Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

T-Mobile Joins the Capped Data Bandwagon

Unknown Lamer posted more than 3 years ago | from the progress-means-everyone-gets-less dept.

AT&T 112

NicknamesAreStupid writes "It looks like T-Mobile is following the lead of Verizon and AT&T in shifting from unlimited data plans to tiered pricing. It starts with their family plans which may be cheaper than unlimited depending on your family's usage. Was this done for its customers' families or for its future parent, AT&T?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

What the summary fails to mention... (3, Informative)

HTMLSpinnr (531389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232172)

Is that while "capped", you're not shut off on the 2GB/mo or higher plans, simply throttled to "2G" speeds once you reach your monthly allotment.

Teabaggers... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232222)

Hey teabaggers, this is why we need some regulation.

Re:Teabaggers... (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232262)

Or some competition? You know, like Sprint?

Re:Teabaggers... (3, Insightful)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232414)

You misspelled collusion...

There is no competition in this business...

Re:Teabaggers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232502)

You're an idiot

Re:Teabaggers... (1)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232664)

This would be juicy anti-trust and DoJ fodder, something the Obama Administration would get lots of points for. Oh, wait.....

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232266)

Is that while "capped", you're not shut off on the 2GB/mo or higher plans, simply throttled to "2G" speeds once you reach your monthly allotment.

I use a T-Mobile UK SIM in the UK when I visit. They do the same thing there, they offer "unlimited data" but after a certain useage they throttle you down to 2G speeds.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

clutch110 (528473) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232292)

Nor will you be charged for going over your cap, simply throttled. Thank you T-Mobile for being clear in your advertising and dropping the frequently inaccurate term of unlimited for your data plans.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232308)

Is that while "capped", you're not shut off on the 2GB/mo or higher plans, simply throttled to "2G" speeds once you reach your monthly allotment.

HSPA 7.2 is ... supposedly 7.2 megabit/sec. I'm assuming marketing is advertising 2 gigabits rather than the much smaller 250 megabyte number... If they really offered 2 gigabytes, I'm sure they'd advertise "16 gigabits" for obvious appeal.

So, at 7 megabits/sec, that'll take approximately 4 minutes 45 seconds to burn thru the 2 gig and then drop back to "2G".

Think about it... its like buying a cellphone to talk on that has less than 5 minutes a month of service.

And people wonder why I have no interest in wasting money on a smartphone... Why bother if I'll never be able to use it?

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232474)

I'm sorry, but you're a retard. In what world do you actually expect to get 7.2 megabits a second?

I just moved into a new apartment and I have yet to get Comcast installed. So, in the meantime I've used the convenient USB tethering option for my Android with Tmobile and have been successfully streaming Netflix over my phone's 3G (HSPA+) connection without issue for about 1 week (at night, of course) before I came close to my 5GB limit. I think that's pretty damn fair considering it's a phone!

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

ThunderBird89 (1293256) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232654)

Of course, if you plant to torrent or watch streaming HD movies on your cellphone (I don't know why anyone would want to watch movies on the tiny screen, though, it makes my eyes hurt after about 20 min), that's your call. Just remember that you pressed the button.
I use my 500MB plan for checking email, occasionally browsing, using Google Reader, or Maps for navigation, and in the three months I've had my Nexus S, I have yet to hit even 400MB.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

dragonturtle69 (1002892) | more than 3 years ago | (#36235356)

To each their own, YMMV, and all that. My lil' two year old Hero does 1-4GiB monthly. A little YouTube, a little Pandora, quite a bit off RSS stuff, GPS, Yelp and other social apps, and there you are, a GiB easily. And that is not counting usage on available WAPs.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232934)

C'mon, you know this begs for a car analogy.

It's like giving you a 300mph car and a pint of fuel.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 3 years ago | (#36235400)

C'mon, you know this begs for a car analogy.

It's like giving you a 300mph car and a pint of fuel.

If the auto companies were not in collusion with big oil, this would work.

I swear it's true; I read it on the Internet.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237610)

a 300mph car and a pint of fuel.

Is the fuel for the car or the driver? :-)

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36233598)

I think your math is off.

Your assumptions:
Cap 2GB = 2 147 483 648 Bytes
Theoretical Speeds = 7.2 mb / Sec = 900 000 Bytes / Sec

Without network overhead (packet headers, hand offs, collisions, etc) you'd be looking at approximately 2386 secs which is 39 mins and 46 secs.

This is much larger than the 4 min 45 seconds you quoted. This assumes of course that you have no collisions or transmit / receive errors AND you are receiving data constantly.

Now lets talk about Netflix via iPad3G (I couldn't find any other reference at the moment). I googled someone's observation and they watched a video stream for 31:36 (1896 secs) and it consumed 143.2 MB of the plan (150156032 bytes). This works out to be 79196 bytes/sec. At this rate it would take 27116 secs or 7 Hours 31 Minutes 56 Seconds.

All of the above assumes I haven't fat fingered a number on my calculator app this late in the afternoon.

You might not waste money on a smartphone, but please spend some on math tutoring.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237538)

You might not waste money on a smartphone, but please spend some on math tutoring.

