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T-Mobile Slashes Fair Use Policy, Says Download At Home

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the data-not-allowed-on-our-network dept.

Cellphones 364

nk497 writes "T-Mobile in the UK has revealed a new fair use policy, cutting caps from 1GB and 3GB to 500MB, saying mobile browsing doesn't include videos or large downloads. 'If you want to download, stream and watch video clips, save that stuff for your home broadband,' the company said. All those people who have bought smartphones with the aim of doing such things on the go may not agree with the mobile operator, however. Any user that goes over the new limit won't be charged, but will be blocked from downloading or streaming for the rest of the month."

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slow network? (5, Interesting)

Nuno Sa (1095047) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833160)

I hope the public sees that as admission of having a bad network and move elsewhere :-)

Re:slow network? (4, Interesting)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833244)

The reality is the public will soon realise this cap is not about downloading but screwing people when they make video calls and don't realise how quickly they are chewing up the cap, as you can only make video calls via the internet (double billing upload and download).

Re:slow network? (3, Informative)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833444)

Another factor may be that they have experienced that too many users are now using data communication - at least in some areas and that means that too many persons are sharing the same bandwidth which results in an overall bad experience for all users. So this is a way for them to provide a good experience for most of the users.

And providing more bandwidth is expensive - so maybe they will come with an offer that allows users to pay more for more data. Especially business users are willing to pay for that.

Re:slow network? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833482)

Are you on crack?

Please mod this insightful.

Re:slow network? (5, Insightful)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833724)

This would almost be an acceptable justification, if not for one detail: They previously promised more then they are now able to deliver. This is bordering on false advertising, made legal only by a line of small print that allows them to change the contract any time they wish. If they don't have the ability to deliver larger amounts of data, they shouldn't have promised customers they would

Re:slow network? (2)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833672)

That might be a valid point if anyone actually made video calls.

Re:slow network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833262)

the problem is. there is nowhere to migrate that's substantially better (in the united states). att is just bad. verizon has good coverage but [very] slow throughput. tmobile was fast but with spotty coverage. sprint can roam on verizon... could be better or worse. any /.'er experience w/ sprint?

had thought about buying a droid once and cdma-flashing it over to metro-pcs or boost-mobile. that may be the best option available if you can get it working, for both perf and price.

Re:slow network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833316)

the problem is. there is nowhere to migrate that's substantially better (in the united states). att is just bad.

Um, nobody in the US imposes a 500 MB maximum cap.

Re:slow network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833356)

with att in many areas you may as well not have data (or voice) at all. so yes, it's often worse than a 500mb cap. that's at least reasonable for limited browsing when you're away from wifi.

Re:slow network? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833408)

the problem is. there is nowhere to migrate that's substantially better (in the united states).

If you live n the UK, why would you be looking for a US carrier?

Re:slow network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833464)

you wouldn't. but this is coming to t-mobile usa next, if it hasn't already. these cap restrictions were predicted months ago for tmobile's usa division; iirc their ceo confirmed it.

Re:slow network? (1)

ChrisLambrou (742881) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833498)

If you live n the UK, why would you be looking for a US carrier?

T-Mobile is a German company, owned by Deutsche Telecom, I believe. They have customers all over Europe, as well as in the US.

Re:slow network? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833526)

T-Mobile is a German company, owned by Deutsche Telecom, I believe. They have customers all over Europe, as well as in the US.

No shit, but T-Mobile Germany or USA is not going to provide you with service in the UK.

Re:slow network? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833662)

T-Mobile is a German company, owned by Deutsche Telecom, I believe. They have customers all over Europe, as well as in the US.

Incorrect. T-Mobile UK is owned by Everythingeverywhere [everythingeverywhere.com]

They are a UK based company managed by clueless tossers who understand very little about telecoms who only care about how to hide the debts they have accrued over the last 5-10 years. Obviously this is about making sure they can reward themselves with large bonuses at the end of the year, for dodging the taxman once again.

