Why did I receive an SMS about using 50GB of data?

I just got a text from you about reaching a 50GB data limit. What does it mean?

It looks like you’ve used 48GB or more of data overall in this bill cycle. After 50GB, you still get unlimited LTE data but may at times notice reduced speeds in areas with network congestion.

What happens if I do access a congested tower after I’ve used 50GB of data?

In the vast majority of times and places, you will notice little if any difference. In the small number of times or locations where there’s network congestion, you may notice reduced data speeds. This experience is due to our data prioritization practice, which prioritizes customers who use more than 50GB of data in a single bill cycle after other customers. This practice helps to optimize overall network performance and maintain a quality service experience for as many customers as possible. Your data usage resets at the beginning of your next billing cycle, so this practice will only apply until that time.

Why does T-Mobile do this?

Our goal is to provide the best possible experience for as many customers as possible. Data prioritization is one way we accomplish this, especially at times and locations with network congestion. It’s described in more detail in T-Mobile's Open Internet Disclosures here. Our policy is also in line with common industry standards for network management, which are designed optimize network performance and service. Every wireless provider maintains policies that govern network traffic management because there is a fixed amount of network capacity available at each cell tower.

But I pay for unlimited data

At T-Mobile unlimited is truly unlimited. No overages or data caps apply on our network. Data prioritization will only be noticeable when you access a congested tower and have used over 50GB of data in a particular billing cycle. You will continue to get unlimited high speed data on your smartphone when you aren’t accessing a congested tower. In that way it’s different from data throttling, which slows you down for the remainder of your bill cycle regardless of network conditions, all the time.

How much slower will my data speeds be?

The actual speeds may vary depending on the location and the number of people trying to use the network at the same time. For more information visit our Open Internet Disclosures here.

Does tethering usage also count towards the 50GB?

Yes. Data usage on your smartphone as well as data usage through Smartphone Mobile HotSpot (tethering) both count toward the 50GB threshold.

Where can I get more detail on my overall data usage?

Visit my.t-mobile.com and click on the usage tab. You can also dial #web# from your T-Mobile phone.

What can I do to avoid hitting 50GB?

Set your automatic updating of apps, podcasts and file downloads to run off Wi-Fi only. Make sure to connect to Wi-Fi and update your applications and system periodically. You can also monitor your data usage by checking my.t-mobile.com and #web# as discussed above.

What if I don’t want to be impacted by this policy? Can I pay more to avoid it?

No. This is how we manage the network experience for all customers. Most users will not even likely notice a difference in experience.