T-Mobile likes to call most of its plans "unlimited," but only a few of them actually have unlimited access to LTE speeds. These plans include unlimited bandwidth, but that doesn't mean you can do whatever you want. The terms and conditions prohibit the use of p2p file sharing, and now a leaked internal memo points to a new offensive against such violations. Beginning August 17th, T-Mobile goes to war against torrents.

The memo, which you can read in full below, outlines T-Mobile's initiative to stop people from running p2p file sharing apps (presumably torrents) on its LTE network. Basically, if you're running torrents, T-Mobile will contact you to issue a warning. A notation on the account will mark you as a potential troublemaker. If the warning is ignored, the throttling begins. A second note on the account ensures reps will know what to tell people who call to complain about the slower speeds (presumably "lol deal with it" is the official response). Anyone on the grandfathered $70 unlimited plan or the new $80 Simple Choice unlimited plan is a potential target of this change. Here's the full text of the memo.


It's never fun to have a carrier tell you what you can and can't do with your data, but in this case it does explicitly go against the terms and conditions. Most carriers have similar clauses because unlike regular HTTP traffic, torrents can saturate a network connection almost instantly and for long periods of time. T-Mobile claims this can negatively impact other users in the same area, hence the crackdown.

Note, this doesn't just affect torrent apps on the phone. A desktop torrent client that is passing data over a tethered connection could get you in hot water too. I assume that's why tethering is specifically mentioned in the memo. Now might be a good time to clean up your act if you've been torrenting up a storm on T-Mobile's towers.

[Tmo News]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • solbin

    Makes sense. I don't have a problem with this, although I am sure many other people will (HOW CAN IT BE UNLIMITED DATA WHEN ITS NOT??!?).

    • kahjksd

      Rightfully so.. it makes sense to avoid complete saturation from p2p but they should not advertise unlimited data

      • moisesmcardona

        T-Mobile unlimited data does have a limit, and it's 2048GB. I used that amount and it disconnected my data automatically. My only chance to get data again is to wait for the 17th for the new cycle.

        • a-pap

          Annnnd it's people like you that force them to do shit like this...

          • Wesley Modderkolk

            No, it's T-Mobile underestimating the load and not properly enlarging their capacity that is causing them to do this.

        • Steve Freeman

          2 terabytes?! Were you downloading the entire Bang Brothers catalog?!

        • 30014

          What exactly were you doing to use that much data? I'm a pretty heavy user of Netflix and Hulu and the most I've ever used was 19 GB in one month.

    • mgamerz

      When it's listed in the terms and conditions of not being allowed.

    • motoridersd

      Peer to Peer is mostly illegal, so instead of dealing with DMCA requests, they can just block P2P as per the T&C that customers agreed to. It will affect the minority who are sharing legitimate files (like open source OS ISOs), but those people should be using an ISP to do this instead of a mobile carrier.

  • Ben Kalziqi

    I am okay with this.

  • Wesley Modderkolk

    Haha were you fooled thinking T-Mobile was a "good" provider that cares about it's customers!

    • Ian Santopietro

      Try doing this on an unlimited VZW, AT&T, or Sprint plan. T-Mobile is great because at least you can still obtain a new unlimited plan from them.

      • Ashish

        People do this all day long on Verizon. Why do you think a Verizon unlimited data plan sells for over $500 on eBay? I know several people that have only a Verizon unlimited data plan as their home internet.......trying doing that on T-Mobile. Oh wait you can't even tether more than 5Gb on T-Mobile's "Unlimited"

        • sweenish

          Comparing a current plan and a dead plan that the carrier desperately wants to make go away and hasn't offered for years isn't exactly the same thing.

          • solbin

            Especially when they are cracking down throttling speeds on ALL data for their unlimited plan. Any data over 4.7GB on Verizon's unlimited data plan will be throttled for "congested" markets. I am sure they will use the congested term quite liberally.

          • Ashish

            I'm not well versed in T-Mobile's plan, but I don't think there is any such thing as a T-Mobile grandfathered unlimited data plan that is anything like today's Verizon grandfathered unlimited data plan. If that is true then I can compare any plan a user may have today or may get their hands on today.

          • Ashish

            Btw, the comment I replied to specifically mentioned "unlimited VZW, AT&T, or Sprint plan.". That being said my comment was perfectly valid.

        • AuroraFlux

          Yeah, not like Verizon is trying their level best to stop people from using that unlimited plan.

          Oh wait, yes they are.

          • Ashish

            Oh wait. Its not happening today nor does anyone know how it will work. Maybe a future predictor like yourself can tell me the next lottery numbers.

          • AuroraFlux

            Funny, I didn't day that it already happened, I just said they are trying to get people off it, whereas TMobile is not. Hence, they are not comparable in the context that you are attempting to compare them by.

            Then again, I suppose if your ability to read a post fully is just as bad as your ability to actually read the Terms of service for TMobile, I'm talking to a brick wall.

          • Ashish

            "Get people off it"??? Throttling != "Get people off it". And you're calling me out for not reading. SMH. Actually whats funny is T-Mobile grandfathered unlimited data users were told to "Get Off it" and pick a different plan

          • AuroraFlux

            That's odd. I'm still on the $70/month grandfathered plan, and T-Mobile has made no effort to get me off it.

            Oh wait, you don't like that because it completely negates whatever idiotic and confused point that you're trying to make. I mean, do you even know what point you're trying to make?

            Also, READ my goddamn post. I said (using sarcasm as a vehicle of course) that Verizon is trying their best to stop people from continuing to use their grandfathered unlimited plan. This is a fact.

            Verizon is also starting to heavily throttle people who USE their unlimited plan. This is also a fact.