Apologies for the slightly bitter rant.

Re:slow network? (1)

jimicus (737525) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833722)

That may be, but TFS specifically says "T-Mobile in the UK".

I don't know how it works in continental Europe, but between UK, Ireland and the USA it's not unusual to find that while they may adopt the same name, logo, strapline and colourscheme in different countries, the actual nuts and bolts of what they offer varies so much they may as well be totally different companies. And you often don't get preferential pricing if your phone roams from SuperMobileNetwork (UK) where you live to SuperMobileNetwork (Ireland) or SuperMobileNetwork (France).

Re:slow network? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833504)

T-mobile is German. Started out as Deutsche telekom

Re:slow network? (1)

Adam Hazzlebank (970369) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833686)

T-mobile are amazingly cheap right now. For 20GBP (I guess not far off 20USD now) I have 6 months of data access on pay as you go (i.e. I pay 20GBP and nothing else for a SIM which gives me 6 months data access). That's amazingly cheap.

But... (5, Insightful)

moosehooey (953907) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833162)

If they don't want you doing all these gee-whiz things with your phone, they should stop featuring them in their television commercials.

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833224)

I've got to wonder -- do you watch their (i.e. T-Mobile UK) commercials? Or are you assuming that T-mobile UK is advertised the same as T-mobile USA?

T-mobile USA, FWIW, lets me have unlimited data (as in, >20 GB last month, and similarly for most months) at 1 Mb/s down, 0.5 Mb/s up -- I know the speed throttling is due to the fact I'm on Flexpay (prepaid with the same monthly minutes+data packages as post-paid, instead of standard pay-as-you-go plans, but no contract), and I guess the unlimited is because they advertised it as unlimited back when I signed up.

So when their policies are this different, I have to wonder whether their advertising is equally different.

Re:But... (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833290)

.. or just sell iPhones.

Most of the videos are streamed using Flash so they would be safe then ;)

Re:But... (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833344)

If they don't want you doing all these gee-whiz things with your phone, they should stop featuring them in their television commercials.

But.. that would be like actually making sense, and we're talking about T-Mobile here, you know!

Re:But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833448)

they probably have a disclaimer at the bottom which no one reads. "your experience may vary." "as seen when streamed over 802.11n." or, "streaming in this commercial refers to copying video data over the computer's memory bus and to the display controller."

Bait & switch (4, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833164)

I'm assuming this switch does not apply to people they've already baited?

Re:Bait & switch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833212)

no. either it won't affect current customers, or the change of contract legally allows you to terminate the existing contract sans termination fee.

if it's the latter case then you've just potentially made $200-500 for free. go and sell that nexus-s on ebay.

Re:Bait & switch (5, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833242)

1. It applies to everyone. They invoked the small print in the contract which says that they can alter it any time they like.

2. Everyone is misreading the switch. T-mob is from now on treating Google, Facebook, etc differently from video downloads and over-the-top media for billing purposes. Next stop on this train is called "bill per app" exactly as was originally intended with 3G/LTE VAS and IMS.

3. As per UK contract legislation all T-mob customers who are affected now have 30 days to terminate the contract if they do not like it. Very few will do though - most phones on T-mob are subsidised so to terminate the contract one has to pay the balance on it (at the outrageously inflated "not-locked-in price).

Re:Bait & switch (1)

kailoran (887304) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833308)

3. As per UK contract legislation all T-mob customers who are affected now have 30 days to terminate the contract if they do not like it. Very few will do though - most phones on T-mob are subsidised so to terminate the contract one has to pay the balance on it (at the outrageously inflated "not-locked-in price).

What's the point of this legislation then if it doesn't protect you from inflated termination fees? Can't you always just cancel the contract and pay up?

Re:Bait & switch (5, Interesting)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833366)

What is the point? The legislation is a sop. Its only value is so the government can say "we did something about it" without actually doing anything about it.

