T-Mobile cracks down on unauthorized tethering on "unlimited" data plans

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in mobile on (#K8AY)
In an open letter to T-Mobile customers with an unusually furious tone, CEO John Legere announced an immediate crackdown on 3,000 users engaging in unauthorized tethering on "unlimited 4G LTE" data plans, calling the practice "stealing data". He claims the affected users are "hacking" and "using workarounds to conceal their tethering usage" to circumvent the 7 GB cap on tethered ("Mobile HotSpot") data, allowing them to use as much as 2 terabytes of data in a month, and this behavior "could eventually have a negative effect" on other T-Mobile customers. "Customers who continue to do this will be warned, then lose access to our Unlimited 4G LTE smartphone data plan, and be moved to an entry-level limited 4G LTE data plan."

Legere is walking a fine line, because the FCC has been very clear that "unlimited means unlimited." FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Travis LeBlanc said in June, "The Commission is committed to holding accountable those broadband providers who fail to be fully transparent about data limits." The commission fined AT&T $100 million for misleading mobile customers about its "unlimited" data plans, throttling data speeds after customers hit a certain data cap. Tracfone also got hit with a $40 million in January for falsely advertising its unlimited plan. Verizon had to abandoned plans to slow down 4G connection speeds for unlimited data plan customers after FCC Commissioner Tom Wheeler openly called the plan "disturbing." The FCC issued a similar notice to T-Mobile last year, which improved its notifications when it throttles unlimited plan customers.

Re: Better Plan Naming (Score: 3, Insightful)

by billshooterofbul@pipedot.org on 2015-09-04 17:13 (#KEZF)

Yeah, I don't know. They're trying to place limitations where it doesn't technically make sense to put limitations. Its like trying to separate salt water from fresh water at a river intersecting an ocean.

I understand the business case of why Tmobile is trying to separate out Smartphone data from every other kind of data, but it seems kind of silly. Data is data. It can be routed from one device to anther fairly easily.

It would be easier and technically better to just call all data: data and put a cap on it. Make it something absurd like 100 gig. 100 is much bigger than 10 gig and you really don't affect that many people. Tether if you want to or don't
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