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TmoNews has reported on a story that started on Reddit where some users with unlimited data plans have been complaining that their speeds have been getting throttled. The complaints have not gone unnoticed as the thread currently has over 300 comments and has caught the attention T-Mobile's CEO, John Legere.
It all started when a poster commented that his data speeds had been slowed down to the likes of 0.02 Mbps. Yes you read that right, a paltry 0.02 Mbps! T-Mobile employee's have since chimed in on the thread to confirm this has become a recent practice of the company. They've noted that they've seen customers data speeds get throttled once they've passed as little as 17 GB of monthly data use with speeds lowered to 0.05 Mbps.
Another T-Mobile employee has commented that they are not throttling, but rather prioritizing customers network use during times of heavy network congestion.
It's not a throttle. Once a customer is in the top 3% of data users in their area they become de-prioritized when they are connected to congested towers. It's all dependent on the tower connected to. I see this more in cities than small towns as the small towns don't have the congestion.
Ultimately having unlimited data is not a replacement for home internet and was never designed to be and this is what most people are using them for.
I get why this upsets people but if we let the people who are using 20, 30, 40+ GB a data a month congest the towers during peak times then the casual user that tries to get on when really needed is going to suffer.
While I agree with the reasoning here, this is something that needs to be clear to consumers before they sign up for service. If this is how they are going to manage unlimited data customers, they may soon have the FTC breathing down their necks with a lawsuit, much like the $40 million dollar one Tracfone recently faced and lost. T-Mobile can choose to title what they are doing however they want, but the fact of the matter is, unless every T-Mobile customer is getting their speeds reduced to 0.02-0.05 Mbps due to network capacity limits being reached, this is in fact throttling. Not only is it throttling, but at those speeds data is essentially unusable.
According to the individual who started the post, T-Mobile customer service representatives told him that when network congestion goes down, you should see your speeds climb back up, however, your service will remain low priority until your plan renews for the next month.
Now John Legere also made note of this thread and went on to exclaim that the company does not throttle it's unlimited customers data speeds, however he did say
[quote_box_center]....only in areas where our network is completely congested for short periods of time (could be seconds, could be minutes, could be periods of time where large volumes of people are). The network management practice is how do we clear out the congestion, at a time when nobody has speeds? And I think what I’m watching happen is we must have some high volume users who are in congested areas who are looking at their speeds and believing that they’re being throttled, and putting several items together on threads[/quote_box_center]
Once again, you can phrase things however you want, but when unlimited data customers are seeing their speeds reduced to 0.05 Mbps or less, and other customers are not making these same complaints, that is what I would call throttling.
At least Legere has taken the time to respond to these concerns. He's also said that he has asked his team to set up a separate forum where subscribers can further address and seek help with this issue.
So what do you think about this? Have any of you high data consumers experienced this issue as well? For those of you that are using 17 GB of data or more, what are you doing with your phones to consume that much data?
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