            As far as facts go, let's review, class.

            1. T-Mobile offers an unlimited plan. Not because they have to, or because some people used to have this plan, or because whatever. It's part of their offerings.

            2. Ashish brings up how "people do this on Verizon all the time, why do you think blah blah blah".

            3. I point out that they're not comparable because Verizon is actively trying to get people to get off the grandfathered unlimited plans, and that it's not part of their offerings, thefore, they are not comparable.

            4. Asish: ??????

    • motoridersd

      This means they DO care about their customers, at least the majority who are following the Terms and Conditions and are expecting good speeds when they use their plans the way we agreed to when we signed the dotted line.

      Those who abuse it are not the kind of customers T-Mobile (or any other carrier or ISP) wants to keep. They could offer a P2P plan, and charge for usage accordingly, but then they'd get in trouble because most of the traffic tends to be illegal.

      • Wesley Modderkolk

        If other users were experiencing lower speeds because a user was using a high amount of bandwidth(Which is funny, since you are still running at a speed limit on 4G) then all that does show is that T-Mobile doesn't have enough bandwidth to facilitate it's users.

        As network heavy as torrents are, they don't magically use more than the allowed bandwidth and seeing how easily they can throttle down those bad, bad people they could just as well throttled down p2p bandwidth.

        But oh how dare they use their unlimited download plans to actually download stuff! What bad, bad people dare to just use the bundle they paid for!

        T-Mobile doesn't got enough bandwidth to facilitate all it's users and bundle owners who paid for the bundle to actually download stuff are getting punished for it. Not entirely surprising that T-Mobile would get troubles facilitating all it's users with the love, and apparently new customers they have been getting.

    • Nick Yarosz

      you forgot to add /s at the end of your comment.

    • Steve Freeman

      Haha, were you fooled into believing that you have the moral high ground here?

  • motoridersd

    Wonder if "tethering outside of T-Mobile's Terms and Conditions (T&C)" means those who tether past their allowed tether data, or tether when they have no tethering on the account. I know I've used workarounds to use more than the 3 GB of tethering on my plan.

    • clovervidia

      Don't all their plans come with tethering though?

      • motoridersd

        All the new ones do, but some, like the famous $30 5 GB plan (and probably all prepaid ones) do not. And then the tethered data is not unlimited, it's 3 GB for the old Unlimited plan, and then there's a 4 and 6 GB option (I believe) on the newer plans.

        • Andrew

          The newest unlimited plan for $80 gives 5GB tethering. Still a bargain for people like me on Verizon looking to switch. Grandfathered people have better deals naturally.

          • motoridersd

            Oh definitely! I'm on the older $70 plan with only 3 GB of tethering, but at least for the higher price you get 2 more GB of tethered data. I use about 10 - 12 GB per month, mostly Google Music streaming, and after seeing how some people use 20, 50 or 100 GB per month, I doubt T-Mo would consider me a heavy user, but, I do tether more than my allotted amount because I tether the dash mounted Nexus 7 in my car. I used the same amount of data when I used to play the music from my phone. I'm using the same amount of data I would use if I wasn't tethering, but technically I am breaking the T&Cs.

          • Andrew

            Only once did I use >100GB in a month... typically I'm right where you are or a bit less. 1 month I used Netflix non-stop while at work (IT WAS PAINFULLY SLOW!!!). I used it to stay awake :).

  • Matt

    Completely understandable in my opinion. You don't like it - you're not on a contract.

    • ultraprimeomega

      I am on contract.

      • Brad

        sucker ;)

        • ultraprimeomega

          Why? for paying less, but I'm almost out till October

  • Ricardo

    And I thought µTP was designed to make p2p more friendly to a network...

  • guest

    Anyone going over their tethering threshold is going to get throttled, not just P2P users.

    • RyanWhitwam

      That's one possible interpretation, but not necessarily the right one. I feel like in this context they are talking about tethering to run torrents. We will see, though.

      • unsivilaudio

        In addition to that, they're only targeting people with "unlimited high-speed", ergo, if you have a data cap [on 4g/LTE] they won't be looking at you, regardless of whether you have been using p2p or not.

        • CoreRooted

          I think that is more of a logic call. People with a data cap aren't typically going to be using a lot of torrent traffic given that once the data cap is reached, the speeds become truly abysmal. Those people are the ones that will typically use the "safe" [read: legal] ways of streaming music and videos.

  • loyalty888

    It's a dumb policy, but I can see the need. There are people who use up 100+ gb a month and i'm sure it has an effect on other customers in the area by limiting their bandwidth.

    It's unlimited, but I don't want my speed to be slowed down because someone wants to download an HD version of Big Booty Judy volume 17

    • Matthew Gardner

      "I don't want my speed to be slowed down because someone wants to download an HD version of Big Booty Judy volume 17"

      I would also be disappointed by such an occurrence. Mainly because the series went downhill after Big Booty Judy 12: Weapons of Ass Destruction.

      • Jason Bourne

        I never liked that series -- was always partial to "Indianus Jones" myself.

        • McDickin

          You mean "In Diana Jones and the Temple of Poon"?

          • CasperTFG

            Call me 'old school', but nothing tops Jurassic Prick.

    • Techngro

      That was an awesome film. The acting was very strong.

    • NinoBr0wn

      17 is out already??

    • Brad

      i approve of everything in this little thread

    • Justin

      It's less about the total amount downloaded, it's that torrents can connect to hundreds of different peers at the same time, which can cause an outsized impact compared to downloading at the same rate from a single source.

      • shonangreg

        So, you're saying size doesn't matter; it's how you use it?