Its a marketing thing. I decided that cheating lying marketing people would take the phrase "two gigs" to mean 2 gigaBITS and you assumed they aren't out to get you and they very generously meant 2 gigaBYTES. If you divide by 8, hilariously you end up within seconds of my estimate. The difference is apparently you broke out the calculator to get the exact answer and I did it in my head, admittedly I was showing off a bit, knowing it was "way more than four mins but maybe around a quarter less than five mins" but I reported it as exactly 4 mins 45 secs, I do admit to improper sig figs as I really only had about one and a half sig figs...

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237792)

Actually I looked at my contract and it says 2 gigabytes. You can blame marketing for enticing you into the store. However you should blame yourself for signing a contract before reading it.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

bemymonkey (1244086) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236498)

Caps are usually specified in Bytes, so it should be a full 2GB.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36237636)

Is that while "capped", you're not shut off on the 2GB/mo or higher plans, simply throttled to "2G" speeds once you reach your monthly allotment.

HSPA 7.2 is ... supposedly 7.2 megabit/sec. I'm assuming marketing is advertising 2 gigabits rather than the much smaller 250 megabyte number... If they really offered 2 gigabytes, I'm sure they'd advertise "16 gigabits" for obvious appeal.

So, at 7 megabits/sec, that'll take approximately 4 minutes 45 seconds to burn thru the 2 gig and then drop back to "2G".

Think about it... its like buying a cellphone to talk on that has less than 5 minutes a month of service.

And people wonder why I have no interest in wasting money on a smartphone... Why bother if I'll never be able to use it?

Smartphones have WiFi that's why. Screw the 2g/3g/4g. Wifi is where its at. If you can't wait to get to a WiFi hotspot (or home) you just may need a doctor about that "I NEED IT NOW" problem. Reminds me of a child crying to go on the horse outside the pharmacy when they live at a horse ranch..

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

Stewie241 (1035724) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238022)

HSPA 7.2 is ... supposedly 7.2 megabit/sec. I'm assuming marketing is advertising 2 gigabits rather than the much smaller 250 megabyte number... If they really offered 2 gigabytes, I'm sure they'd advertise "16 gigabits" for obvious appeal.

You know what happens when you assume...

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (2)

Jabroney (900831) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232368)

From what I've noticed when I use more than 5 gigs, I do get "throttled", but not by much. I still have sufficient bandwidth to steam netflix in high def when setting my phone as a wifi hot spot.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

chaboud (231590) | more than 3 years ago | (#36233620)

They'll hit you with a text message and pull you down to roughly 50kbps. It's actually worse than what EDGE could do, with all of the power consumption of HSPA. Funny enough, if you go 2G only, the speed cap appears to go away, and your data bandwidth goes up (latency also goes up, due to the tech).

Trust me, if you get dinged for going over the cap, you'll know.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232480)

The current unlimited do the same thing (technically it says they reserve the right to drop you to slower speeds, once you pass 5GB).

Essentially, the $25/month plan for 5GB is not $30/month, but there is not a $20/month for 2GB.

Not too bad.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232540)

I'm sure there's a limit where T-Mobile will cut you off.

By my math, 100 Kbps for a month is...
12.5 KB/s * 60 s/min * 60 min/hour * 24 hour/day * 7 day/week * 4 week/month ~= 28.8 GB

There's no way they'd let someone on a 200MB plan be throttled down and then use up anything near that kind of bandwidth, even at low speed.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (1)

chaboud (231590) | more than 3 years ago | (#36233630)

I hit the cap and got 50kbps, so it's 14.4GB, but they could just go lower. Besides, have you actually tried to suck 14.4GB through a 50kbps straw? No thanks.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232722)

I received a text message last month that I had gone over "the limit" and would have my download speeds reduced. I hit the limit by listening to internet radio for 6-8 hours a day, which is not surprising. I did not notice any real difference though after they lowered me, everything still worked.

Re:What the summary fails to mention... (3, Insightful)

Antimatter3009 (886953) | more than 3 years ago | (#36234058)

While the caps are lower than I'd like, when the penalty for going over is throttling instead of overage charges it at least feels a lot less like a pure cash grab.

You Need To Ask? (2)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232182)

Was this done for its customers' families or for its future parent, AT&T?

You really need to ask? This was done for profits whether AT&T acquires them or not.

Re:You Need To Ask? (0)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36234686)

I'm confused here. This is for phones. The AT&T caps I thought were for broadband.

These were the good old days (2)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232186)

After caps, comes filtering.

Re:These were the good old days (1)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232356)

Then censorship in a baby carriage.

Re:These were the good old days (1)

royallthefourth (1564389) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232404)

Nah, caps should be easy to implement and have an immediate perceived money saving effect by postponing infrastructure upgrades. Filtering is a complicated bunch of work with less obvious payoff.

Not that I'd be surprised to see AT&T (or any company with an internet/TV cannibalization contradiction) eventually throttling or otherwise interfering with sites that compete with their TV business. Maybe a better warning sign for such a plan would be to see them creating something similar to the unlimited in-network calling features: limited to 2 gigs on the general internet, but unlimited data transfer to/from our websites and on-demand TV programming on your phone for subscribers to our phone/internet/tv combo deal (while Netflix and other competitors get left in the cold).

How less is more. (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232996)

Less service for you, More profit for the corporation.

