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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Companies: google, t-mobile

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

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32 Comments
Matt says:

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.

Steven Leach says:

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.

Dave says:

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.

Andreas K says:

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.

Asa says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Dustin says:

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.

Virtual Impax (user link) says:

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.

Michael Long (user link) says:

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.

Anne (profile) says:

Re: 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.

Basic Investor says:

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.

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.

bob says:

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.

Grady (profile) says:

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.

nasch says:

Re: 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.

erica stjohn (user link) says:

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. “

Kontra (user link) says:

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

Steve Jobs says:

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?

erica stjohn (user link) says:

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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