T-Mobile Sends G1 Android Data Users To The Slow Lane: 50kbps Over 1 Gig

from the slow-lane dept

There's a ton of predictable press coverage and reviews of T-Mobile's new G1 phone -- the first commercially available phone that uses Google's Android operating system -- but Broadband Reports has dug through the fine print of the user agreement and noticed something rather interesting. While the marketing materials scream out about a $25 "unlimited" data plan, the fine print notes that if you go over 1Gig per month, the rest of your data traffic that month may be slowed down to a piddling 50kbps. So, before you get that G1 and plan to surf away, recognize that while, unlimited, T-Mobile apparently has no intention of letting you actually surf with any reasonable bandwidth after a certain point.


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    Matt, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 4:00pm

    What's the big deal?

    I don't understand why people are so upset about this - $25 a month for 'unlimited' data is really cheap (actually I believe it's something like $20 for data + $5 for x number of texts) Furthermore, just having your connection throttled, instead of being raped with overage fees or all out canceled, is a pretty nice way to handle it. Even then, that 50kbps isn't much slower than what you're going to get on most of T-Mobile's network anyway. You have to understand how much it costs to run these wireless networks; they can't just give bandwidth away. Don't get me wrong, I'm no T-Mo fan, and won't get this phone for that reason alone, but I just don't think this is something to make such a big stink about.

     

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      Steven Leach, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 4:22pm

      Re: What's the big deal?

      Have you been anywhere else in the world besides the USA ?
      I have been to the rural areas of India where the bandwidth is better than the so called broadband of the USA, and they have no caps either !!
      I have been to Findland, Sweden, and Germany where 1 gigbits/second is considered slow !!!, and no one would accept caps. Face it the USA is the equivalent of a country hick stuck in the backwater as far as cell phone or internet access is concerned.

       

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        Dave, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 5:48am

        Re: Re: What's the big deal?

        wow, if the US is a hick, I'd hate to see what Canada rates. Our cell companies make 1 gig look like gold.

        I pay $20 a month for 4 MEGABYTES of data through my EVDO connection. I can go up to 100 if I pay $100 a month. Rogers has a $7 a month "unlimited" if you only use their apps and their sites. Any other app or use and even apps that are pre-loaded onto Nokia phones are charged extra with that plan.

        That's the best you can get now that the unlimited plans for the iPhone are no longer offered.

         

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        Didac, Sep 28th, 2008 @ 12:36pm

        Re: Re: What's the big deal?

        Well... just tell me where in my country (Sweden) can I get 1gigbit/second.
        My sister in germany would like that also.

         

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        Andreas K, Apr 23rd, 2009 @ 2:43am

        Re: Re: What's the big deal?

        Well, that's incorrect. I'm in Germany, and while the broadband situation is nicer here than most US, AFAIK I can figure out, BUT 1gbps is AFAIK, not offered to consumers anywhere here.

        Typical speeds:

        mobile UMTS in cities: 200KB/s
        outside cities: varies from UMTS with 40KB/s to EGPRS to GPRS.

        That also depends slightly which carrier you use, I'm using a cheap prepaid SIM from fonic.de, which charges 2,5EUR per day flat usage (throttled after 1GB per day).

        DSL speeds: from not available in some rural areas, to typical DSL2 accounts with about 2MB/s, to VDSL in some limited areas.

         

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      Asa, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 4:25pm

      Re: What's the big deal?

      I think the big deal is the mis-leading "unlimited" term being attached to a limited-to-1G at normal speed system, and thus being "Limited."

      When someone starts using that word in a fraudulent way it reflects badly on the information industry which is already dealing with mistrust from a wary public. People are often out of their element with this stuff and need all the legitimate info they can get. Filling the industry with fake promises doesn't help in the least.

      If its 1GB a month for $25 at normal speed, and anything after that is free at a lower speed, then say so. I doubt you can look at my previous sentence and describe that as unlimited to a prospective customer.

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 4:31pm

      Re: What's the big deal?

      IM sorry, but no. Once the network has been installed it is nearly free to run the network. For examply, air time usage Verizon Wireless, costs the company less than .0325 cents per minute. That's one third of a cent. Data is nearly the same. I would be suprised if T-Mobile is much different.

      To cap usage IS putting is behind what nearly every other country offers. Too bad.

       

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        benshoof, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 6:21pm

        Re: Re: What's the big deal?

        I'm sorry but it's actually the cost to keep upgrading your network. Technology is constantly changing so you have to keep up with the times.

