Important information about T‑Mobile’s Broadband Internet Access Services and T‑Mobile’s Open Internet Disclosures
This page provides information about T‑Mobile’s Broadband Internet Access Services. “Broadband Internet Access Services” refers to services that provide the capability to transmit data to and receive data from all or substantially all Internet endpoints. The network practices, performance characteristics, and commercial terms applicable to T‑Mobile’s Broadband Internet Access Services over our 2G, 3G, and 4G networks are described below. This page does not describe the practices, characteristics, or terms that apply when using roaming partner networks. This page also includes links to other T‑Mobile documents containing further information applicable to our Broadband Internet Access Services.
This information applies to postpaid and prepaid services, including our government and enterprise services, as well as Broadband Internet Access Services purchased through the Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) program.
For questions or concerns not addressed here, please contact our Customer Care department at www.T‑Mobile.com, by calling 1-800-937-8997 or 611 from your device, or by writing to: T‑Mobile Customer Relations, P.O. Box 37380, Albuquerque, NM 87176-7380. Puerto Rico customers must direct written notices to: T‑Mobile Customer Relations, B7 Tabonuco Street, Suite 700, Guaynabo, Puerto Rico 00968-3349, Attn: Customer Care Manager.
What terms and conditions apply to T-Mobile’s Broadband Internet Access Services?
Broadband Internet Access Services are subject to the T-Mobile Terms and Conditions at http://www.t-mobile.com/company/website/termsconditions.aspx. Specific information about our Broadband Internet Access Services can be found under the heading “Data Plans and Other Features.” Certain uses of our network are also prohibited as described in our Terms and Conditions under the heading “Misuse of Service or Device.” E-Rate customers’ use of T-Mobile’s Broadband Internet Access Services may also be governed by an applicable government contract or Major Account Agreement.
What data plans and pricing does T-Mobile offer?
T-Mobile offers mobile Broadband Internet Access Services for smartphones, basic phones, tablets, netbooks, USB modems, mobile hotspots and other wireless devices over our 2G, 3G and 4G broadband networks. Your data plan may feature a designated allotment of high-speed data, after which your data speed may be reduced or your data access may be suspended for the remainder of the billing cycle. If your data plan features a designated allotment of high-speed data, certain uses of the network may not count against that allotment.
Your plan includes access to the technologies, features, and services that you purchased when you activated your account. You may have temporary access to new services while they are being tested or made available for purchase. Temporary access to some new technologies, services, or features (e.g. 5G) may provide noticeable benefits, like significantly increased speeds. Your temporary access may end at any time, but we may begin offering access for purchase. For example, T‑Mobile is leading the industry in introducing new messaging capabilities which allow you to send larger file attachments and have bigger chat groups. T‑Mobile initially gave some users access to this new messaging service whether they had a data plan or not; but going forward, you may need to have a data plan or feature to use this new type of messaging and the data used to send and receive them may count towards your data allotments and the prioritization threshold for heavy data users.
Many of our plans include video optimization features which, when connected to the cellular network, deliver a DVD quality (typically 480p) video experience at up to 1.5Mbps with minimal buffering while streaming. Customers may choose a plan where this feature is always enabled (T‑Mobile ONE), with the option to add on a native-resolution video feature for an additional charge, disabling optimization on device (“HD Day Pass”) or on device and via tethering (T‑Mobile ONE Plus™). Customers may also have plans that offer video optimization as a customer-controlled feature that can be disabled or enabled at any time (“Binge On”), so that when enabled, their high-speed data lasts longer. Some qualifying video providers may choose to self-optimize their video content or opt-out of the Binge On program, see listing. The Binge On optimization technology is not applied to the video services of these providers; video from these services will stream at native resolution, and high-speed data consumption will continue as if Binge On were not enabled. Additional information, including technical criteria for Binge On program participation is found here. Customers who have plans which are no longer for sale may have different video features available, and should check www.myT-Mobile.com for more information.
