The Un-carrier might be at it again and its next move could definitely give its rivals and their subscribers pause for thought. Although “unlimited” these days no longer really means what the word literally means, T-Mobile seems to be doing everything it can to make it close enough. A recent tip says that as early as Wednesday, the network’s deprioritization limit, a.k.a. the Fair Usage Threshold, could be raised to as much as 50 GB, more than double its paltry initial limit of 23 GB, and definitely more than what its competitors are offering.
Deprioritization is what carriers use to say they’re offering unlimited data without incurring the disadvantages of abuses. In practice, they don’t really cut off your access to data connections, so, on paper, it’s technically unlimited. But you might as well be cut off anyway, because carriers will throttle your speeds, especially in congested networks.
Almost all the major carriers practice this, including this Un-carrier. Where they differ is how much data you can consume per period before the throttling begins. The four biggest US carriers played around 22-23 GB per quarter, but now T-Mobile is breaking rank.
According to a still unannounced change, the new threshold, starting September 20, will be 50 GB every month. That’s from 32 GB, which itself was raised from the original 23 GB earlier this year. It’s no small increase, which hints at T-Mobile’s confidence in its network’s capacity to handle to handle the load.
T-Mobile and its outspoken CEO have no qualms about shaking up the industry. In fact, they thrive in making such extravagant offers. It recently added a free Netflix subscription to its T-Mobile ONE plan, earning no small amount of criticism from other carriers.
[Updated to clarify the limit is per month, not per quarter]