T-Mobile to Crack Down on Simple Choice Plan Data Abusers

T-Mobile to Crack Down on Simple Choice Plan Data Abusers

T-Mobile says it’s tired of a small fraction of its users abusing their unlimited Simple Choice Plan data by tethering over the 7 GB tethering limit, and will be knocking particularly abusive offenders down to the company’s entry-level data plan.


On an updated FAQ page, the Magenta carrier says there are some smartphone users who are using workarounds on their devices to allow them to blow past the 7 GB tethering limit, with particularly bold offenders using as much as 2 TB of data per month.

T-Mobile says it is concerned that such heavy usage will impact the network negatively for other users, affecting their experience. The carrier says it has developed software that will detect the workarounds used by the offenders, and those users will initially be warned about their usage, and if they continue to abuse the network, they’ll get knocked down to a plan with just 1 GB of data total.

We’re first warning these customers that they’re illegally using more data than they bought. We hope folks will stop on their own so they can keep their current plan. These customers are on an unlimited 4G LTE smartphone plan that includes a set amount of Smartphone Mobile HotSpot data, but they’re using workarounds to make their tethering look like smartphone usage which helps them use significantly more 4G LTE tethering than their plan includes.

Once they’re on a plan with a set amount of 4G LTE data, it won’t matter what method they use for Smartphone Mobile HotSpot. Once they use their 4G LTE data bucket, they’ll continue to be able to use data at reduced speeds and still never worry about overages.

T-Mobile will begin warning customers who abuse the tethering data cap as of today.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere shared the reasons why the carrier is clamping down on abusers, via one of his favorite forms of communication, Twitter:

Legere also posted to his blog an explanation about why the company is cracking down:

This week, I am taking aim at a select group of individuals who have actually been stealing data from T-Mobile. If their activities are left unchecked their actions could eventually have a negative effect on the experience of honest T-Mobile customers. Not on my watch.

We’ve built the T-Mobile network to reach 290 million Americans with the fastest 4G LTE speeds around. We drive hard every day for our network to reach more people and to keep giving customers the fastest data speeds in the USA. I won’t let anyone jeopardize that. So we are going after a small group of users who are stealing data so blatantly and extremely that it is ridiculous.

Legere continued, saying: “It’s a small group – 1/100 of a percent of our 59 million customers – but some of them are using as much as 2 terabytes (2,000GB!) of data in a month. I’m not sure what they are doing with it – stealing wireless access for their entire business, powering a small cloud service, providing broadband to a small city, mining for bitcoin — but I really don’t care!”

(Via 9to5Mac)