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T-Mobile Returns To Unlimited Data Plans

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the until-they-change-their-minds-again dept.

Cellphones 152

New submitter kevmeister writes "Today T-Mobile decided that unlimited data plans are a good thing after all. Over a year after discontinuation, T-Mobile announced that unlimited data is coming back. 'T-Mobile said the new unlimited data plan will cost $20 a month when added to a Value voice and text plan, and $30 a month when added to a Classic voice and text plan. ... Among its top U.S. network counterparts, only Sprint offers a similar deal, and it costs about $110 a month. But Sprint offers the iPhone; T-Mobile does not. One of the new T-Mobile plan's flaws, though, is that it cannot be used for tethering -- that is, connecting multiple devices to the Internet. MetroPCS, considered the fifth-largest carrier in the U.S., made a big announcement of its own Tuesday, saying it would begin offering an unlimited everything promotional plan for $55 a month for a limited time.'"

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pron (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084329)

pron

"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (3, Insightful)

Mitsoid (837831) | about 2 years ago | (#41084401)

" One of the new T-Mobile plan's flaws, though, is that it cannot be used for tethering "

Verizon & AT&T do not either.. not a huge flaw there as T-Mobile gets a one-up on their higher market share competitors.. on top of being GSM like AT&T, you get a bit more phone freedom (minus the #g band differences, which seem to be more of a moot point nowadays anyways for international travelers... since 3g band frequencies change by country)

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (1)

rwa2 (4391) | about 2 years ago | (#41084471)

Yeah, after a few years of trouble-free tethering, at some point they started doing some sort of browser agent detection, and direct you to a tethering plan upsell.

OTOH, if you're already on one of the Android plans, you can apparently still tether an Android tablet to your Android phone and have full access to everything. Which works well enough for me. (of course, I haven't been trying to get my work laptop into corporate VPNs and crap like that)

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (2)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | about 2 years ago | (#41084547)

If they're using browser agent detection it sounds like a blacklist rather than a whitelist.

Any idea if this could be bypassed by SSH tunneling all your computer traffic to a computer on the other side? It would still be distinguishable from traffic that originated from your phone by looking at the TTL, but I doubt many people do this.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084893)

I have T-mobile's old $9.99 unlimited data, and there's no problem tethering -- at one point I racked up over 40GB in a month (in-between land-line providers) with no issues and no throttling, though a few months later they started throttling everything after 5GB to EDGE speeds. SSH works just fine.

I think the UA-sniffing is only applied in certain high-density markets -- it definitely didn't apply to me, but I've heard reports of it on the same $9.99 data plan, so I think it depends on location.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (1)

thehickcoder (620326) | about 2 years ago | (#41085201)

2 things:

1. I haven't run into user-agent blocking where I live, maybe it is a regional thing. I have the user-agent on Opera mobile set to use the desktop version without issues. Additionally a few weeks ago my power was out for a couple days and my phone became my primary home internet connection, no browser on 1 windows and 2 linux PCs was blocked.

2. I doubt they would be able to see the TTL. The TTL of the ssh packet would be unchanged, and the TTL of the tunneled packet would be encrypted.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (1)

calmofthestorm (1344385) | about 2 years ago | (#41085291)

Gaah you're right, I was mixing up SOCKS proxying with how AT&T (or was it Sprint?) was blocking some tethering apps by TTL that just bounced them through; but this is new packets so it's moot. I'm sure some kind of rate information would let them detect various protocols within SSH but I'm not too worried about that 'cause I don't use much data.

Really I just want to check my email on a device where I can actually reply to it when traveling. I have a $3/day pay-as-you-use T-Mobile contract but I've yet to try to tether with it.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (1)

phizi0n (1237812) | about 2 years ago | (#41084559)

If they are just doing user agent detection then it shouldn't be any problem to change your browser useragent on PC's, or for someone to create a tethering app that does it automatically.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41085397)

The only problem then is you get the crappy mobile site at a lot of places. Since many sites just look for some substring like "Mobile", you might try adding in some kind of subtle misspelling like "M obile" or whatever.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084581)

I am still tethering my Nokia N8 on T-Mobile for about eight hours a day to my Windows PC, with no problems. I have a 5GB cap, that I have only hit once, and after that I do get throttled, but not cut off.

I'm glad to see my hesitance to switch to an Android device has had at least one pleasant side-effect.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084699)

They started checking for the browser useragent that Chrome for Android uses on my Nexus 7, so I can't tether that any more without paying for the service.

