Blog Post

Is T-Mobile Spinning on Google Phone Bandwidth Caps?

There are many problems with T-Mobile USA’s 3G plans, as we outlined yesterday. None compare to the seemingly foolish 1 GB bandwidth cap on “unlimited” data plans they are hawking along with the Google Phone. Today, in response to a New York Times query, they seemed to have backed away from the cap.

We removed the 1GB soft limit from our policy statement, and we are confident that T-Mobile G1 customers will enjoy the high speed of data access over our 3G network. The specific terms for our new data plans are still being reviewed and once they are final we will be certain to share this broadly with current customers and potential new customers.

The Times might be satisfied by the explanation, but like some others, I am not buying this story just yet. When T-Mobile says they are still figuring out specific terms for new data plans, it smacks of double speak. Does the company really mean to say that they are going to be imposing a bandwidth cap, though it would be north of 1 GB? If not, they could simply would have said: no caps whatsoever.

By the way, Verizon Wireless, the master of double speak, imposed a 5GB bandwidth cap on its “unlimited” data plans. As an aside, I think it’s time folks stop issuing misleading advertising by saying “unlimited” data for X-amount of dollars.

9 Responses to “Is T-Mobile Spinning on Google Phone Bandwidth Caps?”

  1. Ram Krishnan

    I am not sure why T-Mobile US is spinning. One look at T-Mobile UK reveals that they have different subscription prices for different monthly quotas (3GB and 10GB)

    Mobile broadband can never be unlimited – they all have to have monthly limits because the RAN and spectrum is expensive – every European operator has this policy, no rocket science.

  2. I agree that they should just drop the “unlimited” from the language. Truth is, the majority of users don’t get near a 5 GB soft cap a month. The 1 GB limit’s ridiculous, particularly with the G1’s Internet-focuses mission.

    From a marketing perspective, I feel for them. Unlimited sounds a lot better than 5GB, or whatever they ultimately decide. At the same time, if you’re using mobile P2P, or using a ton of data, you should pay more.

    It’s a problem with all the carriers, and cable companies. Do you think “nearly unlimited” would sound good, or “Unlimited*” would work?

  3. in some European countries telecoms are only allowed to use a single size of print for all text in their advertisements. that make the small print at the bottom of the page that explains what is really meant by ‘unlimited’ actually readable.

  4. About time for a class action suit or two against the providers who are doing the misleading advertising. Cripes – if some dweeb in East Overshoe, California can find a lawyer to sue Apple for AT&T’s mediocre interpretation of 3G, it seems reasonable that a suit may be cobbled together with premises as hard and cold as misleading advertising about speeds and capacity.

    Drop it in the lap of Comcast, T-Mobile, Verizon, et al. Eh?

  5. los guapos

    Oh please now. The data plan is what pays for the phone. Think about it. Do you really think this phone would cost $179 otherwise? I’m sure you will be able to buy it without a plan for like $500. By the way, after 6 months the phone is completely unlocked for any carrier. So you don’t like tmobile tell them to go pound sand!

    But oh lets not talk about anything positive. As iphone users we must only discuss and exagerrate and blow up any POSSIBLE negative aspect with the phone.

  6. it should be illegal under ‘truth in advertising laws’ to have any capped plan sold as unlimited. i also feel that any discretionary limit stinks. we should know what it is we are getting and not have a situation where we ‘might’ be cut off or canceled if we go over the limit. on every plan that goes over the limit the device should simply stop working for the remainder of the month. of course the operator could allow a customer to call them and buy additional capacity for the remainder of the month but should not charge automatic overages for some as hard to figure out as data usage.

    p.s. a wifi only android device would be very cool. just hope if it happens they do not take out the speaker/mic as on the ipod touch. it should be usable with VOIP in a very phone like manner.

  7. Too bad that I canot get one without the data plan. Come on, I dont need a data plan, I am on a Wifi 90% of the time. TMO data plan is $$. Google should have made it a point that the phone will be sold without a plan too, to get more device penetration (or platform penetration, in this case). What about developer devices? Now do we need to get a TMO subscription with data plan to develop for G1?