Isn't quad-poly (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) great? My money is on Sprint introducing data cap soon, and it'll only get worse if AT&T is allowed to swallow T-Mobile.

Re:How less is more. (1)

chaboud (231590) | more than 3 years ago | (#36233660)

Honestly, I'd expect Sprint to hold onto no data caps for WiMax a little longer, just to pull in subscribers that have nowhere else to go.

But, yes, this sucks, and it *will* only get worse once AT&T has swallowed T-Mobile. Heck, I went to T-Mobile because AT&T sucked so hard. At this rate, I'll have to go to Google/Microsoft's as-yet-unannounced TVBD-based phones.

Re:How less is more. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36233674)

I'm uncertain how things are where you live but here in Denver, we have a few other players. Boost Mobile, Cricket and Virgin. While they all have awful coverage areas, they tend to have far more reasonable prices. Usually without contracts.

Re:These were the good old days (2)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36233170)

Actually, after caps, comes "premium" sites that don't cost if people visit... however for sites to have this status, they will have to open their wallet up to $ISP.

Next step is "soft" redirection, "Oh, you really wanted Bing, because they actually paid us and Google didn't. Click here to actually go there and pay the bandwidth charges."

Next step is "hard" redirection. Try to get to a non "blessed" site, you get redirected somewhere else. There are no laws against this whatsoever and at all.

Of course, throw in there Phorm-like ad injecting just for kicks and extra ISP revenue.

Re:These were the good old days (1)

Grail (18233) | more than 3 years ago | (#36233716)

Do you have any basis for this claim?

In Australia we've had caps for a long time, with some providers giving cheaper versions of Facebook (because Facebook provides a mobile-optimised version at m.facebook.com) accessed through their provider-specific starting screens. They don't block Bing or Google, they don't block MySpace, they just provide cheaper access to the things that will help sign people up to their plans.

There are laws against offering people one thing and selling them another.

t-mobile in my pants (1)

slashpot (11017) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232192)

I have t-mobile in my pants.

Re:t-mobile in my pants (0)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232970)

You should go see a doctor, there's a cure for that by today. Don't be ashamed, you have no idea how many people suffer from the same condition, it's just that nobody wants to talk about it because it's a bit embarrassing.

for the families (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232202)

What would ever lead you to believe that any large business has customer well being included in the calculus of its decisions?

Nice to have a choice slow down or full speed $ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232204)

It will Nice to have mix of what AT&T has and T-Mobile has with a choice slow down when you hit the cap or full speed at cost per MB/GB.

Re:Nice to have a choice slow down or full speed $ (0)

19thNervousBreakdown (768619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232240)

Yeah! This is awesome!

makes sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232224)

no limits on a limited resource, as bandwidth over the air is, is bound to fail at some point

So? (3, Informative)

GeorgeMonroy (784609) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232228)

They are bought by AT&T. It was going to happen sooner or later. It just turns out that it is sooner rather than later.

Noooooooo... (-1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232232)

...oooooooooo!!!

...ooooooooob! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232780)

n/t

They were note unlimited (5, Informative)

Mitsoid (837831) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232274)

Plans were not unlimited to begin with (unless your plan was 6-7+ years old)

They always had a 5GB Cap, so all this "They are not longer unlimited, they are now 2/5/10GB caps" is misleading -- you're actually getting a middle-man choice now...

Before most carriers went from 100/200MB to 5GB(aka ""Unlimited""), nothing in the middle. You paid either $15 or $30/month for ~200MB/5GB respectively. At least now the options are more like 200MB/1GB/2GB/5GB/++ with a better price structure.. And I do like that T-Mobile doesn't charge extra for going over.

But the plans were not really unlimited to begin with.

Re:They were note unlimited (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232394)

Yes, it really was an unfortunate marketing decision to start using the term 'unlimited.' Now that they are being more honest about what truly is being offered, people have the perception that they are being screwed out of something that they really didn't even come close to utilizing the whole time. This will only negatively affect the abusers. If you're downloading gigabytes of data, you should not be doing it over the cellular network.

Re:They were note unlimited (2)

Skarecrow77 (1714214) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232510)

If you're downloading gigabytes of data, you should not be doing it over the cellular network.

I can't think of a safer way to surf porn from work.

Re:They were note unlimited (1)

Cyberax (705495) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232704)

Why the fuck not?

I routinely use my 3G modem to download gigabytes of data. So it's certainly possible technically - there's more than enough spectrum for this.

Re:They were note unlimited (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232550)

I think the real key is that you are not charged for going over.

I really would prefer this method...For most things, I could deal with slow data (and wifi) for a few days at the end of the month when I run close to the cap. If I really need more that month (say I am traveling and using the phone as my sole point of contact), I should have the option to call them up and say "here's another $15, please uncap me for the rest of the month".

Re:They were note unlimited (1)

sangreal66 (740295) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232576)

Unless you are just talking about T-Mobile, you are incorrect. Carriers used to call their 5GB plans unlimited but that is no longer true. Phone plans are truly unlimited on Verizon and I believe Sprint and AT&T as well. 5GB Plans for other devices are called 5GB.