Firefox Beta still works fine, though.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (1)

oakgrove (845019) | about 2 years ago | (#41085691)

They started checking for the browser useragent that Chrome for Android uses on my Nexus 7

The Nexus 7 must have been more wildly popular than I thought for them to target it so specifically. It's a pyrrhic victory though as there is no way they can account for browsers like Dolphin that let you literally type in any user agent string you want. I guess they'll net a few of the more naive customers so not a total loss. I guess.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 2 years ago | (#41085255)

I never had any problems tethering with my T-Mobile phone, but my daughter got that website when she tried to use her phone to watch netflix (we have a family plan). It was a one-time occurrence since I haven't seen it appear again while tethering with my Mac.

The thing that irritates me is that my "grandfathered" unlimited plan of many years had an unadvertised limit of 5GB added to it when they did their "unlimited w/ throttling plan 2GB" promotion. I'm waiting to see what happens but all indications are that T-Mobile will not quietly remove my limit. Of course, I never get near the 5GB total (due to crappy reception anyway) but it's the principle of it that gets my goat.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (1)

mcgrew (92797) | about 2 years ago | (#41084951)

My unlimited everything plan doesn't allow tethering either, but I'm only paying $45 per month. TFA says "A plan that includes unlimited everything will cost $89.99 a month." If they included tethering I might be tempted to switch, since it might be possible to get rid of my AT&T DSL bill. But as it is, ninety bucks a monthis way too much money, twice what I'm paying now.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 2 years ago | (#41085243)

Well, I am paying $85 (including my employers 15% discount) a month for sprints "unlimited" "4g". In practice, I never get more than 300kbps on "3g", and I typically hover right about the 200kbps max that 2g edge offers. The speed doesn't even get better in the larger markets like New Orleans, where I should theoretically be getting WiMax.

So tMobile is most likely going to be better for me, considering that I have a coworker that gets consistently good signal on his phone.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (2)

Pieroxy (222434) | about 2 years ago | (#41085403)

Funny, in France I'm paying 16€/month for unlimited calls to over 200 countries, unlimited SMS and unlimited data with tethering thrown in. The only downside is a cap at 3GB after which they will throttle your traffic. Remember this is a "personal plan" so "unlimited SMS" means no more than 1000 to less than 250 different recipients per month. About the same for phone calls which is about 100x more than my maximum I think.

Something is badly rotten on the other side of the pond. I still wonder what. The only thing I can think of is that back in the days the consumer calling a cell was the one being charged with the full price of the communication. In the US, the dude answering his cell is still charged. This made owning a cell phone much cheaper over here and the cell phone market penetration was much much better on our land.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (1)

Nadaka (224565) | about 2 years ago | (#41085621)

In the US you (get charged/use minutes) for BOTH calling and answering on a mobile phone.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (1)

Kreigaffe (765218) | about 2 years ago | (#41085625)

To be fair, calls to all 50 US states covers the same area as calls to all of Europe.

And charging the person calling a cell is ridiculous; you may not know it's a cell. The person answering the cell phone, the owner, is always aware of what costs are involved with answering the phone, and is the one who decided to take on those extra costs for the benefit of having a cell phone.

Contract cell phones over here do suck pretty hard though, and prepaids aren't usually as nice, and I have to give the EU credit for what they did with the microUSB charger.

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (1)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#41085913)

The problem is the lack of advertising, and different sales markets for plans.

T-Mo advertises their contract plans, but most people don't know jack about their pay as you go monthy no-contract plans. Most don't know you can get unlimited talk, text, and data on those plans.

While more expensive than 16euro a month, the 60$/mo pay as you go plan looks pretty compelling.

T-mobile prepaid and pay as you go plans [t-mobile.com]

No ETF, unlimited voice, text, and data (but with a cap...), and cheaper than ATT and verizon ever thought about being. Also, those plans allow tethering. :D

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (1)

SwedishPenguin (1035756) | about 2 years ago | (#41085909)

How exactly do they prevent tethering? Unless they control all the devices that use their networks they cannot ensure that phones do not have the ability to tether. User-agent detection perhaps?

On a related note, while I'm in the presence of Americans with knowledge of these things: I'm going to the US for a conference and vacation in two weeks, is there a decent pre-paid SIM-card that includes a few hundred MBs of data? My phone is pentaband so that shouldn't be a problem I assume..

Re:"The flaw" not really much of a flaw (2)

wierd_w (1375923) | about 2 years ago | (#41086081)

You can't buy naked SIMs in the US.