        • Justin

          There's only so much you can do with a fat pipe if you're trying to cram 200 different people onto the end of it.

          What were we talking about again?

  • Derik Taylor

    Most fair reason I have seen to throttle unlimited data. I can support this.

    • Kazonite

      Al lot of folks seem to be confusing "unlimited data" with "Unlimited usage"...

      The two are quite different. They are using this policy to limit usage....their response of limiting data is a punishment for violating usage rules....and well within their rights.

  • Tomasz Kuczynski

    I just hope that further down the line they don't say - you use too much data, get off of it or we're throttling it. I mean I don't think I use that much data and between games, netflix, hulu and music I get anywhere up to 20GB a month regularly. Some of my friends get anywhere up to 100GB of data a month just from Youtube/Netflix.

  • Matthew Fry

    I don't know how they're going to stop it for anyone smart enough to use a VPN or encrypted connections. I don't know how significant of a problem this is but I had an LTE device when they flipped the switch on SLC. It used to be in the 40Mbps/20Mbps range. Now I get 3Mbps/1Mbps. If these guys are the reason, I fully support this decision. If it's just a lack of bandwidth and torrents are the scapegoat... I'm less impressed.

    • CoreRooted

      That's actually pretty easy. If the traffic is encrypted, request (usually with a subpoena) the end points from the VPN provider. Any VPN provider that claims they aren't logging are liars. You CANNOT properly maintain a large network without logs. Given the size of TMO (and their legal team), such investigations would be trivial for them (much like true ISPs do on a daily basis).

  • https://google.com/+LateefAlabiOki Lateef Alabi-Oki

    I'm calling BS.

    Excuse me. But this doesn't inspire confidence. A network provider isn't worth shit if it can't handle P2P. Any basic QOS system or 3rd grade network scheduler should prevent bandwidth hogging and enforce fair network scheduling regardless of network protocol.

    This smells fishy. Looks like an excuse to throttle to me. It's not my problem they don't know how to manage bandwidth. Customers pay them to figure out how to do that. Why should I degrade my Internet experience because your network infrastructure sucks, or your engineering department is incompetent?

    Nope, fix it.

    What's next? Throttling Youtube, Netflix, Hangouts and Skype, etc because they consume bandwidth? What happens when 4K Youtube videos are the norm in a couple of years?

    • Willie D

      Sprint already throttles Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and any other video streaming services to a maximum 1mbps but average 600kbps and further admits to compressing the data on the fly as they see fit to offer the best experience on their network. Old plans don't have that issue, but all new My All In and Framily plans are restricted. I expect this to come to TMobile soon enough making it futile to buy a smartphone with a nice screen if I can't watch anything on it.

    • ImAAndroidUser

      lol ok.

      Well, you can call BS all you want but it's in the Terms and Conditions. You don't like it? Than find another Carrier who does what you want, but you prob won't.

    • motoridersd

      I wouldn't call T-Mobile a network provider or ISP, they are a mobile carrier. If the Terms and Conditions said you could use P2P, then I would be upset, but since it clearly says I am not allowed to do it, I cannot be upset with them if they block it.

    • RainMotorsports

      Basic QoS is also known as throttling...

      • Godspoken

        Are you trying to tell me that some lame-o's time-sensitive Skype video call packets should be prioritized over my extremely important porn torrent? Nonsense.

    • https://plus.google.com/+TroyLeonard Troy Leonard

      I am an unlimited tmo customer, personally I am fine with this. If you want to use bittorrent pay for a ISP connection. Besides let's not kid ourselves, bittorrent is used 99% of the time for stealing music and Movies. I know some content like Linux distributions are legal and available via torrent. We don't use it for that very often. Tmo provides a great customer service and experience. I am OK with this.

    • Steve Freeman

      I'm calling BS on you (turn around is fair play, right?).

      It's not their responsibility to implement new technology on their network to allow you to download over P2P networks, when it's in their terms and conditions that you can't use said P2P networks. Quit your whining.

  • Willie D

    What's next? How big the file is I upload to YouTube, how many Netflix movies I stream, what apps and how much music I stream from non Music Freedom apps? I mean really! This was in place and when I asked them what is the amount, I was told no specific amount or limit, it just happens. Meaning to me, my unlimited is subject to anytime anywhere for any reason throttling for what their computer deems "too much" meaning, YouTube and Netflix could be deemed in this torrent and file sharing scheme. Sorry but I am all for network management within reason, upfront disclosure of what WON'T be included in this scheme to throttle all customers.

    • Godspoken

      I have an upfront disclosure for you: read the darn TOS. It's all there. This really is not anything new, and you already agreed to it. Now, it's just being enforced.

    • Jadephyre

      They explicitly named p2p filesharing, which is something completely different from what Youtube and Music Providers do. Also I gotta agree with Godspoken, if you agree to the TOS, you better friggin' abide by it, or face the consequences if there are any (and there are always some).

  • AuroraFlux

    You'd have to be pretty stupid to think this is related to anything else but torrents. I could almost guarentee you with 100% certainty that if you aren't using torrents, you'll be fine.

    These carriers were never advertised as ISP replacements, and you should probably stop treating them like it is.

    • CoreRooted

      I wonder if they would include nzbs in that too... Since torrents have been cracked down so much over the past few years, Usenet usage has started to rise again.

      • greatestNothing


    • ultraprimeomega

      They should had stayed on a per MB pricing instead of giving us unlimited

      • AuroraFlux

        No, they shouldn't have. Because I don't abuse my data connection for P2P purposes. I don't want to have to pay for metered bandwidth just because you can't resist running uTorrent through your T-Mobile data connection.

        • namesib

          How is it abusive? They are making use of their so-called unlimited data by downloading lots of data. If their network infrastructure cannot handle a certain amount of traffic then they should not offer an unlimited service.

          • AuroraFlux

            What part of "P2P is not part of the service as defined by the ToS you signed" are you not understanding?

            What that means is that EXCLUDING P2P, your service is unlimited.

            Seriously, are you just...slow?

          • namesib

            Are you? I'm questioning the loose and dishonest use of the clearly defined term, 'unlimited'. "As long as you do not use too much data your service is unlimited" is an example of dishonesty in my eyes. Weaseling around that explicit statement by using "peer-to-peer" and "tethering" as substitutes for "a lot of data" does not change my viewpoint on that issue. Don't call it unlimited if there are data limitations; call it limited with a high data allowance.

          • AuroraFlux

            Yeah, you are just slow.

            It is not "loose and dishonest". If you don't use your internet connection for P2P purposes, you don't have to deal with this. I don't know how much more crystal clear it can get.

            Let me make it simple for you, since you lack the comprehension; don't torrent (you know, like you agreed to in your clearly specified ToS), and your data won't get throttled.

            Okay? Okay. Any other arguments you keep making just amount to you wanting to disagree for the sake of it. No one else is having an issue comprehending this, just you.

          • namesib

            It's funny how the internet commentators who play the intellectual
            pretentiousness act never seem to appreciate the point. "Unlimited if you limit yourself" is a loose and dishonest use of the term 'unlimited', so they should not use the term at all. Based on their justification for the torrent/tethering ban, they cannot handle constantly running data-intensive activities, which means they should not claim to have an unlimited service. Do you believe that someone doing something that is constantly data intensive via VPN (from their perspective it is just a lot of indistinguishable data going to/from a single IP) will not draw their attention?

          • AuroraFlux

            "I don't know what point I'm trying to make anymore, so I'm just going to throw around vague terms to make it seem like this is incredibly complicated."

            Okay, man. Whatever you say.

          • mark

            It's telling that you have to resort to insults. Your arguments are against a straw man. And lots of people do have issues with this - the same thing happened (in the UK at least) when non-mobile ISPs started applying limits to their services, whilst advertising them as "unlimited".

          • mark

            Also see a similar issue at http://www.techradar.com/news/phone-and-communications/mobile-phones/t-mobile-s-unlimited-full-monty-plan-is-actually-limited-for-16-hours-a-day-says-asa-1145215 - according to you, that was okay too so long as they limited it in the TOS, right? And according to you, the UK ASA is "no one". They're just disagreeing for the sake of it - no one cares about those pesky advertising rules.

          • Stone Cold

            It is in the TOS so unless you are in violation and using P2P or torrents. It is Unlimited.

          • mark

            It's unlimited if you don't do anything that it limits, right.

            My 500MB a month plan is also unlimited - it's unlimited if I don't download more then 500MB a month.

          • derp hurr-durr

            " I'm questioning the loose and dishonest use of the clearly defined term, 'unlimited'. "

            Unlimited is applied to another term: Data.

            Notice it is *not* applied to "Sources".

            They could limit your sources to Facebook...and still call it "unlimited data".

            The simple fact is that reality clashes with your fantasy-world, and you can't seem to cope without lashing out at others online. Nice...

          • mark

            How does that change anything? It's "unlimited data" not "unlimited amount of data". "Data" reasonably refers to the information being downloaded, the word does not mean "quantity of information".

            Your interpretation would allow anyone to claim they offer unlimited data, and then conveniently restrict it off in the small print.

          • derp hurr-durr

            Unlimited Data

            Unlimited Sources

            One of these things is not like the other.

            "Your interpretation would allow anyone to claim they offer unlimited data, and then conveniently restrict it off in the small print."

            Now replace "your" with "The Carriers", and you're all set. :)

          • NeutralDude69

            Maybe you have some problems running down your head.
            The network itself is not "dishonest", rather you being a "torrent head" is not loyal to the commitment you signed.
            No love is unconditional, (of course we're not God), the unlimited data is there as long as you don't abuse it by accessing the restricted contents.
            Don't tell me your parents didn't ground you for lack of respect to rules!
            Grow up and respect the simple rules, or gtfo of it, you can get home network, problem solved.

          • Ryan

            you have unlimited data; you DO NOT have unlimited simultaneous connections.

          • mark

            What part of "unlimited" do you not understand?

            No one has a problem with a company defining a particular plan. The problem is advertising something that isn't true, because it's contradicted by the small print in the TOS.

          • CoreRooted

            When it is clearly defined "YOU CANNOT DO [THIS]" and you sign and agree to that, it's abusive.

          • Ryan

            you can download all the data you want, provided it is coming from a single source. when you connect to a torrent you are receiving (and sending) data over potentially thousands of simultaneous connections, to the detriment of anybody else trying to use that tower.

            instead of torrenting, watch what you want on any number of the streaming sites online, the data comes from one source and you can data hog to your heart's content

        • Xyor

          I'm pretty sure that he/she was being sarcastic

    • remister

      You can watch 20 1080p Netflix movies, but not download torrents.
      It sad to say that most people are treating it like ISP replacements, just for the fact that their ISP speeds or slow to null compared to what they have on Tmobile.

      • CoreRooted

        Yes. But, the difference between Netflix and torrents is that Netflix is a paid streaming service. It also streams from a single origin. Torrents, whilst usually being illegal, can come from how ever many seeders and leechers there are on the tracker(s). In theory, there could be hundreds (or thousands) of both. So, single point of origin is easier on the network (single stream) versus the possibility of THOUSANDS of connections going for a single torrent. Most mobile networks can handle the load of a SPO stream (even to thousands of users at once on the same tower), but when you start thinking about how quickly a single torrent can eat connections (and bandwidth), you can see just how devastating P2P can be to a network.

    • namesib

      Then they shouldn't attempt to compete with traditional ISPs by claiming it is unlimited. Don't expect people to limit themselves if the service is advertised as unlimited.

      • ltredbeard

        They can, and should, expect people to follow the TOS. Since torrents are against the TOS the customer agreed to, being throttled is fair.

    • IdiotPostersEverywhere

      You should read some of the comments on tech blogs... Unclear and sensationalized articles leads to stupidity in comments by people with mental disorders.


      • Stone Cold

        This is all the articles I have seen today except here and maybe DL.

    • Starcube

      It totally is. I saw T-Mobile employees run BitTorrent themselves on store display devices. Friggin' freeloaders need to get fired.

  • h4rr4r

    Do these people pay for unlimited or not?

    • CoreRooted

      It's not a question of the amount of data, but the speed and legitimacy of honoring the contract. You can use all the data you want, but not for "illegal" activities. My gripe here is that there ARE legitimate uses for torrents (distro downloads, large royalty-free videos, backup transfers, etc). Would I expect someone to do those over their mobile network? Not really, but I can't say I 100% agree with "no P2P on our network".

      • Godspoken

        I don't think the problem here is necessarily legality. It's more to do with the unrelenting, maximum usage of simultaneous upload and download that torrents require. There's a reason you're torrent with 2000 seeders will download much faster than any website could ever hope to, but it's not only that. You're simultaneously eating up upload throughput by seeding the torrent to all your peers, a factor that doesn't come in to play when you're streaming Netflix or what-have-you.

        • CoreRooted

          THIS. I hadn't thought about the leeching/seeding ratios in my comment and how they can wildly get out of control. But now that you mention, it does make perfect sense.

          I wonder how this applies to something like the torrent streaming apps that have been coming out lately. I've never used them so I don't know if you can fine tune the ratios and such when streaming. However, I can only imagine the hell that they would put on a network.

    • derp hurr-durr

      1.) Unlimited data
      2.) Unlimited usage

      One of these things is not like the other. I'll give you one guess what they are using the punishment of a throttled connection to try and reign in. :)

      • h4rr4r

        Unlimited usage would mean unlimited data. If I can use my connection 24x7 then I would be using a lot of data.

  • Lupe Fiasco

    I never really understood why people assumed that Cell Phone carriers is the replacement to ISP. It was never meant to be a replacement to it. If you are a user who downloads up to 100gb a month on a Mobile Network I would probably want you to be throttled. You want to do that just switch to a ISP and download away. The number one rule to Unlimited is that Unlimited is Unlimited, just as long as you follow the rules.

    • h4rr4r

      Unlimited to some people implies no limits. 100gb sounds like a limit to me.

      • Lupe Fiasco

        I agree with where you're coming from but I believe Unlimited has a different meaning depending on the service it's for. When it comes to Mobile Cell Phone providers you can't really believe you are going to be able to get away with 50-100gb downloaded per month without some sort of penalty or throttle.

        • namesib

          Unlimited means unlimited. If it is limited then they should not be allowed to call it unlimited. Quite simple, really.

          • CoreRooted

            It's unlimited if you are following the rules of the contract. Period. If you step outside of those rules, then you are no longer abiding by the contract and it can then become limited. TMO is being quite generous (imho) by just throttling and not just shutting the user down completely (like many ISPs will and have).

            EDIT: Also, nowhere has ANY carrier said that the SPEED is unlimited; just the amount of data consumed. TMO is not restricting the amount of the data, just the speed at which is transferred. So, unlimited still means unlimited in this case.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

            The whole argument over throttling reminds me of that old John Pinette skit about Chinese buffets. "You go home now, fatboy! You eat more than killer whale! Sign say all you can eat, not you can eat all!"

          • CoreRooted

            I've had that in my head since I read the article. LOL One of the best skits EVER.

          • remister

            I'm not going to lie, i totally read the phrase in a Chinese accent.

          • krudl3rx

            “Sprint is the only national carrier offering smartphone users truly unlimited data with no throttling, metering or overages while on the Sprint network.”, Sprint, Jan 6, 2012 .

          • Brad

            except they do throttle

          • krudl3rx

            Yes, i was replying to the statement of "...nowhere has ANY carrier said that the SPEED is unlimited" which is not true. Sprint's data was unlimited, and by their own definition, is no longer.

          • https://plus.google.com/108596272537415356460/posts Jason Farrell

            Sprint also has the crappiest network. Coincidence?

          • CoreRooted

            Yeah, that was 2+ years ago and has since gone under heavy revision. On May 8, 2014, Sprint started throttling their top 5% heaviest users in congested areas (sounds a lot like what VZW is going to do). Also, Sprint said in a statement:

            "By the way, when we say "unlimited," we have terms and conditions. Just like back in the old AT&T days when we launched Digital One Rate, you could abuse it, you know, like roaming, go and use it in your house in rural Montana all the time and you're roaming. We could cut you off. There are certain things in our terms and conditions, those abusers [...] we can manage them and we do that quite aggressively and cut them off. So for the vast majority, your 98-99 percent, to them it's an unlimited experience. But for people that want to abuse it and really run up the big data charge, we can knock them off."

            I stand by my statement. No carrier has said that SPEED is unlimited.

          • krudl3rx

            Well, two years ago Sprint did so you are wrong.

          • namesib

            They are penalising the user for downloading large amounts of data despite taking out a so-called unlimited plan. If they cannot handle the traffic then they should not claim they allow unlimited data.

          • CoreRooted

            No, they are penalizing the user for going against the terms of service that the user agreed to when purchasing the service. Plain and simple. The terms of service clearly state that P2P is forbidden on their network. They most likely included this clause because it is *usually* used for illegal activities AND they know their network would suffer with millions of users downloading torrents. Therefore, they are clearly within their rights to throttle the users that are not abiding by the contract.

          • namesib

            In this case, penalising them for using their network to do something data-intensive. I don't like words like 'free' and 'unlimited' being used loosely and dishonestly; claiming something is unlimited whilst applying limits to what can make use of the lack of limitations is an example of dishonesty in my eyes.

            If it is not unlimited then call it limited with a large data allowance.

          • CoreRooted

            The users signed a contract where it was clearly stated what can and cannot be done on the network. Is that a limitation? Clearly. However, when the term "unlimited" is used, it is referring to the amount of data used; not what the user can and cannot do on the network.

            The users are being penalized for violating the terms of service; not how much data they are using. People sucking down 100+GB of Netflix (and other media sources) are not being targeted.

          • namesib

            There is no difference on the impact of other users if someone uses all their bandwidth on torrents or Netflix, but, unlike torrenting/tethering, virtually no-one uses Netflix constantly. Torrents/tethering are substitute terms for "constantly running data-intensive activities", but using the latter would probably create legal issues for a plan that claims to be unlimited. The dishonesty still exists, however.

          • CoreRooted

            Netflix (and other streaming services) are SPO applications (single point of origin). Torrents (and tethering) are multi-point origin/destination. Therefore, there IS much more of an impact on the overall network as a torrent can create literally thousands of distinct data connections all with varying speeds. QoS can only do so much to alleviate that. With SPO streams, QoS can do a much better job of prioritization and optimization of the packets.

            In my opinion, there isn't any dishonesty here. Granted, I hate the carriers as much as most people do, but I'll call them out on what is real. No mobile carrier (that I know of) has ever claimed to replace your ISP. In fact many of them even spun up their own ISPs so that people wouldn't abuse the mobile networks as much. We are nowhere near the point in time when mobile networks and traditional land line networks can compete. Mobile towers and networks were never designed to handle multi-point applications on the networks. They were meant for SPO and quick burst data, not data intensive operations.

            Just because you CAN do something on a normal network doesn't mean you can or should on a mobile network. There are still a lot of differences between the two that people seem to forget.

          • Romdude

            Why are you still even arguing? It's gonna happen and there is no amount of whining and moaning that's gonna change that. Just man up and get on with life.

          • namesib

            What a ridiculous comment. "Don't discuss anything over which you do not have direct control." I suppose you shouldn't have bothered posting in the first place, given that you are in no position to stop me.

          • Romdude

            Really though, why whine about something that will happen anyway? If you don't like it, leave for another carrier. Why the drama?

          • instinct

            "Unlimited - with some limitations" - doesn't have the same ring

          • Techngro

            It's still unlimited. T-Mobile will still allow you to use data, just at a slower speed.

          • Taylor

            It's like going to an all you can eat buffet. Yeah, you can technically eat all you want, but at a certain point it gets excessive.

          • namesib

            Then set a very high limit if you don't really mean unlimited. There is no such thing as excessive when the scale is infinite. I'm sick of a very clearly defined term being misused.

          • AuroraFlux

            When you go to a dinner buffet, you're allowed to go back from your table to the food an unlimited number of times.

            I'm going to just let you sit back and take that in for a minute so you can understand why it's not really so simple.

            EDIT: Taylor beat me to this analogy. Doh.

          • namesib

            What's difficult about unlimited meaning unlimited? If there is a limit it is limited; therefore, they should not claim it is unlimited. Set a very high data allowance but do not call it unlimited if it isn't.

          • AuroraFlux

            But it IS unlimited provided you realize that they are not an ISP replacement.

            I can do every single thing that I'd do on my PC on my phone, except for P2P. Hence, my data for 99% of what I do on a computer IS unlimited.

            What is so difficult about this to understand? If you go to the grocery store and it says "1lb Free bananas with purchase of 1 pound of bananas", the second set of bananas is still free, provided you are intelligent enough to understand the context in which it is free.

            When you go out to eat at Olive Garden and they offer unlimited soup and breadsticks, it's quite obvious that you can't just waltz in there, not pay anything, and just get unlimited soup and breadsticks.

          • David Wilson

            Yes, when you go to a dinner buffet, you're allowed to go back from your table to the food an unlimited number of times. But you are only allowed to do so with the dishes they told you would be in the buffet. If, when you walked in the door, they told you "there is no duck served as part of the beffet," you are not allowed to go into their kitchen hunting for duck, and get all indignant when they tell you that you will have to leave the kitchen because THEY ALREADY TOLD YOU THAT THE DUCK WAS NOT PART OF DEAL.

            Any normal person should be able to figure out that an all-you-can-eat buffet is restircted to ONLY the dishes they told you are part fo the buffet. Do they REALLY have to say "all-you-can-eat-fo-teh-stuff-we-are-serving-at -the-buffet-table" buffet, to satisfy anal people who try to twist teh agreement that they should be able to eat ANY food?

          • dkbnyc

            There isn't a limited. 4G, 3G, 2G, Edge, G.... You'll get unlimited use of one of those speeds. Quite simple, really.

          • derp hurr-durr

            Unlimited data means unlimited data.

            Of course, they never said where you could get that unlimited data from.

            Apparently, P2P networks, are not one fo the sources from which you can get it.

            Quite simple, really.