We have a telecomms regulator with the regulatory ability of a bribed, wet cabbage in a soggy brown paper bag.

Yes I am a bloody angry t-mobile customer with an Android phone, and I will go elsewhere as soon as I can afford it. This is not the only example ot t-mo UK being scum.

Re:Bait & switch (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833420)

tell them to shove their contract, their termination fee, and their phone up their ass.

Re:Bait & switch (1)

tosh1979 (909809) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833534)

T-mobile is just catching up. Vodafone did this over 12 months ago changing the unlimited package to 1gb and then again to 500mb.

Re:Bait & switch (2)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833690)

Invoke the 30 day cancellation. They terminated your contract, and you do not accept the new one which takes its place. Your obligations under the old one are fulfilled, and you suffer no penalty for not accepting a new contract. If they try and charge you, reply with "Sue me." I guarantee their lawyers cost more than the phone in your pocket.

This is the internet. Nothing is legal advice, even when it may seem like it is.

Re:Bait & switch (1)

Mister Xiado (1606605) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833400)

AT&T's policy for data connect devices (PC cards, USB dongles) is if you lost an unlimited data plan (and you will, because the system is putting EVERYBODY on 5GB automatically), you can cancel that line with no ETF, keep the device, even if you just upgraded.

Of course, not every CSR reads the contract text, so you may need to speak to the right person.

Not the case for phones, though.

Re:Bait & switch (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833704)

You are talking about the US again, the many furious people here are talking about T-mobile UK (yes, I am one of them).

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that the phone companies are going to totally shoot themselves in the foot over this, and people will do two things:-

(1) revert to ordinary non-smartphones for all the phone stuff like phone calls and texting, and

(2) get a wi-fi only tablet with a proper sized screen for downloading videos, looking at facebook, reading ebooks, etc.

As most people can get buy on a pay as you go contract for phone usage, the phone companies will find their income slashed dramatically. It's only fairly heavy business phone users who will be prepared to pay GNP40+ per month on their contract if it's not a smartphone.

Hopefully a few of the fuckers will go out of business entirely.

Re:Bait & switch (1)

ommerson (1485487) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833682)

The termination clauses of the contract will probably be considered unfair and thus unenforceable in situations like this.

Service providers and utilities rely on customers not being sufficiently aware or motivated to exercise their rights.

Re:Bait & switch (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833332)

I'm pretty sure EU consumer protection laws disallow this kind of practices. Yes, they can change what they like. No, I don't have to agree, which leads to termination of contract with no additional fees.

Re:Bait & switch (1)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833438)

I don't know about UK but as far as I know in the US if they change the terms you can terminate the contract without any consequences. What's the point of a contract if one side can change it at will after you sign it.

Re:Bait & switch (2)

gnasher719 (869701) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833492)

3. As per UK contract legislation all T-mob customers who are affected now have 30 days to terminate the contract if they do not like it. Very few will do though - most phones on T-mob are subsidised so to terminate the contract one has to pay the balance on it (at the outrageously inflated "not-locked-in price).

My understanding is that if they change the contract in a way that is significantly detrimental to you, you have the right to cancel the contract without any cancellation charges. See the link below about details. Summary: You have the right to cancel without charges. They may disagree. Cancel your direct debit and pay the last payment by cheque. And NEVER give anyone the right to take money out of your credit card.

http://www.bitterwallet.com/want-to-cancel-your-t-mobile-contract-heres-how-to-do-it/18286 [bitterwallet.com]

Re:Bait & switch (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833702)

It's not just media they're targetting. As the press release says:

"Browsing means looking at websites and checking email, but not watching videos, downloading files or playing games."

Those apps you downloaded over 3G? No dice. You should've gone and found a wifi hotspot.