What you CAN do is buy a cheap GSM bar style phone from just about any walmart, and dump the phone and keep the sim.

Assuming you handset is not carrier locked, you can then use the cheap prepaid sim.

I used to do this the other way around when my phones would get damaged before their scheduled replacement, and limp on a bar phone until I could upgrade by putting my contract sim in the cheap feature phone.

Just drop the phone in any cellphone recycling bin, I believe most walmarts have them now, and keep the sim.

The price is quite affordable. No contest, it is wasteful, but the cell carriers do not want to sell us naked prepaid sims.

unlimited* (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084405)

* subject to "fair usage" limitations

T-Mobile DATA plan? (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 years ago | (#41084415)

I'm a T-Mobile customer and I'd be happy if I could just get voice service from them at my house. I drop calls all the time and they always claim to be "working" on the problem. I would drop them entirely but I'm expecting to move from my current location to another location hundreds - if not thousands - of miles away fairly soon and don't want a new contract until I get there and know which company's coverage is the best there.

I can certainly tell you though that I would not sign up for a data plan with T-Mobile, at least not where I currently live. That would be a tremendous waste of money.

Re:T-Mobile DATA plan? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084545)

Just get a phone that supports wifi calling. I think pretty much any of their Android phones do. That way when you phone has a wifi signal, it registers with T-Mobiles network and you can make and receive calls normally.

Re:T-Mobile DATA plan? (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 2 years ago | (#41085297)

WiFi calling is my favorite feature of T-Mobile. Be careful, there are reports that the new Samsung G3 has issues with WiFi reception.

Re:T-Mobile DATA plan? (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41086029)

Or use google voice via wi-fi and no t-mobile needed at all. :)

Re:T-Mobile DATA plan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084593)

A few of their phones have wi-fi calling. If you have decent internet connection and capable phone this might work better for you.

Re:T-Mobile DATA plan? (3, Interesting)

Burning1 (204959) | about 2 years ago | (#41084677)

I'm also a T-Mobile customer, and I live in the Bay Area. Voice / Text / Data isn't really an issue here. I recently switched from Verizon, because I could get a monthly plan with unlimited data for $50, rather than paying $85/mo for Verizon.

If you live in rural America, Verizon is one of the better choices. I grew up in the Santa Cruz Mountains and owned my first cell phone 12 years ago. Back then, coverage was really an issue.

Since I love to go riding in rural areas, I may end up buying a Verizon Pay as You Go phone as well. $1.99 for unlimited calls on the few days I need it.

Re:T-Mobile DATA plan? (1)

anagama (611277) | about 2 years ago | (#41084767)

This kind of problem is purely situational and can apply to any provider -- in contrast, I have T-Mobile and have no problem streaming Netflix in most of the places I go, and I pay the extra $15 so I can use my phone as a wifi hotspot with my tablet or laptop.

There is one place that I go regularly where I've never had reception, except way back in the day when I had a phone that had an external antenna jack -- I put a "trucker antenna" way up a pole and then I had five bars when plugged in.

Tmobile wifi calling solves this problem (3, Informative)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 2 years ago | (#41084785)

I can certainly tell you though that I would not sign up for a data plan with T-Mobile, at least not where I currently live. That would be a tremendous waste of money.

At home you have wifi, don't you?

Not only does that mean you don't really need data coverage, but you can make and receive phonecalls seamlessly via wifi calling. Myself and several other coworkers switched to tmobile specifically because wifi calling works perfectly (provided there's enough wifi signal strength) and as a result, we can make calls from our building's basement - we have wifi everywhere on campus, and as a result we have the best "cell service."

You can even set whether to prefer wifi or cellular. It just switches over automatically. If you have your phone set to keep wifi on all the time, you can receive calls without issue.

If you have signal strength issues at home, you can also purchase an amplifier/antenna pair. An antenna goes on your roof (or stuck to the inside of a window, or attached to the exterior wall), a cable goes into a central part of the house where you locate the amplifier+indoor antenna.

Re:Tmobile wifi calling solves this problem (0)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 years ago | (#41084909)

Not only does that mean you don't really need data coverage, but you can make and receive phonecalls seamlessly via wifi calling. Myself and several other coworkers switched to tmobile specifically because wifi calling works perfectly (provided there's enough wifi signal strength) and as a result, we can make calls from our building's basement - we have wifi everywhere on campus, and as a result we have the best "cell service."

You neglected to mention that only the newest TMobile phones support that. And of course to buy a new phone from TMobile means I need to sign another 2-year contract with them.