For more information about our current data plans for our services, including prices, terms, and conditions, high-speed data allotments and other features, please see the following:
Customer Plans (https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phone-plans and http://prepaid.t-mobile.com/prepaid-plans)
Rate Card (https://www.t-mobile.com/ratecard)
Business and Government Plans (https://business.t-mobile.com)
Schools and libraries seeking to participate in the E-Rate program may be eligible to purchase Broadband Internet Access Services under existing contracts between T‑Mobile and government agencies. Schools and libraries interested in learning about eligibility to purchase under these contracts and the Broadband Internet Access Services available under these contracts should contact their account representative.
What speeds and performance can T‑Mobile-branded Broadband Internet Access Services customers expect? Where are these speeds available?
Many factors affect the speed and performance that customers experience, including the programs running on the device, proximity to a cell site, the capacity of the cell site, the surrounding terrain, use inside a building or moving vehicle, radio frequency interference, how many other customers are attempting to use the same spectrum resources, the high-speed data allotment, network prioritization, and other features of your data plan, whether you are using Smartphone Mobile HotSpot (tethering) or if you are a Heavy Data User. A “Heavy Data User” uses more than 50GB of data in a billing cycle for consumer mobile plans and most government/business plans. This threshold number is periodically evaluated and may change over time. The term “Heavy Data User” does not apply to customers on a small number of business- and government-oriented plans, which are not subject to a threshold. In addition, many of our plans use video streaming optimization when connected to the cellular network to deliver a DVD quality (typically 480p) video experience at up to 1.5Mbps with minimal buffering while streaming. T‑Mobile optimizes data streams that are identified by our packet-core network as video; video providers may also choose to establish protocols to self-optimize their video. Customers may choose a plan where this feature is always enabled (T‑Mobile ONE), with the option to add a feature to enable HD video streaming in the U.S. Customers on certain Simple Choice plans may have video optimization as a customer-controlled feature that can be disabled or enabled at any time (“Binge On”). Qualifying video providers may choose to opt-out of the Binge On program, see listing. The Binge On optimization technology is not applied to the video services of these providers; video from their services will stream at native resolution, and high-speed data consumption will continue as if Binge On were not enabled.
Also, as discussed below, T‑Mobile-branded plans except T‑Mobile Essentials are prioritized before the data of customers on non-T‑Mobile-branded services such as Metro by T‑Mobile. We also use a smaller data threshold to determine heavy data usage prioritization for non-T‑Mobile-branded services than for T‑Mobile branded services. The vast majority of customers on T‑Mobile-branded and non-T‑Mobile-branded plans receive higher priority than the small fraction of customers who are Heavy Data Users. T‑Mobile customers may notice reduced speeds in comparison to customers with a higher priority during network congestion. For speed and performance information for non-T‑Mobile branded customers, see your brand’s network information/Open Internet page for details. For more information regarding prioritization, see the discussion below in How does T‑Mobile address network priority for its plans and brands?.
Customer devices also have varying speed capabilities and may connect to different networks depending on technology. Even within coverage areas and with broadband-capable devices, network changes, traffic volume, outages, technical limitations, signal strength, obstructions, weather, and other conditions may impact speeds and service availability.
Speed and Latency
The term “speed” is commonly used as a shorthand way to describe the rate at which a particular broadband Internet access service can transmit data. This rate (or speed) is typically measured in the number of kilobits or megabits transmitted in one second (Kbps or Mbps). Some applications like email or basic web browsing do not require a high-data speed to function very well, while other activities like high-definition video streaming or transferring large data files are better experienced with higher data speeds.
Latency, also known as delay, is the amount of time from when a data packet is sent to when it is received. For Broadband Internet Access Services, latency is usually expressed as the round-trip time in milliseconds (“ms”) that it takes for a data packet to travel between two end points on the Internet (from point A to point B and then back to point A). Some applications, such as email, can tolerate a substantial amount of latency without any noticeable impact on the application's performance, while other applications, such as real-time video conferencing, require lower latency to function properly.