Re:They were note unlimited (2)

fermion (181285) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232762)

I agree. I am still on an unlimited data plan, but it is from2007 . Most new *g services have a cap to meet a price point, and because the higher bandwidth of new generation phones are going to kill the network if used by the teen age boy viewing pron 24X7 or the older guy viewing sports clip over the same time frame. So instead of fake unlimited plans we have real limited plans. This is shown in the T-Mobile thing. It has nothing to do with ATT. It has to do with expanded 3G and anticipated 4G coverage. With a 2G phone, if one were continuously downloading content, one could expect to consume on the order of 10 GB of content. A lot buy most people are not going to do this. Most people will consume less than 1GB. With 3g the maximum content is on the order fo 100 GB. With 4G the problem increases. Larger pipes, faster downloads, more bandwidth used per customer, yet customers don't want to pay more. It is like candy. Can't charge more, so use less product.

they enforced the cap with a bandwidth throttle (3, Interesting)

SuperBanana (662181) | more than 3 years ago | (#36235966)

They always had a 5GB Cap

It's a weird sort of cap. Once you hit it, they throttle your connection to stupidly slow speeds.

Which is funny, since on my "4G" phone in Boston, most of the time I'm lucky to get 10-20KB/sec because all the backhauls are grossly underspec'd.

In Davis Square in Somerville, I'll get several megabits a second. In Roslindale (Boston)? I'm lucky to break 100kbit, yet my phone proudly displays a "4G" icon and full signal strength.

Re:they enforced the cap with a bandwidth throttle (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236532)

Yeah... the way this story is beling blown out of proprtion is ridiculous. The $30/month "unlimited" plan has been soft-capped at 5GB for years now. They explain this to you, but also explain that
A) You won't get charged more for going over.
B) You won't get disconnected for going over.
C) The speed they limit you to is still somewhere around 200kbps - a lot less than 3G but easily sufficient for web browsing and email, and usable for low-res video.

Under the new plan structure:
1) The $10 (200MB, hard cap) and $30 (5GB, soft cap) plans are COMPLETELY UNCHANGED .
2) By adding a new $20 2GB soft cap plan, they are allowing people who want technically unlimited data but don't need a huge amount every month to pay less.
3) By adding a new $60 10GB soft cap plan, they are allowing people who regularly hit the throttling to choose the option of paying more for a higher cap.

This is a win for cutomers. It's more choices without removing any existing ones. You don't pay more unless you get more. You don't lose anything unless you decide you'd like to pay less. Why is T-Mobile being painted as the bad guy here?

Apparently, there are stupid people on the Internet. Who would ever have guessed?

Better this kind of capping (2)

saikou (211301) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232302)

Yes, it's "giving up", but I think it's better to have T-Mobile's kind of capping (where speed gets reduced) than a nice little surprise on your bill with per-GB (or whatever the "over the bucket" bucket size is). It means your bill stays predictable, which is what most users want. If it's slow, it's not a problem for most users, annoying, but not a problem

Re:Better this kind of capping (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232336)

If it's slow, it's not a problem for most users, annoying, but not a problem

And that right there is making the marketing people scream... allow that meme to escape into the wilderness, and business model of getting most of your profit from people who buy the fastest, might not work anymore.

Re:Better this kind of capping (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232452)

It's just smart marketing. I would never buy a plan that has unlimited cost potential - especially if I'm going to share it with my kids.

Now you can hook me, and when it turns out I'm out of data by the middle of the month, it's a trivial up-sell to the next data level.

well of cousre they are doing it (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232366)

Why would companies want us to use our new fangled devices?

It was all a scam, get people used to living off data, then start jacking the prices up. Just like a drug dealer.

Next you will see the caps start getting lower and lower ( on home wired connections too ), to the point that your bill goes up and up on overage just for 'normal' use. And you can forget about all that streaming media from the 'cloud'.

Who else around here remembers the $ for x dollars a month and HUGE overages without a warning? One was afraid to even connect.

It is really too bad... (4, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232396)

I am willing to bet a lot of people would prefer to replace their Cable, DSL, Fiber with a Cell connection, if it were affordable enough. 3G is fast enough for most browsing.

Cell phones got popular when they removed the extra fees like roaming costs and free long distance calling. Now it seems like they forgot about this with overly expensive data plans with caps. Even if it is cheaper people don't like caps,

Re:It is really too bad... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232684)

I am willing to bet a lot of people would prefer to replace their Cable, DSL, Fiber with a Cell connection, if it were affordable enough. 3G is fast enough for most browsing.

Cell phones got popular when they removed the extra fees like roaming costs and free long distance calling. Now it seems like they forgot about this with overly expensive data plans with caps. Even if it is cheaper people don't like caps,

I have a cell connection because there is no other choice (other than dialup) where I live. 1.5MB/s. Not quite the 3G/4G experience, but, works when there is no substitute. Plug the card/device into a router that supports it as a WAN connection. I'm also on one of the older plans that truly was unlimited (70GB usage last month, one fixed price).

I have on average "two bars" at my house. Some observations:
- 150KB/s downloads. ~200KB/s through Steam on good days.
- 150ms - 250ms average ping times. Good for browsing, horrible for online gaming.
- Carriers can and will silently drop idle connections. You need to reboot the router or remove / reinsert device to get a new signal.
- Multiple streams of data absolutely crawl the connection (try opening 10 links off of Google search at same time, good luck).
- Last but not least, in poor conditions, 16KB/s downloads, 750ms-1000ms average ping times. Happens maybe once or twice a week.

