deprioritized receive anything more than 0.5Mbps down. THAT in essence, means it isn't "unlimited HIGH SPEED data". It means that it is limited high speed data.

7. gersont1000

Posts: 473; Member since: Mar 13, 2012

21GB is really not a lot. For commuters who watch Netflix and YouTube on their way home or to work, they can easily use more than 1GB every day. I have a short commute and use 10-20GB monthly. Even though I don't think 21GB is much, I think what T-Mobile is doing is a fair practice. This also brings back the fact that people are just giving in to the phone manufacturers and buying all these flagship phones without memory card slots, saying that they can use the "cloud". If I didn't have a memory card slot and I wasn't able to download movies and TV shows to my phone's memory card to watch on the bus, I would easily use 25GB or more per month. Not to mention the fact that with locally stored files, I don't have to worry about spots with little or no reception.

29. pancakepaddle

Posts: 12; Member since: Jun 24, 2015

Work related? What does it matter the reason? Most people can use the unlimited data the way they see fit.

44. mrmessma

Posts: 271; Member since: Mar 28, 2012

I listen to shows on netflix while mowing my yard and with other use, do about 20GB a month. My current speeds vs what I pay, I'm quite happy with it all.

64. Gameover

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 03, 2015

I used 163gb in july, 80gb in August and so far have used 40gb on a billing cycle that starts over on the 25th. Am royally pissed. I've been on a business trip in Los angeles, CA and speeds have been horrible. Websites take some time to load at times. It's horrible. I watch netflix every night via a slimport to y big screen and ocassional youtube videos throughout the day. This is bs! Just because I use more data does not mean someone else gets to have priority! Say I'm at a buffet....I usually watch for fresh food to fill my plate. Does it mean that because I'm paying attention and grabbing fresh food as soon as it comes out leaving x amount of people to eat the not so fresh food I get to be told that I can't eat anymore until others get their 'fair share'? Eff no!

5. Japultra

Posts: 133; Member since: May 16, 2014

Sounds fair to me. Your speeds increase again if you are in a less congested area, so it's not like it's permanent.

31. pancakepaddle

Posts: 12; Member since: Jun 24, 2015

Oh its bs. They can say you're in one at anytime.

40. dtam83

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 10, 2013

and for what reason would they do that? because it's fun to piss off customers?

49. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Yes because we love to hear customers whine. In fact when I go into work, I go, I hope the tower goes down in this city so those unappreciative f's can get what they deserve so they can call me and complain and threaten to go to Verizon (which they wont they are cheap f's and why they are with Tmobile in the first place). Point being no carrier wants call complaints, zero. It is why TMobile offers incentives monthly to win JD Power, to win customer satisfaction, why I see literally 100's of people let go a year for not doing right by the customer.

6. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

That's complete garbage. The un-carrier stuff has really been good at this point. Unlimited means no end; not 21. I pay for unlimited, I should get unlimited. Putting a cap on it defeats the entire purpose of unlimited, doesn't it? If anything, this un-carrier should have been that they are doing away with this cap.

9. ILikeBubbles

Posts: 525; Member since: Jan 17, 2011

it's not capped. it's throttled... and most likely you'll still be able to stream youtube or spotify. they don't just stop your data so it technically is unlimited. if you want to whine about not having enough high speed data pay a little more or find more wifi.

11. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

I hope you realize the entire point of unlimited data in T-Mo is to keep high speed data. Every plan they have will throttle you, not stop you if you go over the limit. This just makes it a 21 gig plan.

24. FakeMatt

Posts: 40; Member since: Aug 02, 2013

It's not even a hard throttle though. FTA - It just means that you would be a lower priority than other sub-21 GB customers, on a congested network. Sans-congestion you should have no problem maintaining high-speed data at 21 GB and beyond.

39. theguy2345

Posts: 1216; Member since: Jun 24, 2014

That's still not the point. Unlimited users over 21 gigs are treated like second class citizens and as a lower priority. That's not fair. They pay for unlimited, I should get true unlimited. Legre should look up the definition of unlimited in the dictionary, because this isn't this farce.

50. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

So if your data usage is interfering with others, what planet are you from that actually makes you think you are more entitled or important than other customers who pay the SAME as you do. Seriously, their 100$ 2 phone unlimited plan is so cheap everyone and their mother has it. You are not Special. Well you might be special, but that is a whole other matter all together. You are unlimited, you are not stopped, you are still getting Highspeed which in the USA defined by the FCC and regulators is 3G speeds or higher. Since 3G speeds are anything faster than 200Kbps for the most part, you have nothing to complain about. No where in their contract that YOU have signed, that YOU have read, does it stated. "theguy2345 is special, his cash is greener and nicer smelling, henceforth, this paper allows him usage that will affect others, but he won't have to worry. As you can see here on line 3 item 10, his stuff is awesome. So no matter what he will get speeds xx.xxMbps regardless of anything. If he calls in due to slow speed, please make sure that you hit that magic fix it now button that theguy2345 had installed in your computer desk by paying his almighty green rose smelling dollar. If that doesn't work, please reach out to your district tech, so he can make an in call service to this very very special guy." No I don't think it does. You are not on a 21GB plan, do you want to be? If so, call in and pay for it.

38. pancakepaddle

Posts: 12; Member since: Jun 24, 2015

damn right it does. WTF IS UNLIMITED?

51. elitewolverine

Posts: 5192; Member since: Oct 28, 2013

Unlimited...not charged for going over a certain amount, not putting you on 2G speeds till the start of the next billing cycle. Seriously, did all you complainers fail reading comprehension.

66. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

Then why are most people who are deprioritized, receiving 2G speeds? I find it hard to believe that T-Mobile 3G is 0.01-0.05Mbps.

8. DeusExCellula

Posts: 1390; Member since: Oct 05, 2014

lmao 21 GB...I agree that if they say unlimited and you pay for unlimitetd then it should actually be unlimited. That being said I wish i had 21 gb... helll i wish i had 5 gb.....

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