T-Mobile UK Limiting ‘Fair Use’ for All Users to 500MB/Month


In a bizarre move , T-Mobile UK has announced the change of their “Fair Use” policy to limit all users to 500MB/month of data, after which the carrier will throttle back data usage to limit network strain.  This change affects existing and new subscribers, including those with 1GB and 3GB plans. Once 500MB has been reached — a number TMo UK thinks is fair, citing average use of 200MB per customer — data service will not  be shut off nor will users be charged extra, but it will be limited in terms of download speeds.

The change,  which takes place February 1st, isn’t necessarily bizarre due to the  data allotment of the    restriction, but because of its application to all users regardless of plan. It sort of eliminates the point of selling higher data caps altogether, which may be what T-Mobile UK is aiming for. They cleverly suggest that users wishing to avoid such restrictions invest in one of their mobile broadband plans…

[via Eurodroid]

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  1. I think this is how the future of mobile data should work.

    You should get unlimited data at a set minimum speed, but you pay for more data at a higher speed.

    If I want 2 GB at full speed, I pay less than those who want 5 GB at full speed. It makes sense, it nicely merges the merits of a tiered and unlimited system.

    But what T-Mobile UK is doing? That’s not cool. That’s the worst of both worlds.

  2. Still, this move will probably let people out of their contracts early without a fee.

  3. this is bull****. i am a tmobile user who enjoys having unlimited data each month. as soon as my contract end for tmobile in the summer, im going back to verizon

  4. They made a big deal out of 3gb for android users so we could make the most out of our phones, this was the big selling point. When this is offered with a 24 month contract you expect it to last for the 24 months, at the least t-mobile could have done was allow those with contract to have their set data allowance until the expiration of their contract. Instead they have pulled a bait and switch and removed the cap by 83%. I will be leaving t-mobile asap and will never trust one of their deals again and less I have it written in a legally binding contract with no clauses to get out of.

    I use to think they were a great company with one of the best customer services around, now I realise they are just the same as the rest. Very disappointing.

  5. I almost died, I thought it was tmo usa for a sec. Hell, i get throttled every month for going over 5 gigs….

  6. @Russ as their are no financial penalties involved for going over and the fact you can still go over, but that you go over at a lower limit means it will probably hard to get them to allow you leave your contract as you are not at a “material disadvantage”. I would love to be proved wrong (as I could then leave t-mobile)

  7. Unlimited data should mean UNLIMITED DATA…and the whole throttle game is just bullshit. T-MO UK should be ashamed. It they try this in the US….I will get a different carrier.

  8. Such stupid data restrictions are on almost every UK mobile network. 21st century – yeah, right… With WAP on Nokia 3310!

  9. As an added point t-mobile couldn’t even be bothered to give 30 days notice as it comes into effect on 1st feb (as contracts require for significant changes, of course there view is that this isn’t a change in the contract). In fact if you didn’t use 500mb or more last month they don’t even plan to tell you about the change.

    Such a nice company and always think of the customers first! Never again trust a mobile phone provider!

  10. Or just switch to Three who offer unlimited data plans…with no fair usage cap at all.
    They even allow tethering!

  11. DAMN. I was going to switch to them with the forthcoming merge of their network with Orange :|

  12. @Mark if you leave them, go Orange, their networks are merging so you’ll get the biggest network :)

  13. Socialism meets Data usage..

  14. @vibrant user this is T-Mobile UK, not USA, you are not affected, im presuming your on T-Mobile USA because you cannot get CDMA in the UK

  15. Its a little bit :/ but to be honest, most mobile companies here already have that limit.

  16. Everyone should just go Sprint. True UNLIMITED everything, one low price….no throttling. Just my opinion. ;)

  17. Sprint is not available in the UK. Not is verizon, although I assume the person intending to switch hasn’t noticed that this is t mobile UK

  18. This seems to be happening to all the UK mobile companies, I’ve got a Motorola Milestone on Vodafone, and I get 500mb a month, nowhere near enough for what I use (well until I discovered I can hook up to my home wi-fi network). I used to be on O2 which had an all you can eat data package, but that’s now restricted too! I think that if carriers offered an unlimited data package for, say, £10 a month on top of your existing contract they could be on to a winner.

  19. It’s sad to see that mobile phone users are being victimized by the carriers when the main reason their networks are getting congested is because of these stupid tablets and network cards!

  20. As T-Mobile and Orange have merged in the UK i’m guessing this is happening because Orange already cut it down to 500MB/mo months ago.

  21. Wow! Two people who have no idea what the difference between UK and US is. Amazing!

  22. @vibrantuser @sokal26

    you’re dumb. this is for T-Mobile UK. not T-Mobile USA.


    *grumbles something about people that are not intelligent enough to look at posts before commenting*

  23. Glad this is only in the UK. I’m all for a reasonable cap, such as 5gb, before they throttle back the speed but 500mb is a bit low.