So basically, I would be promising my money and my resources to fix their crappy network. They are supposed to fix their atrocious network with the money I pay them - instead they want more money from me so I can get around their terrible network. This may be even a bigger consumer rip-off than text messaging.

Re:Tmobile wifi calling solves this problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41085065)

They've had phones with wi-fi calling for like four years now, and I've had a no-contract plan for almost three. They even give you a discount for the month-to-month plans!

Re:Tmobile wifi calling solves this problem (1)

The Dancing Panda (1321121) | about 2 years ago | (#41085605)

They've supported WiFi calling on all smart phones (aka, the ones that get wifi) since My Blackberry 6 years ago. I've since had a Google G1, HTC G2, and now the Galaxy S3, all supported. Lower android models also support it. You're just complaining without researching.

Re:Tmobile wifi calling solves this problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41085635)

Newest? My G2 supports that, and it isn't even remotely new at this point.

Re:Tmobile wifi calling solves this problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41085735)

I have a sidekick 4g. It is an ancient froyo device.

It does wifi calling just fine.

As for being more on topic concerning plans, monthy pay as you go is the beast deal from T-mo [t-mobile.com] , especially if you own the handset.

I use the 50$/mo plan. At the "2G throttled speed", internet speed test says the download speed is about 150kbps, and upload is 215kbs. 100mb/mo at 4g is a tease, but it goes bitchin fast for those few minutes every month. Upping to the 60 or 70/mo, with the higher cap wouldn't be so bad, but I don't really need the speed to just surf and pull the occasional file from the net while on the go.

My use case has me using the wifi calling while at home, and normal cell coverage while in town.

Re:Tmobile wifi calling solves this problem (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 2 years ago | (#41084931)

At home you have wifi, don't you?

Not only does that mean you don't really need data coverage

What? The point of having a data plan on a mobile device is to replace the wifi at home?

you can make and receive phonecalls seamlessly via wifi calling.

This is an excellent point and should not be diminished by its proximity to the statement above.

Re:Tmobile wifi calling solves this problem (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | about 2 years ago | (#41085847)

What? The point of having a data plan on a mobile device is to replace the wifi at home?

That may be your point for having mobile data. Mine is to be able to access data...while mobile. I have a 12Mbs line at home for data consumption. I'd hate to even think about the lag trying to play one of my FPS games over wireless data. That's what kept me from switching to Clear from AT&T. OH...and I can access the media on my home server from any internet connected DLNA client. Kinda hard to do if the home internet leaves the house when you do.

Re:Tmobile wifi calling solves this problem (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41085963)

Since wi-fi is faster than 3g, why wouldn't you use wi-fi when your'e home? Saves your 3g allotment for when your'e away from wi-fi.

Re:Tmobile wifi calling solves this problem (2)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 2 years ago | (#41085729)

One caveat of WiFi calling being that T-Mobile still counts the minutes towards your allotted monthly calling plan and will bill you for any minutes over the allotment. I never gone over the allotment, but the possibility it still there.

Re:T-Mobile DATA plan? (1)

godrik (1287354) | about 2 years ago | (#41084829)

OTOH, I live in columbus OH. I have been using tmobile for years and I have perfect coverage and 3g data speed. Oh, I also tether from time to time without any issues. They are the cheapest provider that can give me that type of coverage. They don't carry iPhone. So what? With the price difference on the contract I could buy one if I was interested.

Virgin... (2)

gfxguy (98788) | about 2 years ago | (#41084417)

I got in on Virgin Mobile's $25 unlimited (plus 300 talk minutes). Good luck finding anything like that ever again.

Re:Virgin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084669)

Too bad its capped at 2 Gigabytes and you get throttled to under a few hundred kbps with random disconnects multiple times a minute.

Re:Virgin... (1)

gfxguy (98788) | about 2 years ago | (#41085851)

Never noticed a problem before, and I've had it for about a year and a half now.

Re:Virgin... (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41085865)

Too bad its capped at 2 Gigabytes and you get throttled to under a few hundred kbps with random disconnects multiple times a minute.

Virgin Mobile throttles at the 2.5 gig, sometimes. I have the same 300minute $25 (grandfathered) plan. I don't get "randomly disconnected" at all when I've gone over, never have. Are you under 3 feet tall, live under a bridge and charge people to cross your bridge? In other words, are you a troll?!?

