The company has launched a massive effort to punish people who are tethering their smartphones.
T-Mobile has announced that it will be taking on a considerable effort to track down the people who are using the unlimited mobile network packages to an extreme degree through techniques such as tethering and creating hotspots.
According to the CEO, there is only a small percentage of customers who are using the majority of the bandwidth.
CEO of the mobile network provider, John Legere, has stated that there is “a fraction of a percent” of customers who have been draining hundreds – if not thousands – of monthly gigabytes of data. However, those customers aren’t just consuming that data by surfing, streaming, and using smartphone apps. Instead, according to T-Mobile, they have been hiding their usage of mobile tethering and hotspots. This allows other devices such as tablets and even PCs to connect to the internet through a data plan meant for a smartphone. According to Legere, “I won’t let a few thieves ruin things for anyone else.”
The unlimited data plan from the mobile network does allow tethering, but to a maximum level.
Currently, subscribers to the unlimited data plan, which costs $80, are allowed to tether other devices for up to 7GB, which is actually quite a generous restriction when compared to some of the other typical plans available across the country. That said, when customers tether beyond that limit, their hotspot speeds are dramatically slowed. However, there are many mobile apps – particularly for Android based devices – that say that they can make tethering invisible to the wireless carriers providing the data plan. In that way, it makes it impossible for the carrier to identify the usage type of the bandwidth.
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T-Mobile believes that the largest users of the data plan are employing those mobile apps to be able to move beyond the 7GB limit for tethering while maintaining the faster speeds. According to Legere, this practice is occurring and he intends to put a stop to it.
Some of the heaviest data users have used as much as 2TB of bandwitdth per month. According to the mobile network provider’s CEO, “If their activities are left unchecked their actions could eventually have a negative effect on the experience of honest T-Mobile customers,” adding “Not on my watch.”