Previously had cable before moving to where I am. In my view, I don't see this an acceptable substitute for Cable/DSL/Fiber anytime in the near future. There is a VERY noticeable quality difference even Joe six-pack or grandma would notice. That and as you mentioned the data caps will kill any netflix streaming, steam downloads (5 games purchased in past month @ 4GB min each), etc. Both the plans and technology will need to improve. I'm waiting for that day to come myself.

Side note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36233384)

As a side note, I've played City of Heroes on my tethered Optimus T with no problems. Pings got a bit haphazard, but still very playable.

Re:It is really too bad... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36233904)

I can speak from experience here.

In February the cable modem I was leasing from Comcast died. Prior to that, I was putting up with a full-day outage at least once every other month, and never got anything close to the speeds they advertised. They told me it would take 3-5 weeks to fix the problem because the modem had to be "installed" by a technician, and they were very busy. I asked if I would be billed for the time I wasn't able to use my connection and they said yes, so I cancelled my service and dropped their modem off at their local service center an hour later.

Knowing I would be moving in the next 3-6 months, it didn't make sense to sign up for a different cable or DSL provider, so I decided it was time to go for a MiFi. I have an AT&T iPhone with a grandfathered-in unlimited data plan, and I asked if I could add tethering to it without losing my unlimited plan. They told me no. I pointed out, "I'm offering to give you an extra $50 a month for the data connection I'm already paying you for, as opposed to just jail breaking my phone and taking it," and they said they'd rather send me to a competitor for MiFi than let me keep my unlimited plan.

Both Sprint and Verizon had MiFi plans that cost less than what I was paying Comcast, so I ended up going with a 4GLTE MiFi from Verizon, and now I'm paying $80 a month for a connection that always works, wherever I am, and is just as fast as Comcast's oversold cable connection. The downside is I have to watch my downloading... Anything over 10GB costs me an extra $10 per GB. For the most part it's not a problem, but I think twice before downloading OS updates or large software packages. At the end of the day I rationalize, "is it worth $5 to me to download this 500MB file?" Sometimes I just download large files over my iPhone with a download app then transfer it to my computer through iTunes. It sucks, but it beats paying for the download. I worry that the trend in the industry is moving toward the text message model... Where we'll be paying ridiculous amounts per megabyte simply because there's no other option.

Re:It is really too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36234102)

I refused to pay TW for their service, and although I have to place my USB dongle hanging from the window to get the unlimited Sprint connection (spotty signal I receive at home), I did it. With the flexibility that now I can take the internet with me if I'm not going to be home. (The 3G is capped at 5GB, but I'm not using it unless I don't get the 4G signal).

Re:It is really too bad... (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 3 years ago | (#36234720)

3G may be fast enough, but it's extremely expensive. Although a combined phone+data that allowed browsing could be cheaper than phone+isp. Now how do you connect your phone to your computer? (wifi with some expensive ones but isn't it better to avoid wifi for speed/security reasons?)

Re:It is really too bad... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36236728)

>> I am willing to bet a lot of people would prefer to replace their Cable, DSL, Fiber with a Cell connection, i

This will not work.
Bandwith is shared and scarce. You simply cannot allow a megabit for everyone over air, in a given place.

Next is voice. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232424)

If you go over your "unlimited" voice minutes, you just get bad reception afterwards.

Re:Next is voice. (2)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#36235704)

Voice doesn't have the same issue in general. People physically can not say on the phone talking ALL THE TIME. If nothing else, they sleep at some point, but in reality, people do many things besides dedicate themselves to a phone call. Phone calls also use a pretty insignificant amount of data thanks to modern compression technics.

Phones with apps that continually do stuff in the background or play full motion acceptable resolution video on the other hand can continually put a large load on the network without the owner of the device being in any way involved with the process. Hell, I burned through a 2g iPad data plan the other day just because I turned the volume down on iheartradio and left work without noticing ... so it switched from wifi to cellular and proceeded to rapidly eat away the data while it was laying covered on my coffee table and I played video games and slept.

Networks treated voice badly years ago, when they didn't have capacity for it really, now that they've built out, voice is pretty easy for them to handle at essentially no cost and it makes them a fortune, more than data for most people.

so much for "truly unlimited" (2)

MoFoQ (584566) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232448)

so much for their "Truly Unlimited [t-mobile.com] " ad campaign....

it's like a car rental company saying..."yea...unlimited miles" except they forget to tell you they meant "unlimited miles of walking"

Re:so much for "truly unlimited" (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 3 years ago | (#36236540)

Um, no. They don't cut you off when you hit the 2GB, 5GB, or 10GB caps, and they don't charge you extra. It's a soft cap, they just throttle the bandwidth.

Also, they've been doing this for years now. I don't know why there's suddenly an uproar over it...

Re:so much for "truly unlimited" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36236844)

beautiful analogy

I wouldn't see an issue with caps (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232504)

IF and only IF the caps actually CHANGED. As it sits now, AT&T's "Tiered" plans haven't changed in four god damned years. The 250MB bottom tier should be at least 1GB now for transfer.

The real criminal act is they aren't updating what you get, they simply keep the limits static. If they want to adopt this shit business model then they need to keep up with upping the bandwidth limits.