    That low of a cap would all but eliminate tethering. Including tethering I use about 5-6gb/month even without having 3g service at home or most of the places I go on a daily basis.

  24. @Mark: it _is_ a change as it alters the core service plan (all smartphone tariffs have 3GB as part of the plan). This isn’t an optional extra you can opt into like you can with a low grade Nokia.

    Not notifying according to their contract terms of 30 days is also a breach of contract. Having to pay for an optional extra in order to maintain contracted conditions is unfair on the consumer (known as bait and switch) and is illegal under UK contract law.

    Orange seems to be the source of this as they own T-Mobile now and have a low cap on their own tariffs.

    Best bets are 3 (unlimited data transfer) or GiffGaff (runs on O2 network, £10 a month PAYG 250 mins, unlimited texts and data trencher)

  25. What amazes me is how stupid Phandroid users are.

  26. I’m a little confused… T-Mobile UK is going to throttle speeds after 500MB for users ALREADY on 1GB or 3GB plans? That’s ludicrous, if that’s the case. I can see imposing it on new customers, but you can’t take away something from existing customers.

    As a VZW employee, I could never see us doing something like that. In order to deliver what was promised, you’re grandfathered in with what ever you signed up with. Hell, if your contract ran out on a plan we offered 10 years ago you can keep it, until you switch to a newer plan, of course. It just makes sense to give the customer what they signed up for, for at least the contract term.

    And 500MB is a joke. I run through 1.5-2GB myself, and I supplement plenty of usage via Wifi. So it’s probably more like 3GB that goes through my phone a month.

  27. it looks like any new plan (with no contract) on TMO USA already has a cap of 500MB. But existing customers get to keep what they have.

  28. The UK in general sucks, home internet packages suck, so surprise surprise mobile data plans suck too. O2, Vodafone, 3, TMo….it doesn’t matter where you go they want lots of money for crappy plans, reception, and customer service. I miss the United States, and Verizon, I can’t wait to go home.

    *If your StarBucks closes at 6 pm on anyday other than Sunday – you are WRONG*

  29. Please, dont any of you switch to 3 (Three).

    There are already plans for tethering for T-Mob UK, so i assume they will update them.

    The reason is probably to ensure that people using 10mb a month aren’t given a 1gb allowance.

    Once again, i advise anyone to stay away from 3, they suck you in with cheap tariffs which sound too good to be true, then when you try to leave they sell your details to a 3rd party who will try to chase you for non-existant charges. They will then stick a default on your credit history.

    Example below

  30. You think this is bad ? Wait until you see what Vodafone UK are planning….. “Facebook minutes”, “Ebay minutes”, “some other popular website minutes”…i.e. timed allocations of access to certain websites – bundled into tariffs.

    Yes – this is what their marketing department have dreamt up. It hasn’t been rolled out yet because their billing infrastructures in the various European markets haven’t been updated yet.

    Why are they doing it ? Because all UK Mobile Phone operators are hemorrhaging cash from data “calls”.

    And they are *all* planning on taking this route of allocated “minutes” on popular websites. e.g. £10pm gets 30 minutes of Facebook access on the phone. (More than 30 minutes -> pay more money).

    Would have thought the better approach would be “this website access is brought to you by sponsors ‘XXX'” – 6 seconds later – access granted. Could easily have provided a different funding model to the operators. Idiots. (I suppose this approach doesn’t pay them for unused quotas – whereas their proposal does – maybe thats the differential for them).

    I’m on TMo UK – but paid for the Web’n’Walk Plus tariff – unlimited data – if they change it – I’m gone.

  31. Well that kinda sucks.

    The one reason why I like T-Mobile was because of their unlimited data usage.

    Oh well, as lame as it is, unless I decide to end my contract early and move to another company, I’ll just have to deal with it.

    And the chances of that happening are very slim.

  32. Damn there are a lot of dumb asses on here. Everyone here in the USA this does not affect you. Tmobile USA and Tmobile UK are two completely different companies who shared a corporate parent company. This makes me mad because all thedumb fucks will see this and start trying to get out of contracts. Again Uk And USA are two different things. WAKE UP!

  33. Im calling BS! I have unlimited data and I need that feelimg of security. Im always making fun of my brother with his ATT iPhone cause he actually needs to check his data usage, HA! I check nothing

  34. Bye bye T-mobile, wont be renewing my contract when their time is up!

  35. T-Mobile are a bunch of ass-clowns. I wouldn’t go near them after they threatened to take my old man to court with absolutely no case against him.

  36. lol read comment 32 and then read 33.
    are all people from America this stupid?
    Or is it just the people who visit Phandroid.

  37. Still, it was nice of US yanks to save your sorry asses from Adolph. Maybe losing 2 million dead damaged our gene pool.

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