T-Mobile is now defining 97% as 21 GB of data.
A few days ago a story broke that T-Mobile's unlimited data plans may not truly be unlimited after all. Some T-Mobile customers had complained that their data was being throttled, and a few alleged T-Mobile employees chimed in to say that this was in fact true, and a policy that they have in place.
Today the website TmoNews seems to have uncovered a little bit more to this story. In fact, this policy is actually stated clearly and in plain English on T-Mobile's website specifically on the About T-Mobile Page and under the consumers tab.
To provide a good service experience for the majority of our customers, and minimize capacity issues and degradation in network performance, we may manage network traffic through prioritization. This means that customers who use more data than what is used by 97% of what all customers use in a given month, based on recent historical averages, might in some cases have their data usage prioritized below the data of other customers during times and in places of network contention.
Even though the policy is clearly spelled out on their website, it still does not make what they're doing right. They advertise unlimited 4G LTE data everywhere else and that's what it should be for those customers. Customers shouldn't have to dig through their website to find the fine print that spells out that your 4G LTE data speeds may be slowed down in favor of other customers.
T-Mobile still doesn't seem to like the term throttled for what is going on here (although many would argue it is), but rather likes to use the word prioritized. If they are unhappy with the word throttled, perhaps they should go Un-carrier and call their service Un-throttled or Un-prioritized.