Re:Bait & switch (1)

Mr_Miagi (1648543) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833666)

I think it also doesn't apply to people on T-Mobile Pay-As-You-Go SIMs? I'm one such customer, and I purchased a £20 "Unlimited Internet" Allowance. Its fantastic, and I've got 6 months of all-you-can-eat internet. The amount of video streaming I can do on my mobile in this case is for the most part limited by the battery life of my smartphone.

is it costlier? (1)

lazydog (694263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833166)

I'm just wondering - is it costlier to provide internet on the mobile phone compared to internet at home?

Re:is it costlier? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833266)

Of course it is. The fixed line infrastructure already exists in nearly all cases.

I'm bracing myself (1)

QuantumBeep (748940) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833168)

I'm bracing myself to see where the line is. Maybe this is it.

Mobile providers will keep abusing their customer's tolerance until the customers start leaving. I'm pretty sure 500MB falls below the "basically usable for most people" line.

Of course, I could be wrong. People could decide to just put up with it. Then the data limit will be reduced again...

Re:I'm bracing myself (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833210)

I'm bracing myself to see where the line is. Maybe this is it.

Line? There is no line. People will continue to use T-mobile's service or move to some other provider. Chances are, the other provider will take the lead from T-Mobile and institute a similar policy. However it happens, the consumer goes through an endless cycle of getting screwed until a new business model comes along to break the cycle and then it all starts over again.

Re:I'm bracing myself (4, Informative)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833254)

At about 320KB per webpage (http://code.google.com/intl/nl-NL/speed/articles/web-metrics.html), you could watch about 50 pages per day on average. If caching is used, this would be more.
Ofcourse, if some of those webpages have movie files, you're screwed.

Re:I'm bracing myself (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833348)

And if those movie files have movie files, you are very screwed.

Re:I'm bracing myself (2)

slim (1652) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833436)

I'm on a 500MB tariff. I use my phone's data connection quite a lot -- a Twitter client, email and browsing, and uploading 5MP pictures from the camera. I seldom get anywhere near the limit. I don't stream videos or -- extensively -- audio over the mobile internet, because I know that would use up my allowance quickly.

The difference is, I *chose* a 500MB tariff because it was cheaper. If I'd bought an "unlimited" tariff, I'd be wanting to stream audio and video all the time.

Re:I'm bracing myself (2)

skyride (1436439) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833500)

I have to say, It really depends on your intent. I live in the UK and get a pretty good 3G signal everywhere I go. I'm on a 500MB plan data wise, but I don't really find it to be an issue. In practice, I agree with that "download at home" message, but I don't agree with Verizon's motives or intentions for suggesting that.

Re:I'm bracing myself (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833670)

Actually, that brings it in line with the data allowance from most other plans. I do watch the occasional clip on the phone but I've never even gone over half of that. The solution is probably to spend some portion of life not using the internet as fully as possible.

Far too low. (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833174)

Wow. I use 300MB a month just casually browsing between classes at school when it would take too long to pull out my netbook. That's JUST reading news/weather/fark, all of which use mobile sites and not much in the way of graphics. I couldn't imagine what would happen if someone watched a youtube video or was in a heated session of sending/receiving dirty pictures from their significant other.

Re:Far too low. (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833232)

Even Aussie telco's are offering 1 GB plans everywhere. I'm on a rolling month by month contract and I pay A$20 to get 1 GB of downloads put onto my phone. Because usage is metered the evil government says the telco can't dictate how I use the allotment I've paid for. I can tether, download porn, torrents or just use it to buy a nose picker, VHA dont get a word in sideways if they want my 20 bucks.

If I went on a 12 month contract, I'd get 2 GB for the same price (or the same amount for A$10). Metered usage has it's downsides but it gives the perfect opportunity to remove telco controls from what you can do with your internet.

Download at home my arse.

Fair use (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833176)

Whatever the customer thinks is fair.. I guess

impressive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833180)

I guess this is proof that the telcos know that they can't be replaced, that it's impossible for a community telco to spring up.

