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T-Mobile rumored to be swapping throttling for overage fees


10/08/2011

T-Mobile may have a memorable Saturday night planned. If documents rumored to have been leaked from the carrier prove correct, T-Mobile is planning to put an end to "unlimited" data plans that currently apply the brakes after the first 200MB of data, knocking users off its high-speed HSPA+ network.

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The current 200MB unlimited data plans will be grandfathered at the end of the day on August 13, states the document (so if you`re already a customer, you`re in the clear). Everyone else will be charged an extra dime per MB, though — happily — there`s a $30 Max Overage Charge, so things can`t get too crazy.

Plus, in a courtesy the government has suggested that carriers extend, T-Mobile will send users text messages, alerting them when they`ve hit the 200MB line, so they have the option of trying to avoid additional charges.

Competitor Sprint has taken pains to point out that it`s the last major carrier to offer truly unlimited access to data (Unfiltered: Sprint ad asks the question: `what does unlimited mean, anyway?`). In its latest ad, Sprint shows AT&T and Verizon to drop overage fees on users after the 2GB mark, while a T-Mobile phone loses steam after the 2GB mark. The commercial could actually still keep airing, with just a quick fix — have the T-Mobile phone start its huffing and puffing at the 5GB mark.

The fine print of the T-Mobile document reads: "These features also have data speed reduction if customer reaches 5GB within a bill cycle."

Virgin Mobile, on the same bandwagon, similarly launched a new ad (Unfiltered: Virgin Mobile`s T-Mobile `party crash` not its finest effort) both dissing T-Mobile as "depressing" and insisting it`s not the only "unlimited" act in town. Virgin Mobile, which is owned by Sprint, offers a $35 unlimited plan.

“T-Mobile has anointed itself as the value leader in wireless ... so we`re crashing their party," a Virgin Mobile executive said in a statement introducing the ad.



 

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