T-Mobile is drastically bumping up its “fair usage threshold” to 50GB starting later this week.
The change, which goes into effect on Wednesday, will allow customers to stream around 1.5 times more data before they are subject to slowed speeds on the network in areas of congestion. The current limit – a “throttling cap” but also termed a “deprioritisation threshold” by operators – is 32GB.
The shift was first reported by Android Central, and subsequently confirmed by the operator on Twitter.
This isn’t the first time T-Mobile has upped its usage cap.
The operator first launched its unlimited plan with a usage threshold of 23GB, a figure in line with what its US operator rivals offer on their unlimited plans. But T-Mobile took things a step further, bumping the deprioritisation limit to 28GB shortly after launch, and later 30GB, before jumping to 32GB earlier this year.
In a market now flooded with unlimited offers, the move is a differentiator for T-Mobile’s ONE plan. For reference, Verizon and AT&T both have usage thresholds of 22GB, while Sprint stands at 23GB.
T-Mobile’s decision to let customers stream more data before slower speeds kick in comes just after the operator added free Netflix for some unlimited accounts. That offer applies to users with two or more lines on the operator’s unlimited plan.
But the change also follows T-Mobile’s criticism that other operators are unable to handle the burden of unlimited traffic without slower speeds. Data from OpenSignal’s latest ‘State of Mobile Networks’ report appeared to back up the operator’s claim, with the finding that 4G speeds have been “dropping steadily” at both AT&T and Verizon since those operators reintroduced unlimited data plans. However, that result contradicted a separate finding from RootMetrics, which named Verizon the winner in its speed category for the first half of 2017.