Reality setting in (4, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833182)

I seriously doubt any mobile operator will be able to satisfy smart phone usage long term. They build out a new generation of towers with a higher data rate, then people buy new phones and saturate it.

As soon as smartphones stopped being $500 up front + $100/mo yuppie and power user toys and aspired to become mainstream products the math of wireless bandwidth simply must be taken into account.

Now if someone would tell the marketing depts at the mobile operators so they stop running endless ads showing users watching movies and music videos on their phones.... and video chatting. And downloading huge attachments.

Re:Reality setting in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833234)

I seriously doubt any mobile operator will be able to satisfy smart phone usage long term. They build out a new generation of towers with a higher data rate, then people buy new phones and saturate it.

As soon as smartphones stopped being $500 up front + $100/mo yuppie and power user toys and aspired to become mainstream products the math of wireless bandwidth simply must be taken into account.

Now if someone would tell the marketing depts at the mobile operators so they stop running endless ads showing users watching movies and music videos on their phones.... and video chatting. And downloading huge attachments.

...all of this could be a non-issue if north american cell phone companies actually invested in their network instead of squeezing every red cent out ancient technology.

People buy smartphones to consume media - there should be no surprise ther. I Its a hugely profitable endeavor for the companies that set themselves up for it - and obviously this is not one of those companies.

Re:Reality setting in (2)

auLucifer (1371577) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833358)

Funny how you say that, seeing how even the summary said T-mobile UK. We all love a bit of US bashing but come on now.

Re:Reality setting in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833586)

New technology will always emerge to use the bandwidth available. I can not see how mobile is any different from home broadband in this matter. Youtube, netflix, hulu etc would not exist if we were still using 14kbps modems to access the internets. The solution is not to tell customers you can't have that but to build a better network.

Re:Reality setting in (1)

SJ (13711) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833600)

Actually, there is a real-world amount of data that a smart phone can consume. Once the networks are able to supply this, data usage on smart phones will scale linearly.

Not counting things like tethering, I would put that figure (completely out of my rear-end of course) at the 5 or 6Mbit mark. That is ample for streaming a movie at the viewable resolution of an iPhone 4 or even an iPad.

I don't think there is anything, mass-market, more bandwidth intensive than video.

Re:Reality setting in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833656)

In reality the bottleneck is not the wireless link, it's the bandwidth from the tower to the rest of the provider network, those links were designed to support much less traffic. To increase the downstream wireless bandwidth it's enough to just add more directional antennas. If you want to increase the capacity of the backhaul links you have to dig the whole city.

So what they are saying is... (2)

worx101 (1799560) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833200)

Don't buy a smart phone? I think they are SERIOUSLY hurting themselves here in the long run.

Hey, why not... (5, Funny)

xMrFishx (1956084) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833202)

Just limit voice usage to 60 seconds a month. I mean, it's not as if you have anything good to say anyway. Why upgrade the network when you can just spread the current one thinner. It's fine.

Way to go, T-Mobile! (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833206)

Wow. They're already slipping bad enough as it is in market share and now they pull this. The smartphone market continues to grow and they just gave people a GREAT reason not to get a smartphone on their network!

Fucking idiots. Yes, people can use a lot of data on their smartphones. It can tax a network. Screwing customers isn't the best way to fix the problem.

This Makes Me Smile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833226)

They just made the case for HTML5. I like to see them try to block it then.

Is there an app.. (2)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833238)

Is there a modem app? I could set up a modem at home and dial into it and route data from my home broadband. Although my ISP doesn't want to supply the service they sold me either.
Maybe I should introduce a 'payment cap' ?

I don't get it (2)

Trogre (513942) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833264)

This really seems like a we-don't-want-any-customers kind of move.

Then again perhaps they don't have any decent competition. I live in New Zealand where entry-level ADSL plans are still capped at 500MB.

*facepalm*

Re:I don't get it (2)

ctid (449118) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833352)

There's plenty of competition in the UK. They must think that their competitors are going to pull a similar stunt. I wonder what will happen when people on T-Mobile contracts start complaining to the regulator.