Re:Virgin... (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | about 2 years ago | (#41086291)

At least they tell you what they'll throttle the speed down to. AT&T will tell you: "Get a tiered plan and you'll never have to worry about it!"

Re:Virgin... (1)

Hodr (219920) | about 2 years ago | (#41085641)

I got in on that deal too. Recently dropped it for republic wireless. $19 a month, cool phone, unlimited everything.

LOL ... (0, Offtopic)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 years ago | (#41084429)

MetroPCS, considered the fifth-largest carrier in the U.S., made a big announcement of its own Tuesday, saying it would begin offering an unlimited everything promotional plan for $55 a month for a limited time

And wait until your first six months or whatever are up, then you really find out what this will cost you.

Re:LOL ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084771)

Flamebait? Really?

Where I live, cell phone carriers offer you the introductory price all the time, but after that initial period, you get the actual price. It usually seems like bait and switch to me.

Subscriber losses (2)

Miros (734652) | about 2 years ago | (#41084477)

T-Mobile is having trouble retaining / gaining subscribers. I doubt this is altruistic, they need to draw more customers in so they are attempting deep discounting.

Re:Subscriber losses (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 2 years ago | (#41084993)

Unfortunately though one of their main selling points has been that with them data is data, they never cared if it was a mobile hotspot or tethered, it was just data.

It still is just data, there is absolutely no reason to treat the traffic different.

Sprint (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084503)

Sprint's unlimited data costs about $110 a month? What, as an a la carte add-on to a basic talk plan? Their unlimited data plans start a lot lower than that.

Re:Sprint (1)

mdenham (747985) | about 2 years ago | (#41084833)

I believe that's the cost for Sprint's "unlimited everything" plan, actually.

T-Mobile iPhone this fall? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084551)

I would be a bit surprised if T-Mobile didn't have the iPhone after the upcoming release.

Re:T-Mobile iPhone this fall? (1)

yurtinus (1590157) | about 2 years ago | (#41084809)

I wouldn't - T-Mobile's network runs on a different frequency from the other major providers. It would take a change to the radios used in the iPhone to get them working on T-Mobile at anything faster than EDGE.

Re:T-Mobile iPhone this fall? (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 2 years ago | (#41085245)

I would be a bit surprised if T-Mobile didn't have the iPhone after the upcoming release.

Well, if they have unlimited data, I'd say they wouldn't be getting it. Only Sprint has kept unlimited data around - AT&T and Verizon switched to capped plans shortly after the iPhone after seeing the bandwidth used by iPhone users (who seem to really use it. There may be more Android users, but a good chunk don't seem to really use their data plan).

Thank You Department of Justice (4, Informative)

timeOday (582209) | about 2 years ago | (#41084575)

This is clearly a dividend of last year's enforcement of anti-trust law against the merger of AT&T and T-Mobile: [wikipedia.org]

On March 20, 2011, AT&T announced that it would purchase T-Mobile USA. On August 31, 2011, the Antitrust Division of the United States Department of Justice formally announced that it would seek to block the takeover, and filed a lawsuit to such effect in federal court. The bid was abandoned by AT&T on December 19, 2011.

Obviously the acquisition was intended to prevent exactly this sort of competitive undercutting.

Re:Thank You Department of Justice (1)

Miros (734652) | about 2 years ago | (#41084633)

How is that obvious?

Re:Thank You Department of Justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41085305)

Obviously plausible.

Re:Thank You Department of Justice (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41085401)

Corporations are evil. EEEEEEVIIIIIIIIIIL!

Tethering limitation (2)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 2 years ago | (#41084589)

Remember this ruling [slashdot.org] that prevents Verizon from blocking tethering apps? Someone at the FCC needs to be patted on the back for forcing Network Neutrality in the original contract for Verizon's 4G spectrum. Now, if only we could force the other carriers to do the same thing.

Re:Tethering limitation (1)

pavon (30274) | about 2 years ago | (#41084805)

That ruling didn't apply to Verizon's unlimited data plans either, just their capped ones.

Re:Tethering limitation (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | about 2 years ago | (#41085341)

1) Verizon doesn't have unlimited data plans any more. :-(
2) Where did you hear that? The articles I've read said it applies to anything using the "C Block" spectrum which is their 4G.
http://theunlockr.com/2012/07/31/fcc-forces-verizon-to-unblock-tethering-apps-and-pay-a-1-25-million-fee/ [theunlockr.com]

Re:Tethering limitation (1)

pavon (30274) | about 2 years ago | (#41085773)

1) Yeah, so what I said only applies to grandfathered unlimited data plans.
2) I originally read it at GigaOm [gigaom.com] . The FCC press release [fcc.gov] is vague on the matter, but the full order and consent decree [fcc.gov] makes it more clear:

On June 28, 2012, Verizon Wireless modified its pricing plans to allow customers on usage-based plans to tether their devices without paying an additional fee, while customers on unlimited usage plans must continue to pay an additional fee to tether their devices.