Based on analysis and projections from third-party, crowd-sourced data and subject to the factors described above and below, T-Mobile expects T-Mobile-branded customers with broadband-capable devices and qualifying service will experience the following speeds and latency on our 4G LTE network. These ranges are projections based on roughly the 25th and 75th percentiles of network tests. For speeds, peak speeds represent the 99th percentile of network speed results:
4G LTE Network (On-Device):
- Download speeds: Typically between 7 – 40 Mbps, with peaks up to 90 Mbps and minimum expected speeds of less than 0.1 Mbps
- Upload speeds: Typically between 4 – 20 Mbps, with peaks up to 35 Mbps and minimum expected speeds of less than 0.1 Mbps
- Latency: Typically between 30 – 55 ms
4G LTE Network (Via Smartphone Mobile HotSpot/Tethering, for Plans Including 4G LTE Tethering):
- Download Speed: Typically between 3 – 25 Mbps, with peaks up to 90 Mbps and minimum expected speeds of less than 0.1 Mbps
- Upload Speed: Typically between 2 – 10 Mbps, with peaks up to 35 Mbps and minimum expected speeds of less than 0.1 Mbps
- Latency: Typically between 30 – 55 ms
T‑Mobile constantly works to improve network performance on its 4G LTE network and to pursue advanced and next-generation technologies and services. The above ranges are representative of current service plans. You may occasionally experience speeds outside the ranges included in your plan.
In recent years, T‑Mobile has aggressively built out its LTE network so nearly all of our customers have regular access to LTE speeds. In those rare instances where customers are not able to receive an LTE signal, T‑Mobile provides non-LTE connections (2G, 3G, and 4G HSPA+) in many areas. Non-LTE connections are used by the small percentage of our customers still using non-LTE devices or, in limited cases, when customers with LTE devices are unable to connect to the LTE network. Based on internal and crowd-sourced testing, we expect T‑Mobile-branded customers with broadband-capable devices during non-LTE sessions to typically experience average download speeds of 1.5 Mbps, average upload speeds of 230 Kbps, and latency between 60 and 180 ms. The typical customer experience on T‑Mobile’s non-LTE network is good for streaming audio, email, and web browsing.
Some plans may, however, also include maximum speeds for some services. The T‑Mobile ONE and T‑Mobile Essentials plans include tethering at a maximum of 600 kbps. Customers on these plans may choose to activate an add-on feature for a set amount of tethering data at up to 4G LTE speeds. The T‑Mobile ONE Wearables plan provides a maximum of 600 kbps. See your plan for details.
Your 4G LTE speed range will depend on your device as well as the factors described above. You can learn more about the capabilities of our devices here (https://www.t-mobile.com/cell-phones). Subject to your data plan, customers using a 4G LTE device within the 4G LTE coverage area can expect to get 4G LTE speeds. Customers using a non-LTE device within the non-LTE coverage area can expect to get non-LTE speeds. Customers with 4G LTE devices will access the non-LTE network where it’s available outside the 4G LTE coverage area.
Your speed range will also depend on the high-speed data allotments associated with the data plan you have selected. See Consumer Plans (https://www.t‑mobile.com/cell-phone-plans and http://prepaid.t‑mobile.com/prepaid-plans) for more details.
How can I measure my data speeds on the network?
For Simple Choice customers, if your data plan features a designated allotment of high-speed data, data used by certain speed measurement applications will not count against that high-speed data allotment. See the full list here. If your data plan includes data use at reduced speed after you have used your plan’s monthly allotment of high-speed data, your data speed will be limited to 64 kbps or 128 kbps for the remainder of your billing cycle once you have used your allotted high-speed data. The results from some speed measuring applications may show current network speeds, rather than the reduced speed that is currently available to you. Speed measurement applications other than the ones listed here will show your reduced speed. A link to a speed test that will show your reduced speed will be sent to you via text message once you have reached your monthly high-speed data allotment. In addition, a link to a speed test that will show your reduced speed will become available on your handset once you have reached your monthly high-speed data allotment. If you use speed tests other than the ones listed here prior to reaching your monthly high-speed data allotment, use of those applications may count against your data allotment.
We engineer our network to provide consistent high-speed data service, but at times and at locations where the number of customers using the network exceeds available network resources, customers will experience reduced data speeds. To provide the best possible experience for the most possible customers on T‑Mobile-branded plans, we implement network management practices on a content-agnostic basis, such as caching less data and prioritizing data usage.
