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T-Mobile will slow down your ‘unlimited’ LTE data in some circumstances – here are the details

Published Apr 30th, 2015 3:06PM EDT
T-Mobile Unlimited Data Plan Slow Speeds

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Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen both AT&T and Verizon get into hot water for slowing down customers’ data speeds despite the fact that they had signed up for “unlimited” data plans. However, it looks like T-Mobile is now also slowing down its own customers who have “unlimited” LTE data plans in some situations, although the carrier insists that what it’s doing is different from straight-up throttling.

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Earlier this week, a thread popped up on the Reddit page for T-Mobile in which one user complained that they were only getting data speeds of .02Mbps despite having a plan with “unlimited” LTE data. A T-Mobile employee wrote in the comments that T-Mobile is slowing down the connections of unlimited customers during hours of network congestion if they’re in the top 3% of overall data users.

Officially, T-Mobile says that this isn’t throttling but “de-prioritizing” certain users, however the effect is the same: During times of heavy congestion, your connection slows drastically. On the plus side, once the cell site you’re using is no longer congested or if you move to a different cell site, your normal LTE data speeds are restored.

All the same, this is something that everyone who’s considering subscribing to an unlimited LTE plan from T-Mobile should know about. T-Mobile CEO John Legere this week said flatly that with unlimited LTE plans “we do not throttle” customers that use too much data. While T-Mobile might not call it throttling, the effect is the same: You will get slower speeds even with an “unlimited” LTE data plan at times if you’re a heavy data user.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.