Re:Tethering limitation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41085813)

1) False. I'm on a Verizon plan with unlimited data.
2) True. If it is 4G, they can't block any app from using the data.

Re:Tethering limitation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41085863)

Sorry, to clarify, if it is 700MHz 4G they can't block any apps.

Re:Tethering limitation (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084929)

That ruling only applies to a specific block of spectrum which was auctioned under terms that required the carrier to let the customer use their own choice of equipment instead of discriminating in favor of their own equipment. That condition resulted (not sure how) from Google's participation in the same auction (though they ended up outbid by Verizon) since Google wanted customers to use their own gear. It would be nice if the non-discrimination provision applied to everything but unfortunately it doesn't.

not really unlimited? (2)

codeAlDente (1643257) | about 2 years ago | (#41084607)

The analysis on market-ticker today suggests 5GB is still the approximate upper limit. http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=210521 [market-ticker.org]

Re:not really unlimited? (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 2 years ago | (#41084863)

I have always thought that companies that advertise unlimited, but still put on a cap are underhanded and deserve some smack down. I will never get how that isn't false advertising.

Re:not really unlimited? (1)

hawaiian717 (559933) | about 2 years ago | (#41084953)

The article doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. They acknowledge the 5GB cap on current plans, then assume that same throttling cap will apply to the new plan as well. Then they state that because you can't tether, it's virtually impossible to hit 5GB anyway.

Re:not really unlimited? (1)

hierophanta (1345511) | about 2 years ago | (#41086063)

I hit 5gig on tmobile almost every month, without the [free] tethering. if you have feeds on your fav stuff like rss, twit, FB and the like it isnt hard to hit the 5gig

This is easy.... (2)

HerculesMO (693085) | about 2 years ago | (#41084613)

Because they have almost no LTE coverage in the US right now. So yea, you can get unlimited data, but since it's so damn slow you won't bother downloading anything on your mobile device.

I am leaving them as soon as my contract is up.... what a terrible idea that was.

Re:This is easy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084703)

I am a heavy user of T-Mobile's data, and as long as you have 3G coverage it is perfectly fine. At least where I live, work, and the handful of US cities to which I travel.

It may not be LTE, but their 3G speed is adequate for general web use. I can watch youtube videos without buffering, I can download and upload files, and of course web browsing and email work fine too.

I will agree that they have horrible coverage outside of major metropolitan areas, and my phone is frequently useless for data when traveling between cities. But for a cell phone bill that is $30/month versus $90+ for a similar package from AT&T or Verizon, I'm good with that.

Re:This is easy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084821)

Because they have almost no LTE coverage in the US right now.

They use HSPA, EDGE, GRPS and GSM, not LTE, CDMA, etc.

Re:This is easy.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41085205)

On 3GPP goes TDMA --> GSM --> GPRS --> EDGE --> UMTS --> HSPA --> LTE. The CDMA camp (called 3GPP2) designed UMB as a LTE-class option, but ended up deserted by their major customers and, after Verizon defected to LTE, abandoned the project

Re:This is easy.... (2)

Revotron (1115029) | about 2 years ago | (#41084843)

T-Mobile has great "4G" coverage in my area. I live on the outskirts of the Kansas City metro area. My new T-Mobile smartphone gets 6-7Mbps downstream, while my Verizon iPhone (which I am reluctantly dropping due to Verizon's shoddy pricing plans) clocks in at 1.5Mbps. I ran these tests side-by-side and the numbers from three subsequent tests came in strongly in favor of T-Mobile. I found that particularly unacceptable on Verizon's part since their service costs easily twice as much.

Do you live out in the boondocks? In that case, I'd certainly understand why their coverage wouldn't be as strong.

Re:This is easy.... (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 2 years ago | (#41085141)

I also live in Kansas City. A friend of mine has T-mobile and I can confirm that their downstream and upstream are wicked fast. He has found a way to tether his phone to his Samsung Smart TV and can stream absolutely anything with almost zero hesitation - for unknown reasons he has been doing this in an unlimited way. This may be because it's through an employee plan. The relative in question was able to look and see that he uses the equivalent of over 50 tethering plans a month or something like that. Personally, I have a 3g phone with Virgin Mobile (VM is the Sprint network). Before I recently lost my ability to tether I could stream 1080p.