         

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          Dustin, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 1:24am

          Re: Re: Re: What's the big deal?

          You should let the cell companies know about this "upgrade" thingy... they seem to have missed the memo.

          Face it, American cell and ISP providers are notorious for raking in profits and "forgetting" to keep up with their infrastructure upgrade plans. We're running last gen tech in most places, not keeping up with the times.

           

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      Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 4:48pm

      Re: What's the big deal?

      Nice astro turf Matt.

      Yes, it is becoming more clear every day - the once great us of a is sliding down to third world status.

       

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    Virtual Impax, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 4:13pm

    Um- the term UNLIMITED is the big deal

    Advertising "Unlimited" access is different than advertising "the first 1 Gig is free AND fast - after that, not so fast but still free!"

    It's a matter of truth in advertising. The wireless companies aren't exactly dealing with a surplus of consumer trust and this is just another nail in the coffin.

    First Comcast throttles customers on their "unlimited" bandwidth plan and now T-Mobile is following suit.

    The restaurant industry faces the same thing in the All You Can Eat Buffet. It's either all you can eat or it isn't. You don't throw out the football team because they came to take you up on the All You Can Eat offer after the big game.

     

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    Michael Long, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 5:31pm

    Android and "open" systems...

    Much has been made of Android and how "open" systems are going to wax the iPhone. But as I and others have repeatedly pointed out, those systems are only going to be as "open" as the carriers allow.

    Start taking out carrier profits for voice minutes, SMS, or start running the mobile equivalent of a torrent system, and the carriers will scramble to shut those applications down.

    Abuse the system too much, and it's entirely likely that they'll stop selling Android-based phones altogether.

     

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    cartmanez, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 5:49pm

    It's surprising that although AT&T has pricier voice plans, their 'Media Net Unlimited' data plan is only 15 bucks a month. No messaging included, but with data plan, I'd rather AIM somebody. And their cap is at 5GB.

     

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      A G Bell, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 6:58pm

      Re:

      Let me get this straight, T-mobile's unlimited data plan is limited to 1 GB, but AT&T's unlimited data plan is limited to 5 GB? Doesn't ANYBODY have an unlimited data plan that's actually UNLIMITED? Somebody should be suing the pants off of all of these companies.

       

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        Tzen, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 7:14pm

        Re: Re:

        Sprint: $15/month - unlimited

         

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        Anne, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 7:32pm

        Re: Re:

        I have a truly unlimited T-Mobile data plan @ $50 a month. However, this is a plan that isn't available to new customers, and if I drink the Android Kool-Aid next month, I will have to give up this plan in order to buy the new T-Mobile wonder phone at a discount.

        I might just keep what I have. I really like T-Mobile and am happy with the plan that I have, and all I need is a new handheld device, as the PDA I have is three years old and is now being held together with duct tape.

         

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          Jeff, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 6:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I checked with T-mobile (once I could actually get through, the site traffic was ridiculous), they want $299 for me to upgrade to the G1 (I've got about 3 months left on a 2 year contract). What do you have to do to get the $179 pricing?

           

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        Basic Investor, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 10:33am

        Re: Does Anybody Have an Unlimited Data Plan

        The only one left that I can tell is Sprint. Initially they were talking about capping their EV-DO service (no max rate specified) however, the amount of churn (read that customers leaving them) on the voice side compelled them to back off.

        Their unlimited plan goes for $50 per month. There still is that vague language in the agreement about abuse, etc, but I think at this point what they're saving that for is if they do have customers doing bit torrent down load storms. Otherwise, I think their leaving it alone.

        It's really what's keeping them alive.

         

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          Mike (profile), Sep 24th, 2008 @ 11:13am

          Re: Re: Does Anybody Have an Unlimited Data Plan

          The only one left that I can tell is Sprint. Initially they were talking about capping their EV-DO service (no max rate specified) however, the amount of churn (read that customers leaving them) on the voice side compelled them to back off.


          Actually, that's not true. Sprint implemented a 5GB cap this month.

           

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    Overcast, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 5:56pm

    Another story of T-Mobile offering 'unlimited' data, but yet it's limited.

    I'll keep that in mind :)

     

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    bob, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 6:41pm

    All of Europe

    So let me get this correct for all of you world travelers out there.
    Europe is about 3% of the world land mass. Or about 15 times the size of TX.
    With lord knows how many integrated telecom companies.
    While we have at best 7 competing ones here in the states.
    With little or no uniting rules or regulations.
    And you wonder why things telecom wise are better in Europe.

