T-Mobile new fair use policy explained

180-degree about-face on data usage explained

T-Mobile explains its recent controversial shift in data use policy.

T-Mobile caused a stir this week when it released a new fair use policy for data on its handsets, with a statement on the T-Mobile explaining to users that "browsing means looking at websites and checking mail, but not watching videos, downloading files or playing games" and that if "you want to download, stream and watch video clips, save that stuff for your home broadband."

T-Mobile customers were upset, not least of all those who were paying for contracts which included a 3GB data allowance. After a spot of legal questioning, T-Mobile came up with a different solution: folks on existing contracts keep their data allowances, and new customers are relegated to the 500MB.

How does the new 500MB cap work? According to an interview in The Guardian with a T-Mobile representative, once you cross that 500MB limit, T-Mobile uses a "sophisticated network management tool" to suss out what kind of content you're trying to access. If it's video, flash games, or anything else other than text, essentially, you get a blank screen.

Even e-mail attachments aren't safe. According to the interview, any attachments over 1MB (a decent-sized photo, for instance) will simply not be displayed. Irritating, but at the same time, going over your 500MB limit will not get you hit with penalty charges, unlike many other operators - the price you pay is simply hugely reduced functionality.

Would a titchy 500MB data cap put you off T-Mobile, or is it fair game if it means avoiding over-use charges? Let us know your thoughts via e-mail or on the T3 Twitter feed.

Via: The Guardian