Too little too late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084687)

They must have figured out why all those customers left. Like me.

Well fuck you guys, i'm not comming back. Who knows what you'll fuckup next and still keep me locked in a contract with etf and plenty of hoops to jump thru to end up with a phoneshaped brick.

Fuck you tmobile. Your antics cost you at least one customer for life.

Re:Too little too late... (1)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41086221)

A friend of mine was a tmobile customer for years, loved his service, always told people how great Tmobile was. That is, until one month when he went just a little over his 1000 minutes. They kicked him in the financial nuts for it! He spoke to their customer service, explaining he's been a good customer for years, always paid his bill, never came close to his 1000 minutes. Tmobile said there was nothing they would do. A few days later my friend had a cheaper Wal-Mart phone!

Too bad T-Mobile sucks so bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084693)

I'm in San Francisco, a completely tech-yuppy city (cell phones to every ear everywhere you go), and T-mobile coverage is absolute crap. I have prepaid T-mo and Verizon phones (this is cheaper than monthly plans). The T-mo is unusable in my neighborhood and cuts in and out at random in other places. The Verizon costs about 3x more per minute but always works. I use the T-mo when it works (because of the low cost and because I like my nice unlocked GSM handset better than the crap phone I use with Verizon), and I pull out the Verizon when I have to. The Tmo basic prepaid plan is about $7 a month. I sure wouldn't pay a lot more than that for a data plan from them.

Aren't they were required to allow teathering now? (2)

crazyjj (2598719) | about 2 years ago | (#41084697)

One of the new T-Mobile plan's flaws, though, is that it cannot be used for tethering

Thought the FCC case [cnet.com] recently required carriers to allow tethering, or is that just for Verizon?

Re:Aren't they were required to allow teathering n (1)

pavon (30274) | about 2 years ago | (#41084837)

No, that requirement was placed on new spectrum that was up for auction a while back. T-Mobile didn't end up with any of that spectrum so the rules don't apply to them. Furthermore, even for Verizon, they are only required to allow tethering on their capped data plans, not their (grandfathered) unlimited plans.

Re:Aren't they were required to allow teathering n (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41085009)

That's just for the spectrum that (thanks to Google) had a device-neutrality rule attached when it was auctioned off. Services using only spectrum blocks without that specific rule can still be offered with arbitrary TOS and policies w/r/t tethering.

I don't know whether T-mobile USA got any spectrum with those rules or not.

Re:Aren't they were required to allow teathering n (1)

erice (13380) | about 2 years ago | (#41085051)

No. The FCC ruling only apples to the 700Mhz band that Verizon is using for LTE. T-Mobile doesn't have any spectrum in the 700Mhz band.

Providers should be more flexible (2)

kawabago (551139) | about 2 years ago | (#41084763)

Assuming some mechanism of bandwidth rationing is necessary, I'm not convinced it is, providers should become more flexible. An unlimited data plan that has a small monthly maintenance fee of maybe $5 then a small per gigabyte charge that results in the average user paying about the same would be attractive. That way people would really only pay for what they use and get a break when they take time off. I might buy a plan like that.

Re:Providers should be more flexible (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#41085783)

They essentially did that, except the monthly maintenance fee might not be exactly what you'd call small, but it covers most people entirely.

What they, and the wired data providers, should be required to do is either a) charge a fair per GB rate, regardless of how much you use, or b) if it's too cheap to meter just have a truly unlimited flat rate. Any combination of the two, including caps and unreasonable per GB overage charges is abusive.

$110 Sprint plan? (2)

dontbemad (2683011) | about 2 years ago | (#41084791)

I'm confused. How much is Sprint's plan supposed to cost? Because I have an unlimited "premium" data plan on a 450 minute line and I only shell out around $85-$90 a month, after taxes and what not. I have no idea where this other 20 bucks is supposed to be coming from. $110 is around how much one would expect to pay for around a GB of data on the new shared plans with one cell phone, from what I understand.

Re:$110 Sprint plan? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41085303)

With Boost, I pay $55 / month for unlimited talk, text, web. They are charging me $10 / month more for hotspot. It uses the Sprint network.

