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T-Mobile’s “Music Freedom” program allows users to stream music from various services without it counting against subscribers’ monthly data allotments. On Monday, T-Mobile added several new music apps to its list of supported services, including heavy-hitters like Google Play Music and SoundCloud.
The new services that no longer count against T-Mobile subscriber caps include:
- Google Play Music
- Xbox Music
- Digitally Imported
- Fit Radio
- Fresca Radio
- Mad Genius Radio
They join a roster which previously included:
- iTunes Radio
- Black Planet
- Radio Paradise
- Samsung Milk
In August, T-Mobile claimed that it had streamed over 7,000 TB of music that didn’t count against data caps. T-Mobile is now saying that 200 TB of music data is streamed daily on average. At an average of $10 per 2GB, those figures work out to millions of dollars of data charges saved.
[company]T-Mobile[/company] says that its free music streaming program is consumer-friendly and a good reason for consumers to switch carriers.
But if you’re invested in the net neutrality fight, there’s reason to be wary of toll-free data plans. Because T-Mobile usually throttles user data when users reach their cap, Music Freedom is effectively giving preferential treatment to those services which have signed up for T-Mobile’s program.
Although T-Mobile, in its press release, makes clear that music services don’t need to pay to be included in Music Freedom — “No backroom deals. No paid prioritization.” — it’s not hard to imagine a situation in the future where T-Mobile or another carrier refuses to grant a streaming service data-free status because of business.
Perhaps that’s why T-Mobile CEO John Legere took to Twitter last week to say he opposes President Obama’s plan to reclassify broadband providers under Title II rules from the Telecommuncations Act of 1996: