T-Mobile: Buy a shiny new Android G1… just don’t use it much.

Here’s a great example of why you should always be sure to read the fine print. On the product page for the highly-anticipated new T-Mobile/Google phone, you will see (if you squint) this note at the bottom: “If your total data usage in any billing cycle is more than 1GB, your data throughput for the remainder of that cycle may be reduced to 50 kbps or less.”

So much for the “unlimited” access plan. Sure, you can still surf the web, download music, or watch YouTube videos as much as you want… but if you do it too much, they’ll cripple your phone so that for the rest of the month you have to do it really slowly.

I remember there was a lot of talk this year about AT&T limiting their “unlimited” data plan to 5GB per month. T-Mobile’s way of dealing with “excessive use” (and their definition of “excessive” is apparently five times smaller than AT&T’s definition) is to put on the brakes. I wonder if users prefer this, or if they’d rather just pay overage fees?

Of course, I guess the “excessive” users could just stick with the iPhone. No wonder T-Mobile put that bit in fine print.

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20 Responses to T-Mobile: Buy a shiny new Android G1… just don’t use it much.

  1. I'd rather have them bandwidth limit the device than to charge me massive 'excessive data usage' fees like AT&T would.

  2. I’d rather have them bandwidth limit the device than to charge me massive ‘excessive data usage’ fees like AT&T would.

  3. Personally, I think that was put in more to protect T-Mobile's emerging 3G network from becoming overloaded.

    It just says 'may' not will. It just gives them the ability to reign in rampant usage, while allowing them to expand their network.

    If i had to bet on it, I'd say that it won't be enforced unless its necessary (like, its having an impact on the network) and in time they will raise those limits or lift them completely.

    I seem to recall similar agreements in my cable broadband connection and they relented under the demands for higher bandwidth.

    Plus, remember, this is an OPEN platform… so if T-Mobile screws over its customers.. switch to sprint or another carrier once your contract is up.

  4. Personally, I think that was put in more to protect T-Mobile’s emerging 3G network from becoming overloaded.

    It just says ‘may’ not will. It just gives them the ability to reign in rampant usage, while allowing them to expand their network.

    If i had to bet on it, I’d say that it won’t be enforced unless its necessary (like, its having an impact on the network) and in time they will raise those limits or lift them completely.

    I seem to recall similar agreements in my cable broadband connection and they relented under the demands for higher bandwidth.

    Plus, remember, this is an OPEN platform… so if T-Mobile screws over its customers.. switch to sprint or another carrier once your contract is up.

  5. Is that 50 Kilobytes, or Kilobits? Because if it's Kilobytes, that's not bad at all, and a reasonable limitation on a cell phone – that's still plenty fast for web pages, although YouTube might suffer a bit. Sure, I wish it was really "unlimited", but protecting the new 3G networks is important too.

    If it's kilobits, though, screw 'em, I'll wait for the next Android phone. That's the whole point – there's lots of 'em…

    • Kbps = Kilobits

      KBps = Kilobytes

      Most bandwidth metrics are in bits.

      Most storage metrics are in bytes.

      50kpbs = 50 Kilobits Per Second.

      (Wich puts you at a little under a late 1990's modem. 56.6 kbps.)

      • 1 bit = 0.125 bytes

        So 50 Kilobits per second = 6.4 Kilobytes per second

        Now that's what I call Crippling a connection.

  6. Is that 50 Kilobytes, or Kilobits? Because if it’s Kilobytes, that’s not bad at all, and a reasonable limitation on a cell phone – that’s still plenty fast for web pages, although YouTube might suffer a bit. Sure, I wish it was really “unlimited”, but protecting the new 3G networks is important too.

    If it’s kilobits, though, screw ’em, I’ll wait for the next Android phone. That’s the whole point – there’s lots of ’em…

    • Kbps = Kilobits

      KBps = Kilobytes

      Most bandwidth metrics are in bits.

      Most storage metrics are in bytes.

      50kpbs = 50 Kilobits Per Second.

      (Wich puts you at a little under a late 1990’s modem. 56.6 kbps.)

      • 1 bit = 0.125 bytes

        So 50 Kilobits per second = 6.4 Kilobytes per second

        Now that’s what I call Crippling a connection.

  7. This sounds a lot like the complaining that happened when Comcast said they were gonna limit bandwidth to 250GB a month and people went apeshit… but then most people realized that 250GB a month is a f'ing lot of bandwidth. Don't be so dramatic w/ the cap and then say that oh my god 50kbs a sec is so slow.

    Gimme a break.

  8. This sounds a lot like the complaining that happened when Comcast said they were gonna limit bandwidth to 250GB a month and people went apeshit… but then most people realized that 250GB a month is a f’ing lot of bandwidth. Don’t be so dramatic w/ the cap and then say that oh my god 50kbs a sec is so slow.

    Gimme a break.

  9. I have a T-Mobile Dash, and I currently use more than 1GB a month, on a non-3G network… (I synch my phone wirelessly, and all my calendar and contact data is on an MS Exchange server) I think that this limit is too small. 5 GB might be appropriate, but 1 is just not enough.

  10. I have a T-Mobile Dash, and I currently use more than 1GB a month, on a non-3G network… (I synch my phone wirelessly, and all my calendar and contact data is on an MS Exchange server) I think that this limit is too small. 5 GB might be appropriate, but 1 is just not enough.

  11. 1GB per month is a common transfer limit for home ADSL connections. This is a *phone*. The capped rate is still pretty decent compared to a normal non-3G mobile phone (ie. a couple of times the bandwidth). What exactly is the problem here?

  12. 1GB per month is a common transfer limit for home ADSL connections. This is a *phone*. The capped rate is still pretty decent compared to a normal non-3G mobile phone (ie. a couple of times the bandwidth). What exactly is the problem here?

  13. Forget all that – you can sum up Android's reliability with one quick look at that image: the digital clock says 2:47pm, whilst the analogue says ten past nine! ;)

  14. Forget all that – you can sum up Android’s reliability with one quick look at that image: the digital clock says 2:47pm, whilst the analogue says ten past nine! ;)