Re:$110 Sprint plan? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41085503)

Not to mention, the way the summary is written is seems like with T-Mobile you get unlimited data compared to $110 on Sprint. How much is the Value voice and text plan from T-Mobile that you can add the unlimited data to? Yes, I can go look this up myself, but if you're going to make price comparisons in the summary, at least compare the total plan price for each carrier.

Wish I could choose my own plan. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41084935)

I'm paying for 500 minutes, unlimited texts, 2GB of "High Speed" (Throttled after) for roughly $85

I use 60 minutes, 500 texts and 300MB on average. Why am I paying $85?

Re:Wish I could choose my own plan. (2)

Revotron (1115029) | about 2 years ago | (#41085537)

Did you buy a subsidized phone and go with their classic plan?

I'm on a two-line 2-year contract with 1000 shared minutes, unlimited texting for both phones, and unlimited data for one for $70. Then again, I just got their Value plan and bought used phones from eBay, so my monthly bill is lower as a result. You should look into it - the math works out to about $200 in savings over the life of the 2-year contract.

Re:Wish I could choose my own plan. (2)

hierophanta (1345511) | about 2 years ago | (#41086129)

because you make poor decisions as a consumer. tmobile currently has a monthly plan for $30 that suits your needs - 100 minutes unlimited text and web (4g up to 5gig)

I went with a hotspot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41085083)

I had 2 data plans for phones and home internet. Saves me $40 immediately and another $30 when my other contract expires on my other phone. I'll probably end up with pay as you go for texting and voice. I got an iPad and wanted a plan for it but the mobile hotspot works just fine. I get 1.5 to 4Mbps down. Suits my needs, streaming, gaming, surfing. I don't use torrents to "share" files though.

Silly business - costs (1)

narfman0 (979017) | about 2 years ago | (#41085435)

I don't understand how people justify these ludicrous bills. Wifi everywhere, get fring+skype, gtalk for texts when you can, then pay as you go passed that. Platinumtel offers sprint service with whatever sprint android phone you have (through ptel.ws byod). I pay ~4.50$/month (after 180$ evo 3d craigslist + 40$ byod). Families must be in the multiple hundreds and I laugh out loud every time I see 1-5% of peoples income go toward phones. Yeah yeah you use your phone? Fine, I hope you like paying an extra 80$, or 17.77 times more than I pay. For one, that's 8 pizzas, 2 raspberry pis, 5+ indie games, a new set of memory, or an ssd EVERY MONTH For a family, thats a 24" monitor, .1 motorcycles, or a new processor EVERY MONTH. I don't understand the priorities but more power to ya.

You are being ripped off in the US (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41085513)

Get this; in the UK you can get unlimited data, sms, mms and 200 mins of calls for £10 a month with GiffGaff!

I love my Virgin Mobile! (2)

SternisheFan (2529412) | about 2 years ago | (#41085581)

Seriously, the more I read about these overpriced plans, "I thank Gawd" for my Virgin Mobile phone. $25 a month gives me 300 minutes, unlimited text/web, web throttled after 2.5 gig. I have gone over the limit a couple of times and really didn't notice a speed difference, and if I use wifi when I'm home I never go over anyway. (New PayAsYouGo customers do pay $35 per month.) VirginMobile is supposedly powered by Sprint, and Sprint is supposedly powered by Verizon. Service has been great in the N.Y. area. I hear the horror stories from friends and co-workers about their phone companies, overage charges, etc. When they ask what I have and I tell them "VM Pay as you go.", sometimes they'll sneer at the Virgin.Mobile name. Then I say, "I pay $25 a month" and just smile, like this :-)

more buzzwords please! (1)

someones (2687911) | about 2 years ago | (#41085713)

I am waiting for Unlimited Everything Super Flat Plan.

Did i miss something? (1)

Daetrin (576516) | about 2 years ago | (#41085993)

I don't remember Unlimited plans getting discontinued. I've had one since i joined them about 2.5 years ago. I guess they were throttling speeds after a certain point recently, and now they're not? So they went from Unlimited to "Unlimited" and back again?

Also, i've been tethering devices to my phone for the entire time as well. Of course that's because i got an unlocked Nexus phone so T-Mobile never got the chance to disable the option, but they certainly don't seem to be doing anything on the networking end to prevent tethering.

Tethering is not an issue on android devices.. (1)

sudden.zero (981475) | about 2 years ago | (#41086057)

at all since you can get applications like PDA Net that by pass the anti-tethering measures that are taken by any carrier. http://junefabrics.com/android/ [junefabrics.com] I tether my Dell Streak 5 all the time using it and I have no issues.
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