T-Mobile made the announcement yesterday that it’s upping its “prioritization point” for unlimited users. Unlimited had previously meant 32GB, but now they have pushed that up to 50GB. What this means is that T-Mobile users can use 50GB of data before prioritization kicks in. T-Mobile is quick to note that prioritization is not equivalent to throttling as speeds will only be slowed when a user has consumed more than 50GB of data that month, annd they are in an area that is experiencing congestion.
I’m happy to announce that starting tomorrow we’re increasing T-Mobile’s prioritization point from an already-industry-leading 32GB to a whopping 50GB! Meanwhile, Verizon and AT&T sit at a meager 22GB, meaning Un-carrier customers can use more than 2x the data before prioritization kicks in.
When T-Mobile customers who use the most data hit these prioritization points during the month, they get in line behind other customers who have used less data and may experience reduced speeds. But this impacts them only very rarely, like when there is a big line, and it resets every month.
If you’re not familiar with how these plans work, you’re probably wondering why there is a cap at all. Technically, data is unlimited, carriers do include soft caps. Once you’ve used up your monthly allotment, the carrier will de-prioritize your speeds if there is too much demand on the network. Which makes me wonder why they even offer the “unlimited” plans? I, myself, do not use a lot of data. But I know people who do. Like a ton. The idea that 50GB would be considered “unlimited” seems odd to me.
I should clarify, you can use as much data as you want. That 50GB only pertains to the data that is being prioritized. If you’re at 100 GB, you can keep going, but your speeds might be slow during certain times. Which, kind of feels like a penalty to me, in some ways. You’re allowed to use this in an unlimited capacity, but you must also be prepared to experience slow speeds if you use too much. What happens if you really need faster speeds? And you don’t have them? Would this make you re-think your strategy for the next month?
With more and more people needing data to use their phones, the increase makes sense to me. But I also wonder if this soft cap should be higher. Or can T-Mobile’s network even support that kind of traffic? I’m glad to see that there is an increase happening, but I think it should be higher. Maybe I’m being greedy with this. T-Mobile suggests that you could stream 2 hours of Netflix, every single day and still not get to your 50GB limit. That’s 30 standard definition movies. So maybe I am being greedy? Because who needs that much data, really?
Either way, this is an improvement over the previous cap. What I expect to see going forward are more carriers upping their soft caps in order to compete. Which is going to be beneficial to the market, as you will be able to choose which data plan you want. Right now, if you want a larger unlimited cap, you will need to go with T-Mobile.