Fuck AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile.

The real issue... (4, Insightful)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232530)

is not collusion, but a desire to force the issue with content providers over who pays for high bandwidth services. As services, such as video streaming, become more common networks will become more heavily loaded and the cell phone companies will need to invest things that can keep data flowing. They, off course, don't want to make that investment just to keep money flowing to content providers. So, they need to find a way to shift the costs to the content providers and eventually the users.

By capping data, they can lessen the uptake of these services since people won't what to pay overages. By lessoning the uptake, they slow the growth of the content companies which means they are worth less, giving them a vested interest in figuring out a way to share revenue to pay for the pipe. They'll charge the consumer more, pay an access fee and the cell phone companies are happy. You might think the content providers would be mad - but that also creates a barrier to entry since new companies would need to pony up cash before they have subscribers, making it hard to offer free or low cost services since they customer would find them to use bandwidth were the big players are "free from usage charges."

In the end, it comes down to money. The cell phone companies don't what to be freeway on which content providers gore rich - they want a slice of the pie and by controlling the last mile, they have some leverage.

Re:The real issue... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36235370)

Bandwidth capping is limiting how many miles a car can drive each month to reduce maintenance costs on the road. The roads are owned by the telecoms. The drivers pay the telecoms monthly to use the roads. The businesses pay to keep the roads to their building open. The ration has an unfortunate affect of only profiting the telecom(s), reducing revenue for the buildings, and hurting the economy. Without much competition, there is no incentive for the telecom to upgrade their roads.

Content providers are not free-loaders. They pay someone for the internet just like everyone else. Eventually, their network has to someone else's network-- who will typically charge them. If a content provider is sending to someone else's network, its because someone on their network (most likely a mutual customer) wants to communicate with the content provider. Content providers have a limited speed just like everyone else, it just might be a lot faster than your limited speed-- that's only because they pay for it.

T-mobile, imho, is the one of the few companies that should be considering these bandwidth caps, with their "modest" profits of only ~$100m. AT&T, Verizon, Comcast, and others can start complaining about the network congestion when they stop posting profits over $500m (like $900m, $1.02b, and $31.2b, which already includes costs for their current network upgrades and maintenance).

Price fixing is illegal isnt it? (2, Interesting)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232600)

This is a con job. These are the same companies that want to charge you a fortune for limited texting.

Re:Price fixing is illegal isnt it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232786)

heh.
price fixing? like setting a price on your goods based on what the market will bear?
bastards.

Re:Price fixing is illegal isnt it? (2)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#36235692)

Do you actually know what price fixing is? If you think you do, would you mind elaborating on what you think it has to do with what the market with bear?

Still options ot there.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232844)

Sprint is still unlimited AFAIK.

Re:Still options ot there.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36234916)

Yes, it's unlimited in both cities where they provide service.

Greed, you have to love it. (3)

lexsird (1208192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36232862)

Nothing screams "reptile brained monkeys" like human greed. Our system takes greed and puts it on steroids and attempts to hose every living creature for every drop of worth they can for the least amount in exchange. Yes, I remember being burned for 25 cents on up per minute to use POTS. It was like we were all dumb enough to pay them for the "magic call box", they did it as long as they could. And everyone cheers them on and wants to be just like them. It's like being born and raised in Hell, you don't know any better.

My idea is NetFlicks is putting the major burn to every cable company and their cronies want the hammer dropped on them in any avenue possible. Imagine how great it is to be able to just watch your awesome little phone like a TV? Better than "TV" because you can watch WTF you want, when you want it. But this isn't about you getting what you want or even pay for. This is about you being a good little zombie and being farmed for all that you are worth. They want to continue making a fortune off of you from their old tech that has already made them fortunes. That's the bitch about corporations, they can be owned and orchestrated from higher up. This means the entire landscape can be orchestrated to farm us all. This is where the irony is so fucking thick it would kill if it was comedy. All of this happens in "land of the free". Hey, fuckers, you are anything but free.

The only problems we ever see is the want-to-be hive mind of the corporate hydra having internal conflict with its own stupidity. Once it sorts things out, it sics its toady pet governments into action to enforce their will. There is no legitimate excuse for WTF they do with this issue, they are just testing the waters to see how far they can plunge it into us. Its like gasoline prices. They find out just how far they can press the issue before the lemmings become restless.

IT is a tricky crowd to nail down in economic oppression and totalitarianism, you put the squeeze to them, they invent new ways to burn you back. Its best to wait for them to make products that the lemmings can't live without and nail the zombies. They will squeeze the zombies until they cry, then squeeze them until they shut up.

These caps are just the beginning, don't expect to change it, except for the worse. It time to milk the zombies.

Don't think so? Gasoline shouldn't be more than 25 cents a gallon. Seriously, I watched this happen over the years. Who the fuck do they think they are trying to fool? You can't fool everyone all the time. Gas was 25 cents a gallon and there wasn't a shortage. There never was a fucking shortage, nor probably ever will there be a real shortage in even our grandkid's lives. Its all about manipulation of idiot lemmings. They found out we are all dependent enough, and stupid enough to pay whatever they charge for gas, so here we are at $4 a gallon instead of 25 cents.