Re:I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833694)

This really seems like a we-don't-want-any-customers kind of move.

Then again perhaps they don't have any decent competition. I live in New Zealand where entry-level ADSL plans are still capped at 500MB.

*facepalm*

Entry level ADSL plans in New Zealand are at least 5GB... do you mean wireless plans?

Dear T-Mobile, (3, Interesting)

YA_Python_dev (885173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833278)

I was a customer until this morning, spending approximately £50/month with you for three years.

Today I'll switch to Vodafone UK, they have a suckier network but at least they offer reasonable caps. Look for a number portability request today from a customer with a number ending in 573 and you'll know it's me.

Re:Dear T-Mobile, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833320)

Dear disgruntled customer, look for a number of dropped calls and a botched number portability transfer in the near future and you'll know it's us.

Re:Dear T-Mobile, (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833406)

Dear Customer,

Your decision to cancel today comes as a clear indication that you make up one of the 1% of our customers who consume 90% of our network resources.

As we don't make any money off you, we won't be sorry to see you go.

Sincerely,

T-Mobile.

Re:Dear T-Mobile, (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833568)

Dear T-Mobile,

This sounds like exactly the kind of regulation that we want to promote for UK infrastructure.

Keep up the good work,
Ofcom

Re:Dear T-Mobile, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833634)

You don't make money off of smartphone owners like every other operator does? Whoa, no wonder you're broke.

Re:Dear T-Mobile, (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833562)

Try Tesco first (they run on the O2 network)

£20 buys you 750 minutes (phone them to get this), unlimited texts and unlimited internet.

But, don't most people use a WiFi connection for this sort of downloading?

Re:Dear T-Mobile, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833728)

I know I do (use WiFi), but it's WiFi from my PocketMobile (a 3G Access point). The provider offers 7.2Mbps and up (to 42Mbps, depending on your hardware) for about $45 per month. when they said "unlimited", I was suspicious, but when I asked them "ok, but there really is a limit, like 5GB per month or something, right?" - they looked offended. "No, of course not!" they told me. Since I canceled my home connection, and use only the 3G link for my laptop, my home desktop, and my iPhone - including itunes downloads and BitTorrent, I am pretty sure they really don't have a limit, or they would have come to get me by now. If eMobile can do it profitably, i am sure carriers in the UK and US could do it too.

Poor Windows 7 Users (1)

ace123 (758107) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833294)

What will they say to those users who use up 500MB in a week [slashdot.org] without even touching it?

I can just imagine the customer service call when someone starts using their new Win7 phone for the first time and is already blocked from streaming.

Fuck off (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833300)

I had a netbook during my stay at hospital and the only internet access I could have was 3G.

New overlords (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833306)

This isn't surprising. This is the fair usage policy of their overlords Orange. Orange was hardly going to increase their limit but it would have been nice...

Re:New overlords (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833708)

Orange are not their new overlords, the bottom line is that T-Mobile were in the shit, had outsourced all of their useful telecoms functions to T-Systems to the point they were no more that a marketing and PR company.

If you look carefully, both Tom Alexander (of Orange), and Dick Moat (of T-Mobile) both made sure they lined each others pockets.

They formed a new company called everythingeverywhere, which allowed both companies to hide their incompetent management for a while longer.

T-Mobile still to this day have a handful of decent engineers, but mostly its lots of ex BT (used to be engineers, but generally moved out of harms way) types.

Perhaps if T-Mobile had been able to run a company competently, they would have needed to be rescued (and that was the reality of the situation).

T-Mobile is the worst thing that ever happened to Orange!!!

Nice to see the screwing happens in the UK too. (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833336)

After years and years of having my UK brethren taunt me for lousy wireless, I get to see this.

HA HA.

I wonder if O2 or any other GSM provider in the UK is going to follow suit.

