“Unlimited” T-Mobile Plans

Last night, in what can only be described as a rare event, I was listening to the radio. There was an ad that came on for T-Mobile’s heavily advertised “unlimited” everything plans. For those not aware of these plans T-Mobile touts that for $49.99 a month you get unlimited: talk, text, data. Now on the […]

Last night, in what can only be described as a rare event, I was listening to the radio. There was an ad that came on for T-Mobile’s heavily advertised “unlimited” everything plans. For those not aware of these plans T-Mobile touts that for $49.99 a month you get unlimited: talk, text, data.

Now on the radio I actually heard the fast talker when he was speaking the asterisk material. What I heard him say: “After 2GB of data at full speed, unlimited data is available at 2G speeds.”

Umm, what?

So I visited the T-Mobile website and saw this:

There’s the 2GB cap on the unlimited data, but let’s find out more. Now clicking to get more details yields this text:

Unlimited data: Up to 2 GB of high-speed data (for capable devices), then reduced speeds after that. If you use up your high-speed data, we will automatically reduce your speeds for the rest of your billing cycle—so you can still connect without overages.

How nice for you not to cut me off when I use up all of my “unlimited” data. So I get the same crappy 2GB cap that I get with AT&T, but instead of letting me just run up overage charges — well T-Mobile automatically makes a slow connection, even slower.

But how slow?

For that we must read the seriously fine text:

For unlimited data plans, full speeds available up to monthly data allotment; after allotment used, speeds slowed to up to 2G speeds for remainder of billing cycle.

Technically speaking the original non-3G iPhone was considered to run at 2.75G speeds (EDGE). What’s 2G — is it even useable?

2G is actually the old TDMA network that T-Mobile has, the best I can tell the top speeds on it are right around 9.6 kbps. Honestly that can’t be right because such a speed wouldn’t even be useable. My guess is that they actually mean either GPRS (115kbps) or EDGE (384kbps). Either way that is a huge hit from the minimum 1.8Megabit/s speed you get over 3G.

Doesn’t matter really, what matters is that this “Unlimited Plan” is hardly unlimited.