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.
Many of our plans include video optimization features which, when connected to the cellular network, deliver a DVD quality (typically 480p or better) 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 choose 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.
10GB Tethering and HD on T-Mobile ONE
We recently offered customers on T-Mobile ONE plans, which default to DVD quality video, the ability to activate HD video in the U.S., and to receive 10GB of tethering at up to 4G LTE speeds at no extra charge (tethering returns to up to 3G speeds after 10GB.) This offer has ended.
Customers who activated this feature during the promotional period can enable HD video resolution any time by accessing their Media Settings on either the T-Mobile app or at My.T-Mobile.com and toggling the HD Video Resolution switch to ON.
Customers who did not have this feature activated when the promotional period ended, including customers who signed up for T-Mobile ONE after this promotion, will continue to experience optimized video (DVD quality/480p) and Mobile Hotspot tethering at up to 3G speeds.
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:
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 and other features of your data plan, whether you are using Smartphone Mobile HotSpot (tethering) or are a heavy data user, using more than 50GB (updated periodically) of data in a billing cycle. In addition, many of our plans use video streaming optimization when connected to the cellular network to deliver a DVD quality (typically 480p or better) video experience at up to 1.5Mbps with minimal buffering while streaming. Customers may choose a plan where this feature is always enabled (T-MobileONE), with the option to add a feature to enable HD video streaming in the U.S. See details above on adding such a feature at no additional charge for a limited time. 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”). Some 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, as a feature differentiating T-Mobile-branded service and plans from non-T-Mobile-branded service such as MetroPCS, we prioritize the data of customers on non-T-Mobile branded service plans after the data of other customers and we use a smaller data threshold to determine heavy data usage for non-T-Mobile-branded services than for T-Mobile branded services. The traffic of a T-Mobile-branded customer will no longer receive higher priority if that customer has exceeded the “heavy user” threshold, currently 50GB, in a billing cycle. For speed and performance information for non-T-Mobile branded customers, see your brand’s network information/Open Internet page for details.
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 represents 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 .1 Mbps
- Upload speeds: Typically between 4 – 20 Mbps, with peaks up to 35 Mbps and minimum expected speeds of less than .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 .1 Mbps
- Upload Speed: Typically between 2 – 10 Mbps, with peaks up to 35 Mbps and minimum expected speeds of less than .1 Mbps
- Latency: Typically between 30 – 55 ms
T‑Mobile constantly works to improve network performance on its 4G LTE network as well as to pursue advanced and next-generation technologies and services. The above ranges are representative of current service plans. You may occasionally experience speeds beyond the ranges included in your plan.
Based on our internal testing and testing from third-parties, we’ve also made projections regarding the anticipated on-device experience for users on our remaining non-LTE network. Subject to the notes below, T‑Mobile expects T‑Mobile-branded customers with broadband-capable devices and qualifying service will experience the following speeds and latency on those portions of our network:
4G HSPA+ Network:
- Download speeds: Typically between 2-6 Mbps
- Upload speeds: Typically between .5-1.8 Mbps
- Latency: Typically between 60 – 180 ms
3G HSPA Network:
- Download speeds: Typically between 400-700 kbps
- Upload speeds: Typically between 100-250 kbps
- Latency: Typically between 100 – 450 ms
- Download speeds: Typically between 40-200 kbps
- Upload speeds: Typically between 20-80 kbps
- Latency: Typically between 400 – 900 ms
Some plans may, however, also include maximum speeds for some services. The T‑Mobile ONE plan includes tethering at a maximum of 512 kbps. Customers on this plan may choose to activate a Plus International add-on feature for unlimited tethering at up to 4G LTE speeds. The T‑Mobile ONE Wearables plan provides a maximum of 512 kbps. See your plan for details.
Your 4G speed range will depend on your device as well as the factors described above. You can learn more about the capabilities of our 4G devices here (https://www.t‑mobile.com/cell-phones). Subject to your data plan, customers using a 4G device within the 4G coverage area can expect to get 4G speeds. Customers using a 3G device within the 3G coverage area can expect to get 3G speeds. Customers with 4G devices will access the 3G network where it’s available outside the 4G 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-phones.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.