Data Hog? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36232972)

I hate the term Data Hog!! You pay for the service and you use it. Why is that a Data Hog?

I drive my car on the highway more than you. So am I a Highway Hog then? Do we limit how much I can drive?

I wonder what is going to happen when Google gets their Giga Network up and running in Kansas City?

It's not so much capped as throttled (1)

Linsaran (728833) | more than 3 years ago | (#36233046)

They're not really capping your bandwidth, even the 200mb per month plan technically allows for unlimited data transfer. What they're doing is throttling your speed down to EDGE instead of HSPA+ once you hit your 'cap'. If you happen to actually need higher data speeds than edge for more than 200mb per month, then t-mobile offers higher tiered data options. Frankly I wish most cellular companies offered that sort of flexibility in their data offerings.

Does not seem legal... (4, Interesting)

Dr_Ish (639005) | more than 3 years ago | (#36233296)

Although I am not a lawyer, there would seem to be an issue concerning the sale of "unlimited" plans, if there is a data cap on them. I know when I signed up with T-Mobile I went for the unlimited option and was assured that unlimited meant just that, unlimited. There was no mention of a data cap. By quietly imposing a data cap on so-called 'unlimited' plans, it would appear that T-Mobile are playing rather fast and lose with Federal law. In particular, The Uniform Commercial Code, Section 2-313 [cornell.edu] (2) states that,

"(a) Any affirmation of fact or promise made by the seller which relates to the goods and becomes part of the basis of the bargain creates an express warranty that the goods shall conform to the affirmation or promise.

(b) Any description of the goods which is made part of the basis of the bargain creates an express warranty that the goods shall conform to the description."

So, why are T-Mobile not in violation of these provisions?Are there any legal types who can explain how this can be legitimate?

Re:Does not seem legal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36233360)

I suspect they are changing the description and terms going forward, such that new plans sold are bandwidth limited. Your current plan is unaffected...but when it comes time to renew your contract you will have to select from the then-current crop of (tiered bandwidth) plans.

"Yeah, we don't sell that plan anymore. You'll have to choose from one of these."

Re:Does not seem legal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36233826)

Nothing illegal about it. There is no *data* cap. You can use your data 24/7 and it will never be cut off. The speed will decrease to edge once you've used more than a specified amount of data, but you will not be cut off. Therefore, it's not a data cap.
As for changing the rules after you've signed up, well for all the people who signed up for an unlimited plan when the speeds were still edge (or they got a non-3G phone) there is no change in what was originally agreed to. In other words edge is still unlimited. Period.
The 3G however, is limited to the first X GB. That's all this means. It would be more prudent to describe it as a 3G cap, not a data cap. You were never promised unlimited 3G. You were promised unlimited data.

Re:Does not seem legal... (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 3 years ago | (#36233988)

They have two options. They can either grandfather you in, in which case you still have unlimited plan, and only new signups will have the limits, or they can offer you a new contract, which you have the option of declining without penalty (ETF)

They'll probably go with option 1 for all kinds of reasons.

Re:Does not seem legal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36235656)

When I talked to T-Mobile today, they claimed that their so-called 'Unlimited' plans always had the data caps. Hence the question.

If 'unlimited' means 'unlimited [as long as you use less than 5GB, after which we will throttle your connection]' then why is this not a violation of the *UCC*, if the throttling is not mentioned?

Re:Does not seem legal... (4, Insightful)

Rinikusu (28164) | more than 3 years ago | (#36234174)

I'm more concerned that the advertising (for all carriers) shows how awesome it will be to stream movies, music, and media, and yet severely penalize the users who actually take them up on their advertising.

Re:Does not seem legal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36234454)

UCC article 2 only applies to goods (simplistically, think things that are movable at the time of sale) and a cell phone service would not be considered a good. What is being purchased is access to a network not something that is movable (and no, I don't think transmission of data bits would count as movable. Besides, you purchase the right to transfer those data bits, not the bits themselves). Therefore, cell phone companies are not required to follow UCC article 2 provisions for their service. Selling the phone to access the network would be covered under UCC article 2 however, since a phone is a good.

Re:Does not seem legal... (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237002)

Look at the early termination provisions in your contract. They will stipulate that they can change the terms at any time, and you have 30 days to notify them if you do not accept the changed terms. If you don't notify them, you are put on the new tariff. If you do, they take your handset back and cut off your service.

Standard industry practice.

Re:Does not seem legal... (2)

qubezz (520511) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237046)

So, why are T-Mobile not in violation of these provisions? Are there any legal types who can explain how this can be legitimate?

Good luck fighting that one in binding arbitration. They have your signature on their terms and conditions: [t-mobile.com] , which they can change any time they feel like it, really meaning you already agreed to anything they want.