        • John Moore

          1st - TMO has always had a limit on their data. If you read the fine print, it clearly states that the limit is 100T. Just pointing that out. No one could ever get anywhere near 10% of that even running 24/7 at full LTE, but the limit IS there.

          2nd - I run torrents all the time. I am on a fixed income and use my TMO for my home ISP. I routinely run about 300g/mo. I haven't even tried to slow down since this article. However, I am fairly careful not to re-seed. As soon as I see that a DL is finished, I get it out of the list. While I do consider 300g to be high side of the usage averages, I do not consider it to be insane. If both of my computers were seeding all the stuff I DL as well, I would be upwards of 1tb/mo, which would be getting up toward what any sane person would have to call 'excessive' by today's standard. I have not received any warnings yet, but I will update if I do...

      • Techngro

        It's still unlimited. It will just be throttled to a slower speed.

        • ultraprimeomega

          Lol no one has mentioned that its probably 2g and you can't do anything with 2g in the year 2014, maybe in 2002

          • Steve Freeman

            Then don't use your cellphone to download porn and full HD movies. Easy fix.

          • ultraprimeomega

            Try loading this androidpolice on 2g

          • Steve Freeman

            If you don't use 100GB's a month on downloading movie and porn torrents, you won't have to worry about it.

          • dude

            Nowhere in fucking memo it said you will be throttled to 2G. If you were torrenting and abusing the network with P2P, you deserves it anyway.

          • ultraprimeomega

            No one told you to curse anon, 2g comes from there prepaid service, if they throttle you its probably going to be 2g, I don't use torrents, just Netflix.

      • Stone Cold

        As long as you abide by the TOS you get unlimited.

    • Ixil

      If i could afford to increase my monthly allotment, or if tmo was available here: I would replace my is immediatey. stuck on a shoddy 1mbit connection.

  • Blake Main

    I sure hope Verizon doesn't kick me off unlimited, I use over 200 gb most every month.

  • Caitlin Wolford

    I don't P2P on my phone, so this won't affect me, but it annoys me that American cell companies just refuse to upgrade their networks to anything remotely resembling civilized.

  • Daniel Marcus

    I don't understand how people use so much data on a cellular connection. I consider myself a fairly heavy user. I stream music a minimum of 2 hours a day, watch the occasional video, browse Reddit constantly, and a variety of other data tasks. I also, on occasion must tether for either work (usually lots of SSH and FTP) or leisure (when I'm on vacation and there is no WiFi). At times, five friends and I have gone through nearly 20 GB in a weekend. That month, I had nearly 30GB of usage total. That happens maybe once or twice a year. What does one *do* to have that happen on a regular basis? If I had to bet, it's exactly what T-Mobile is saying; people are torrenting (not only things they need), saturating their network, and going FAR over reasonable data use. Considering it was already against ToS, the idea that it's only going to result in a throttle is quite fair.

    • CoreRooted

      100% agree. You and I have the same usage patterns. The way people get these large numbers is by using their mobile service as their main ISP usually. Not only are many people torrenting, but ALL of their traffic is going over the mobile network. Plus, with new apps like popcorn time and others like it that live stream over P2P, the usage is just going to go higher.

      • Daniel Marcus

        Yep. I'm not going to say I never torrent on my phone. I've done it when my family wanted to watch a movie when we got home after dinner and it wasn't available on Netflix or Amazon. I've done it when I needed a book or manual that I didn't have in physical form with me. I've done it to get my mom the ringtone she wanted. I've done it to get a Linux ISO to install on a computer. Whenever I did, I adjusted my connection settings to be more limited than I would on my desktop, and disabled the torrent when it was complete. But 1-2 GB here or there once or twice a month still doesn't give me the upwards of 90 GB that I'm seeing people claim they somehow use, supposedly legitimately.

        • monkeybutts

          Hola Better Internet. Extension for Chrome maybe firefox too not sure, gives you access to more Netflix content by proxy location.

    • Andrew

      Work overnight shifts in a slow time of the year. Where I work, there is WiFi that I theoretically COULD use. Its provided by my employers, but most websites/apps I would go to (YouTube, Facebook/Google+, Netflix) are blocked. Also, in the rare occurrence that it isn't blocked, video is unwatchable due to download speeds around 1Mbps. What is a bored employee to do most of my 10 hour shift at work?

      In all seriousness, I occasionally work overnights to get a break from day shift. My first stint overnight was in a place I literally had <2 hours of work in a 10 hour shift. I had netflix on constantly just to keep me from falling asleep. That 1 month is the only time I had an excessive month in my 4 years back at verizon. I got just over 100GB downloaded pretty much all from Netflix. I mostly work days, and I'm too busy to even pull out my phone to check e-mails. A typical month for me is still around 6GB of data. When I was on a ROM flashing binge on my Note II, it was more (A touchwiz rom is 1.1-1.5GB depending on what crap was added or removed).

      • Daniel Marcus

        That's what makes T-Mo's announcement not bother me. They specifically said they're going after abuse of ToS. Netflix is not an abuse of ToS, so even using 100 GB of data in that specific circumstance shouldn't trigger any problems.

        • Andrew

          Yeah, they will likely be my next carrier. I'm waiting for a phone released with L though. No phone on verizon will have that for quite some time. *crosses fingers* Maybe a next nexus 64-bit soon? I've published some android apps and have a YouTube channel dedicated to app making. A device with L would be a business expense :) (At least that's what I'm going to tell my wife).

          • Daniel Marcus

            I have the Moto X DE on Verizon, I strongly suspect it will be the first Verizon phone with L, probably within 6 weeks of the official release. My parents also have an X-DE and the Droid Mini. All of them are global phones and will work on T-Mo once I convince my parents to make the switch. (Hey, they're still paying for my unlimited plan with Vzw, so I won't object too strongly.)