     

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    benshoof, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 6:46pm

    Many internet providers for your home does the same thing, it's just their way of keeping the network fast by not having to much data being transfered by too many people at the same time.

     

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    Grady, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 6:58pm

    Against what most of y'all are thinkin', this IS an unlimited plan. Nothing about it is limited. No where does it say you'll have "blazing speeds guaranteed." Just states that it's unlimited. It's not using the term "unlimited" fraudulently. It's like saying phone X is $XXX, but upon reading the fine print, you discover it's really $YYY, but you get a mail-in rebate for X amount. I don't hear you guys screaming false advertisement there. It's just a fact of life here in the good ol' USA.

     

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      nasch, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 7:55am

      Re:

      First, there are plenty of people who scream false advertising about rebate offers. You may consider them the tinfoil hat crowd, but they're out there. Second, calling it unlimited may or may not be fraudulent, but it's certainly (IMO) disingenuous. Calling a crippled data plan unlimited is not the way to earn the trust of the public, whether it's illegal or not.

       

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    erica stjohn, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 8:44pm

    But no I Tunes

    But, Just think, I cannot use my iTunes with the Android without a lot of hacking it

    http://dvice.com/archives/2008/09/hands_on_how_do.php

    "But for syncing music, photos and other content — nada. If you've got a lot of ACC-ripped music for your iPod, you can't use iTunes, which doesn't recognize any other hardware other than Apple's, and Windows Media Player doesn't import AACs. "

     

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    Kontra, Sep 23rd, 2008 @ 11:05pm

    30 critical issues with G1

    Its manufacturer HTC called it "The most exciting phone in the history of phones." I compiled a list of all software, hardware and service flaws of G1 and asked the question, "Would Apple have been utterly crucified and AAPL have tanked if the iPhone came out with so many shortcomings?" in: The Big List: 30 critical issues with Google G1 phone

     

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      Steve Jobs, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 6:35am

      Re: 30 critical issues with G1

      But the iphone DID come with so many shortcomings (do you people have defective memories, or what?). First, that list is a bunch of crap. Since when is Microsoft Silverlight a standard for anything? Does the iphone support it? Adobe Flash? The iphone didn't support it. The G1 isn't T-mobile only, you can get an unlocked version for $399. Microsoft Exchange? Yup, iphone didn't come with that either. Skype? What phone supports that? None, officially. "Hey, we've got a great new phone, and you can use it to make free calls, so don't bother with our wireless voice plan", yeah, that's a great business model. Not. No Stereo bluetooth A2DP, seems to me the iphone doesn't have this either. Multi-touch? Who needs it? The G1 has a full keyboard. "limited to 8 GB memory"? Um, how much memory did the original iphone have? It also didn't have a slot that can hold an addtional 32 GB microSD card, did it?

      The entire list is either just wrong, or touts features the iphone didn't have either. What sort of iDiots write this stuff, apple employees?

       

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    Bill, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 7:49am

    Unlimited

    This IS an unlimited plan, so don't be confused by the other posters. You don't get unlimited 3G data speeds, but you get unlimited Data. I don't necessarily agree with it, but it is truly unlimited just not unlimited at high speed. It is still a better deal then anything ATT and those crooks at Verizon would charge...

     

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    erica stjohn, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 8:27am

    unlimited

    Somehow, this reminds me of when AOL was dial up and unlimited came out.. then it was 'well, we really dont expect people to stay connected 24-7, so we are limiting your unlimited'

    Then you come along with the iphone and people screaming 'yes, its unlimited data rate, but we are going to tell you that you cant use voip over the data connection' and start telling us how we can and cant use our phone on the network after we bought and paid for it.

    People would buy the iphone, jailbreak it and use voip over the data connection so they dont have to use minutes and that was NOT liked.

    So, where does it end?

     

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    Blackberry, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 4:47pm

    T-Mobile Blackberry Data

    I believe that the T-Mobile Blackberry Data plans are truly unlimited, for about $20/month. And they allow tethering.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 24th, 2008 @ 7:16pm

    Tmobile is the reason I'll stay away from this phone.

     

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    Michael Long, Sep 26th, 2008 @ 11:53pm

    The G1 isn't T-mobile only

    "The G1 isn't T-mobile only..."

    Of course, since it only works on T-Mobiles 3G network here in the US, it might as well be. Or are you advocating buying a 3G phone that can't never be used for 3G?

     

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