Re:Nice to see the screwing happens in the UK too. (1)

teh kurisu (701097) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833584)

Follow suit? O2's standard packages have come with 500 MB of data for some time now.

False Advertising? (4, Insightful)

nukem996 (624036) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833342)

Every smart phone commercial you see boasts about how when you buy smart phone X on network Y you can browse, e-mail, watch videos, stream music, download huge documents and do anything you can with a laptop on your smart phone. Hell the phones come with apps preinstalled to do many of these high bandwidth thing. However when you look at the agreements most will specifically say only basic web browsing and e-mail is allowed. Isn't that considered false advertising? How long until a law suit comes up?

Re:False Advertising? (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833696)

As soon as lawyers cost £25 pcm.

Analogue TV spectrum (1)

giles hogben (1145597) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833382)

Apparently in the EU at least, the analogue TV spectrum about to be freed up will solve the problem for the next few years.

T Mobile (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833390)

I had a nexus one on T mobile for 2 days before i sent it back. phone was pretty nice, service was terrible. I seriously doubt that a customer would be able to maintain a 3G connection with T Mobile long enough to use up 200 megs let alone 500 or 3 gigs

Re:T Mobile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833512)

I had a nexus one on T mobile for 2 days before i sent it back. phone was pretty nice, service was terrible. I seriously doubt that a customer would be able to maintain a 3G connection with T Mobile long enough to use up 200 megs let alone 500 or 3 gigs

I average 500MB-1GB a month actually. People think because they get bad coverage in their area, that means everyone else does too.

Wind Italy got it right (2)

giuseppemag (1100721) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833392)

There's this company in Italy that I believe has nailed just the right policy: you pay a monthly fee of about 9 euros and you get 1GB high speed Internet. Should you download more than 1GB, your browsing speed will slowly decrease so that you do not weigh too much on the network.

This way you get a limited amount of videos, music, large downloads but you are never left without access to the essentials like email...

Phew! (2)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833414)

I was tempted to go with T-Mobile because the 3GB cap is better than their rivals. Good enough to compensate for the fairly poor coverage.

They'v got rid of their only seling point.

Its information facism (1)

Super Dave Osbourne (688888) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833422)

Plan and simple, you want to get information you have to do it when and where the carrier (in this case TMobile) decides you get it. The problem is there are not an unlimited supply of carriers to choose from that vary by any reasonable means. In the old days if you wanted to find alternative media, you either got letters or packages of papers from free thinking markets. Today, if you want to get information you have to do it when, where and how someone tells you to do it. If there were alternative info highways for many users this would not be an issue, but there are not, so this is a major factor and a step toward information facism.

Meh (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833426)

At least they have the decency to kill your connection; Here in the states AT&T & Verizon probably wouldn't even allow that as an opt-in option.

I just don't buy this whole hysteria (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833466)

There is something weird about this hysteria.
When I was recently traveling in Europe lat year, I needed to log into my office machine back here in North America. So for pay-as-you-go, I paid something like $20 and that got me 7GB of data.
So I don't understand what all this screaming is about.
Now, maybe we are talking about lock-in plans? then it's completely stupid on T-Mobile's side, and a honey bargain for the customer, because if they terminate the 1-GB/mo contract from their side, that means the consumer got a free smartphone.

Pretty bad news for WP7 phone users (1)

jsse (254124) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833508)

as they've to pay full for merely first few days of internet access every month...

All you can eat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833524)

With this change its making three all you can eat one plan very tempting.

Enough of this shit (1)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833544)

Are they bandwidth providers (because at the end of the day this is the job description of any ISP/Mobile provider) or NOT?

They have to make up their minds, they can't keep selling stuff they can't deliver, it is called "false advertising" and leads to enormous fines and possibly jail time where I live.