These practices do not discriminate against offerings that might compete against those offered by T‑Mobile or any T‑Mobile affiliate on the basis of such competition.
For additional information on T‑Mobile’s network management practices, see the discussion below in Network management for extremely high data usage and tethering and How does T‑Mobile address network priority for its plans and brands?.
T‑Mobile utilizes streaming video optimization technology. Streaming video optimization improves overall data usage management of the network, resulting in greater network speeds and throughput for other customers using data because less network payload is dedicated to video. For customers on limited high-speed plans, optimization also helps customers stretch their high-speed data while streaming video. For video that is not self-optimized by the video provider, we adjust the delivery rate for streaming video to up to 1.5Mbps, which causes the video to be delivered in lower resolutions and to use less data.
Video optimization occurs only for data streams that are identified by our packet-core network as video or where the video provider has chosen to establish protocols to self-optimize its video. Some videos, like those consumed via VPN or while tethering, may be difficult to identify as video and therefore cannot be optimized. The streaming video optimization process applies to all content identified as video regardless of the content itself or the website that provides it. While many changes to streaming video files are likely to be indiscernible, the optimization process may impact the appearance of the streaming video as displayed on a user’s device. It may also affect the speed of video downloads.
Video streaming optimization, when connected to the cellular network, delivers a DVD quality (typically 480p) video experience instead of a higher resolution version (e.g. HD), which is better suited for larger screens. Video optimization is not applied when a device is using WiFi to connect to a non-T‑Mobile network.
Customers on our T‑Mobile ONE plan, where video optimization is always enabled, may choose to activate and enable HD video streaming in the U.S. by adding ONE Plus.
Some of our data plans include the enabled Binge On feature, which customers may choose to disable and re-enable at any time. Some video providers may choose to opt-out of the Binge On program, see listing. The Binge On optimization technology is not applied to the video services of these providers; video from these services will stream at native resolution, and high-speed data consumption will continue as if Binge On were not enabled.
Binge On allows customers to control their video viewing experience and high speed data consumption but it does not apply to services of providers who have chosen to opt out (none have opted-out of Binge On at this time). Video from these providers will be delivered at native resolution, and high-speed data consumption will continue as if Binge On were not enabled.
Some of our plan options feature a customer-chosen high-speed data allotment with reduced speeds on our network after the high-speed allotment is exhausted, so customers can choose the combination of high-speed data and price that is right for their needs. Unlimited high-speed data customers, such as T‑Mobile ONE customers, do not have a specific high-speed data allotment on their device, however, and customers on limited high-speed plans may have extremely high data usage under certain circumstances, including if they access significant amounts of data that does not count against their high-speed data allotment. Some network management for these scenarios is required, because very heavy data usage by even a few customers at times and places of competing network demands can affect the network performance for all customers.
To provide the best possible experience for the most possible customers on T‑Mobile-branded plans, and to minimize capacity issues and degradation in network performance, we manage significant high-speed data usage through prioritization. Heavy Data Users will have their data usage prioritized below the data usage (including tethering) of other customers at times and at locations where there are competing customer demands for network resources, which may result in slower data speeds. At the start of the next bill cycle, the customer’s usage status is reset, and this data traffic is no longer prioritized below other traffic. Customers who use data in violation of their Rate Plan terms or T‑Mobile's Terms and Conditions may be excluded from this calculation. Data features that may not count against the high-speed data allotment for some plans, such as certain data associated with Music Freedom, or Binge On, still count towards all customers’ usage for this calculation. Smartphone Mobile HotSpot (tethering) data is also included in this calculation. Data used for customer service applications such as the T‑Mobile My Account app and the T‑Mobile Tuesdays app do not count towards customers’ usage for this calculation. To help avoid application of this practice, and reduce mobile data consumption, customers can set automatic updating of apps, podcasts and file downloads to run off Wi-Fi (making sure to connect to Wi-Fi to update applications and system periodically).