How does T‑Mobile manage the flow of data on its network?
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.
T-Mobile utilizes streaming video optimization technology throughout its network. 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. We optimize data by adjusting the delivery rate for streaming video to up to 1.5Mbps, which causes the video to lower resolutions and use less data.
Video optimization occurs only to data streams that are identified by our packet-core network as video. Some videos, like those consumed via VPN, may not be optimized. Some video consumed while tethering may be difficult to identify as video and therefore cannot be optimized. The streaming video optimization process is agnostic as to the streaming video content itself and to 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 or better) 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 on WiFi and therefore all video on WiFi will be delivered at the native resolution.
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 a Plus or Plus International feature.
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.
Network management for extremely high data usage and tethering
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 for all plans 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. Specifically, heavy data users, specifically those who use more than 50GB of data in a billing cycle 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. This threshold number is periodically evaluated and may change over time. 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 counts 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, for all plans 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 lower than other traffic will notice little, if any, effect from having lower priority. This will be the case in the vast majority of times and locations. Customers whose data is prioritized lower may notice reduced speeds during network congestion. Specifically, 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 on Rate Plans and Devices with 4G capability should, for example, be aware that these practices may occasionally result in speeds below those typically experienced on our 4G LTE and HSPA networks, including a greater likelihood of reduced speeds in the lower end of the speed ranges. 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 prioritization.
Choice of high-speed data
Simple Choice 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 My Account 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 may reduce your data speed to 2G speeds for the remainder of that billing cycle.
Some Unlimited high-speed Smartphone data plans include a data allotment for Smartphone Mobile HotSpot (tethering) then tethering is slowed to up to 2G speeds for the rest of the billing cycle. The T‑Mobile ONE plan includes tethering at up to 3G speeds. Customers on this plan may choose to activate a Plus International add-on feature for unlimited 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 ONE Fair Usage commitment
The T‑Mobile ONE 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. The T‑Mobile ONE service is designed to be used primarily on smartphones and tablets. The T‑Mobile ONE 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 a customer is a heavy data user specifically, using more than 50GB (updated periodically) of data in a month and uses their device as a mobile hotspot for the majority of their 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Unless part of an opted-in customer service, T-Mobile does not block lawful traffic based on content or subject. Occasionally, cases arise where T-Mobile must make a judgment, determining that the value of protecting our customer base from malicious or other adverse, network-impacting traffic outweighs access issues experienced by a few. Examples include Internet sources or destinations that are major sources of spam and sources that aggressively scan Internet addresses or those that have attempted attacks against T-Mobile infrastructure or customer end-points.
T-Mobile blocks a limited number of Internet addresses that are disruptive or malicious and typically persistent, based on our review of third party industry-wide intelligence. T-Mobile does not block sites based on content or subject, unless the Internet address hosts unlawful content or is blocked as part of an opted-in customer service.
For our Wi-Fi services, which are accessible in a wide range of commercial establishments and public venues, T-Mobile prevents the use of certain ports that are commonly used to spread malware and engage in other malicious activity.
§/ More information on GSM devices is available from the GSM Association at http://www.gsm.org/technology/index.htm . If you did not purchase your device from T-Mobile, please be aware that T-Mobile has not made any determination as to the call quality, performance, or other functionality provided by the device.
Our customers may use our Broadband Internet Access Services to access any lawful application, including real-time applications, in a manner consistent with our Terms and Conditions. T-Mobile reserves the right to take whatever measures are necessary to protect our network from potentially harmful devices and applications. The performance of a real-time application on our network depends on the speed and latency of the subscriber’s connection, as well as their chosen data plan (see above for details).
§/ In most markets the T-Mobile 3G / 4G network operates in the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) 1700/2100 MHz band and/or the Personal Communications Services (PCS) 1900 MHz band using Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) technology. T-Mobile also operates in the 700 MHz band (referred to as Extended Range LTE) in some markets. In order to connect to the T-Mobile 3G / 4G network a device must support UMTS and HSPA technology in the AWS 1700/2100 MHz band and PCS (1900) band. The T-Mobile 2G network operates in the Personal Communications Services (PCS) (1900) band. To connect to this network a device must support GSM technology in the PCS 1900 band.