  • https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5oCUR11M24mekZubnc4ZUFCUU0/edit?usp=sharing Metsie

    While it's never a good thing for a carrier to tell a user what they can do with the data (even how much of the data they use) I have to in this instance say P2P is NOT something anyone should be doing on their phone or tablet, not even via tethering except in certain emergency instances where that is the only access available.

    It's not fair to the others on the network and unfair to all the peers as well as there is no way you can share as much via Cellular as you are downloading which pretty much just makes you a total leecher.

    It's things like this that give the carriers ammunition to tier data to stop such abuses and really it is just so much better and faster to do P2P on a hardwired or Wireless enabled Land line than over cell networks.

  • nvllsvm

    Just use a VPN.

  • Ryan Callihan

    "Oh no! The rules of the contract shouldn't apply to me because...because I said so! Let me torrent, dammit!"

    That train of thought is foolish. T-Mobile isn't trying to replace your ISP, so torrent elsewhere!

    • AuroraFlux


      For the love of god, if you can't resist torrenting on your data connection, do it somewhere else. I would be monumentally pissed if T-Mobile took away the last unlimited data option out there because certain idiots can't wait to torrent until they get home.

      • monkeybutts

        Well what if we can't remember what to download when we get home, not like theres a notes or some kind of reminder app on our phone :P

        • CoreRooted

          I'm totally going to see if I have a note taking app on my Startac... hahaha...

        • dude

          You don't need that. There are apps that let you control your torrent programs remotely.

  • CoreRooted

    Because most public WiFi hotspots block P2P traffic. In fact, most ports aside from the commons ones are blocked at the router (or there's a proxy that filters the traffic).

    • dude

      Rightly so, if I have a shop with WiFi, I would intend it for my customers not some guy who going to leech it for piracy.

  • taxi333

    Use a VPN, problem solved ... I'm not a t-mo user but I'm thinking of switching to t-mo from vzw U.U the only reason that I haven't change is because I have unlimited data with big red

    • CoreRooted

      VPN doesn't always mask your intent. It's very easy for your provider (mobile or traditional ISP) to subpoena your VPN provider and request the end points. Then, once they have that, it's fairly easy to trace the IP address and look for known trackers. That's what Comcast, Cox, TW and quite a few others are doing now.

      If your VPN provider says they don't keep logs, they are lying to you. They always keep logs. It's nearly impossible to run a network without having logs in case of issues. Their retention policy for said logs is what we need to be paying attention to. For instance, my VPN provider keeps logs for 5 days and then deletes them. For me, that's acceptable.

      • taxi333

        good point... who's your VPN provider?

        • CoreRooted

          VyprVPN. I get it through my Giganews account. For $30/month, unlimited Usenet (transfers and retention), VPN, 30GB online encrypted storage, etc etc etc. Not a bad price for everything that comes with the plan.

  • monkeybutts

    Besides torrenting, lots and lots of youtube, netflix, twitch, hulu plus and other video services, direct download of apps through data and respective updates, file back ups etc.

  • Stone Cold

    Thank you for a real headline that tells the truth.

  • lurch

    Thats not the song they sang to get my business. I don't abuse anything but I expect unlimited as promised without slowing my service or TMobile and me are through.

    • CoreRooted

      If you are obeying the terms of service, why would they throttle you?

  • Mystery Man

    Don't market it as unlimited if its not. I'm fine with 100GB of data (Or even 50GB) being $30/month.

    • CoreRooted

      Where are they saying it's not unlimited or capped? They are saying that if you are caught using P2P technologies on their network, they will throttle you. Nowhere have they stated that this has anything to do with data usage or that it affects consumers using large amounts of data. Very clearly, the first line states "Only customers with Unlimited High-Speed data an[sic d] activities outside of T-Mobile's T&C will be addressed".

      • tim242

        Actually, their TOS gives them the right to throttle with congestion, much like Verizon is going to do. The difference is, Verizon will remove it once there is no congestion, or you are on another tower...T-Mobile keeps you down until the end of the billing cycle...

    • dude

      Lol, 100gb a month for $30 (at high speed), good luck finding that plan.

  • MrDivaNYC

    Fully support T-Mobile on this one!!

  • dude

    Okay, for the people complaining it's not unlimited, just go to Sprint or stay with Verizon.

  • http://DailyDoseOfBass.com/ idol

    VPN initiated.

  • hp420

    Whatever....torrents are just easier to find. It's not like I can't find everything I need by just using direct download, or just stream. This is just plain stupid!

  • faceless128

    scumbag T-Mobile. uncarrier? lol.

  • GreatNews

    So let's make it clear here, if I use 50GB a month by just watching stuff on my phone ONLY like YouTube, TV Portal, Showbox etc is that considered P2P and I will get throttled or since its all on my phone and its like Netflix and Hulu I won't be throttled?

  • Braden Abbott

    Anyone who torrents without using a VPN is an idiot anyways so this is a non-issue.

  • Billy

    I cant believe that T-Mobile cant employ someone that cant write English on a memo.
    "To their until the next bill cycle"
    Most users doing this will be doing so via a VPN unless they are stupid so if what others are saying is correct and they are only going after torrents / P2P I dont see how they can stop this without effecting everyone.

  • Starcube

    I'm on board with this. T-Mobile's employees themselves do this on store display devices - I went into a store in Manhattan to check out a tablet and there was a BitTorrent client open downloading entire seasons of some teen reality show. If you make a service suck for everyone else by being selfish, I sure as hell want to see you punished.

  • Paula Davis

    I came for the info, and stayed for the comment fights.