Similarly, while we permit tethering pursuant to the terms, conditions and allotments of your data plan, significant Smartphone Mobile HotSpot (tethering) usage can affect on-device network performance for all customers. To ensure the best possible on-device experience for the most possible customers, and to minimize capacity issues and degradation in network performance, we prioritize on-device data (except that of significant data users, as described above) over tethering data at times and at locations where there are competing customer demands for network resources, which may result in slower tethering speeds.
Where the network is lightly loaded in relation to available capacity, a customer whose data is prioritized higher than other traffic will notice little, if any, effect from having higher priority. This will be the case in the vast majority of times and locations. Customers may notice reduced speeds in comparison to customers with a higher priority during network congestion. At times and at locations where the network is heavily loaded in relation to available capacity, these customers will likely see significant reductions in data speeds, especially if they are engaged in data-intensive activities. Customers should be aware that these practices may occasionally result in speeds below those typically experienced on our LTE networks, including a greater likelihood of reduced speeds in the lower end of the speed ranges. Depending on the extent of network congestion, these customers may notice more frequent impacts to some video streaming, file downloads, and other high-bandwidth activities. T‑Mobile constantly works to improve network performance and capacity, but there are physical and technical limits on how much capacity is available, and in constrained locations the frequency of heavy loading in relation to available capacity may be greater than in other locations. When network loading goes down or the customer moves to a location that is less heavily loaded in relation to available capacity, the customer’s speeds will likely improve.
You can check your data plan usage at any time by signing in to my.t-mobile.com and clicking on the usage tabor by dialing #web# from your T‑Mobile phone. Your total “on-network data” is the number used for purposes of heavy data usage prioritization.
Choice of high-speed data
Customers select how much high-speed data they receive under their service plan. Certain features, such as Music Freedom, some Binge On content, and data used by certain T‑Mobile customer service applications, such as the T‑Mobile App and the T‑Mobile Tuesdays app, do not count against your high-speed data allotment. If your total high-speed data usage exceeds your selected high-speed allotment during a billing cycle, we reduce your data speed to 2G speeds (128 kbps) for the remainder of that billing cycle.
Some Unlimited high-speed smartphone data plans include a data allotment for Smartphone Mobile HotSpot (tethering); after that allotment is used, tethering is slowed to up to 2G speeds (128 kbps) for the rest of the billing cycle. The T‑Mobile ONE and T‑Mobile Essentials plans include tethering at up to 3G (600 kbps) speeds. Customers on these plans may choose to activate an add-on feature for a set amount of tethering at up to 4G LTE speeds. Depending on the capability of your device, tethering your device to other lawful devices is permitted up to 10 devices pursuant to the terms, conditions and allotments of your data plan. Some video consumed while tethering may be difficult to identify as video and therefore cannot be optimized.
T‑Mobile Fair Usage commitment
The T‑Mobile Fair Usage commitment is how we ensure that the highest number of customers have the best possible experience for the most common uses on our network. To ensure that smartphones and tablets have fair access to the network, we will monitor mobile hotspot/tethering usage on a regular basis to ensure that mobile hotspot usage is both reasonable and fair. T‑Mobile service is designed to be used primarily on smartphones and tablets. T‑Mobile mobile hotspot features are intended for personal mobile connectivity, not intended to be a complete broadband replacement for multiple users over an extended period of time. If you are a Heavy Data User and use a device as a mobile hotspot for the majority of your use over an extended period of time, we may contact you to discuss your plan and your options.
Other network management
If you use your data plan in a manner that could interfere with other customers' service, affect our ability to allocate network capacity among customers, or degrade service quality for other customers, we may suspend, terminate, or restrict your data session, or switch you to a more appropriate data plan, or terminate your service.
Finally, certain uses of our network are also prohibited as described in our Terms and Conditions under the heading “Misuse of Service or Device.” For example, applications which automatically consume unreasonable amounts of available network capacity or are designed for unattended use are prohibited as they may interfere with our ability to provide a good service experience for the majority of our customers, cause capacity issues, and/or degrade network performance. See our Terms and Conditions for a list of prohibited uses.
For additional important disclosures, including our Privacy Statement, please review the Frequently Asked Questions.