- To provide a good experience for the majority of our customers and minimize capacity issues and degradation in network performance, we may take measures including temporarily reducing data throughput for a subset of customers who use a disproportionate amount of bandwidth. If your total usage exceeds 5GB (amount is subject to change without notice; please check T-Mobile’s T&Cs on www.T-Mobile.com for updates) during a billing cycle, we may reduce your data speed for the remainder of that billing cycle.

and

You agree not to misuse the Service or Device, including but not limited to: ... (g) using the Service in connection with server devices or host computer applications, including continuous Web camera posts or broadcasts, automatic data feeds, automated machine-to-machine connections or peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing applications that are broadcast to multiple servers or recipients, “bots” or similar routines that could disrupt net user groups or email use by others or other applications that denigrate network capacity or functionality; .... (i) running software or other devices that maintain continuously active Internet connections when a computer’s connection would otherwise be idle, or “keep alive” functions (e.g. using a Data Plan for Web broadcasting, operating servers, telemetry devices and/or supervisory control and data acquisition devices); or (j) assisting or facilitating anyone else in any of the above activities. Unless authorized by T-Mobile, you agree that you won't install, deploy, or use any regeneration equipment or similar mechanism (for example, a repeater) to originate, amplify, enhance, retransmit or regenerate a transmitted RF signal. You agree that a violation of this section harms T-Mobile, which cannot be fully redressed by money damages, and that T-Mobile shall be entitled to immediate injunctive relief in addition to all other remedies available.

Other notable one-sided crap in the contract:

- WE EACH AGREE THAT ANY DISPUTE RESOLUTION PROCEEDINGS, ... WILL BE CONDUCTED ONLY ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS AND NOT IN A CLASS OR REPRESENTATIVE ACTION OR AS A MEMBER IN A CLASS, CONSOLIDATED OR REPRESENTATIVE ACTION.

- ...WE EACH WAIVE ANY RIGHT TO A JURY TRIAL

- WE CAN CHANGE ANY TERMS IN THE AGREEMENT AT ANY TIME.

I *wish* other carriers would do this! (4, Insightful)

sootman (158191) | more than 3 years ago | (#36233788)

Rather than just passively saying "Oops, you went over your data limit, we'll automatically give you more and charge you for it", they just switch you to 2G data speeds if you hit your limit. Cell companies have been looking for "we'll give you enough rope to hang yourself" opportunities at every turn ("oh, gee, you didn't know your kid was sending hundreds of messages and downloading porn at $1.00 per kilobyte until the gigantic bill showed up at the end of the month?") and it's nice to see one of them giving you a NICE way out instead of using data overages as another way to screw you.

Now, if carriers would just quit charging me once for the bits, and again for sending them to another device (tethering), I'd be REALLY happy.

Re:I *wish* other carriers would do this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36236788)

This has been true, AND without mercy, in Australia for quite some time with many kids bankrolling their parents, until recently. It now goes that most plans will, for usually a pathetic up adjustment in monthly expenditure, increase you to the next plan in the schema to compensate your insatiable thirst for the collective. And this should have been enforced allot sooner by the govt, imho.

I have to laugh, though, that whilst Australia was slapped head on into market caps after the initial 1st year Bigpond adsl roll out (~10 years ago now iirc) deemed unlimited not profitable to the extent they wanted to suck the bits dry of any cost they could come up with (and as a monopolized market back then why not), now the reverse is coming true with the need for competition peaking hard with demand. The unlimited plans are really becoming evident across many providers and this is a good thing. Especially for me :)

Heck we get 4g unlimited now with home gateways that ship unlimited local and national calls for under 100 bucks. To me this spells freedom from the encumbered carriers will need to adjust to to capitalize on as Vivid smash the hurdles we have been facing for too long.

so retarded (1)

sixsixtysix (1110135) | more than 3 years ago | (#36234304)

stop making devices that can do stuff then crippling what they can do. if it can stream internet video, then it should be expected, that over a month, many days worth of content will be consumed. it is also expected to be at the hi speeds that are advertised.

I just saw an ad (1)

rossdee (243626) | more than 3 years ago | (#36235998)

on TV saying T-Mibiles unlimited is truly unlimited

Seriously what is the big deal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36236224)

You PAY based on how much you use for

A. Groceries
B. Electricity
C. Gas
D. Clothes
E. Pretty much everything else other than bandwidth and all you can eat buffets

I for one, strongly support pay as you use type services. It is ridiculous that everything should be a buffet.

Good bye T-mo. (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237138)

At one time they had great customer service, competitive pricing, and cutting edge phones. They don't have any of that now. This is just another manifestation. My contract is up later this year, and I am leaving FOR CERTAIN!

Re:Good bye T-mo. (1)

fritish (1630461) | more than 3 years ago | (#36238124)

To where?

I'm curious because I use t-mobile because they are cheaper than the competition and have what I need. I use the Even More Plus w/500 minutes and signed up before these limits were in place (though I think there was always some fine print... not too sure though). If you currently use them, wouldn't you be grandfathered into your plan and not need to worry about these new rates?

Seriously though, what's a good alternative for a carrier that has a phone I can use in Europe as well (so I'm saying I need GSM phone)?

no collusion (1)

whistl (234824) | more than 3 years ago | (#36237194)

Having previously worked for a US national cell phone company that went through mergers/buyouts, I can tell you this. Until the date that the purchase is approved and announced, there is a "wall" between these two carriers. I guarantee T-Mobile's marketing dept is not making business decisions with any thought or concern about whether AT&T will like it or not, because the people who make those decisions are not allowed to talk to each other. Marketing and engineering teams are not allowed to start talking about integrating systems and product lines until that magic date passes. Employees have undoubtedly already been cautioned to be careful what information they pass along on any normal business calls between the two organizations. After all, it's possible the deal could still fall through.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?