--

http://www.twilightcampaign.net/ [twilightcampaign.net]

And I was considering switching too (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833556)

Oh well. I guess if I have to choose the lesser of two evils, I'll at least get an Atrix out of the deal with ATT.

meanwhile in the US... (0)

sv_libertarian (1317837) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833574)

I pay for 5gb at full speed, and then anything over that at reduced speeds. Then I pay another $15 to purchase tethering, and use my HTC Magic as my home internet connection, which I believe gives me more data as well. With 500 minutes, unlimited text, unlimited data (with the first 5 gigs at full speed) and unlimited tethering and wifi sharing, fees, etc... my bill is $95 per month. I'm happy. I hope this never goes away.

Too much demand (3, Interesting)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833594)

Think what you want, but the demand for 3G bandwidth is growing too fast to satisfy it. With ever more smartphones and very soon a flood of tablets sold you can not have unlimited data if you really use it.

What I don't get is the methods they're applying here. They should offer cheap 300 MB, not so cheap 2 GB and not at all cheap 10 GB or so. And then they shouldn't just cut you off but throttle speed to EDGE speeds if you hit your allowance. Nobody would complain then. In fact in Germany almost all carriers do exactly that and most people seem to see such offers as quite reasonable especially since the lower bandwidth offers are rather cheap (like 7 Euro a month for 500 MB 3G and unlimited EDGE after that).

Anyway, the practice of selling phones with contracts bites the customer here. If you outright buy an unlocked handset and then buy your bandwidth month by month where it's cheapest there's some real competition. If enough people are bound by a 2-year contract or so there's hardly any.

Interesting... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833608)

10 months ago, I signed up for a 24 month contract with an HTC HD2. The phone was 'free' but there was an airtime contract minimum of £35, but that (a) included 1600 minutes airtime, and was 'necessary' in order to support the advanced features of the phone - including its function as a wi-fi hot-spot. While, in a typical month, I've used only ~160 minutes, I've regularly used the wifi hotspot facilities... in fact, those facilities were *exactly* the reason I signed up for the deal. The sales pitch was clear - 1GB cap per month is insufficient for the type of device being sold.

While I've no objection to the terms of service being changed - if they expect me it to apply retrospectively to existing contracts, they must accept that they are in breech and allow the contract to be dissolved. I'm happy to terminate early if they can no-longer supply me with a suitable airtime contract. I think, in the first instance, I need to write to them (on paper) laying down why I consider them to be in breech, and offer them various ways to amicably exit if they are no longer able to supply.

My iPhone... (2)

Burnhard (1031106) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833620)

When I decided to buy an iPhone, I had the choice of 1Gb per month with Vodaphone, or 3Gb per month with T-Mobile, for approximately the same price. I chose the latter entirely on that basis. If they've now changed the terms, what can I do to get out of my contract? The problem is that it's a 2 year contract where I'm paying for the phone alongside it; I didn't buy the phone outright.

Re: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833668)

You now have 30 days to cancel your contract. Good luck with that because you'll be paying for that phone one way or another.

Three OnePlan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34833628)

With these changes it makes the Three All you can eat one plan look good,

it's not just about phones (4, Insightful)

rapiddescent (572442) | more than 3 years ago | (#34833630)

many people bought the Huawei U220 USB data modems a couple of years ago and use the T-Mobile service just for data. These were sold as "broadband replacement" services and cost GBP25/month on contract. There's no way I'm paying that much for 500Mb pcm. My data volumes usually are in the 1.5Gb per month for work and the odd yum -y update that sneaks by unnoticed.

I have one plugged into my Draytek Vigor [draytek.co.uk] home office router as a backup for when the broadband service goes down - it has a Solwise [solwise.co.uk] high gain antenna attached to it. I also have one plugged into my work Linux laptop ("it just works" with network manager).

TFA [t-mobile.co.uk] referenced in the TFA says: "Browsing means looking at websites and checking email, but not watching videos, downloading files or playing games."

WTF? I was sold "mobile broadband" - it's a data service, nothing is mentioned about browsing at all.

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