Android Meets Comcast: Throttling of Data Plan

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News Posted: Wed, Sep 24 2008 9:33 AM

The launch of the Google's first Android phone, the T-Mobile G1, was both widely anticipated and highly covered.  Of course, one big negative, one frequently pointed out as a real problem for the iPhone as well, is the associated carrier with the device.  T-Mobile has the smallest 3G footprint of any major carrier, and additionally --- well, the devil is in the details.

T-Mobile's advertised data plan for the $179 phone are $25 for unlimited data and voice and 400 text messages, or $35 for unlimited everything.  Well, that's when you really, really need to take out your magnifying glass, and take a look at their 3G details page (as linked to this story).  Look at the very bottom (emphasis theirs):

If your total data usage in any billing cycle is more than 1GB, your data throughput for the remainder of
that cycle may be reduced to 50 kbps or less.
Your data session, plan, or service may be
suspended, terminated, or restricted for significant roaming or if you use your service
in a way that interferes with our network or ability to provide quality service to other
users. Some devices require specific data plans; if you do not have the right plan for
your device, you may not be able to use data services. Some downloads, such as movies,
music, and games, not included.

Reminiscent of Comcast and their throttling of high-usage customers?  Uh-huh.  While many might say "1 GB, that's plenty!" --- for some it won't be.  Let's not forget how these devices are sold --- carriers want us to use more bandwidth!  But then they stick in tiny print like this.  Already many users, because of the aforementioned small 3G network of T-Mobile, will be stuck at EDGE speeds, but 50 kbps?  Wow.

And the vague "interferes with our network or ability to provide quality service?"  Companies need to realize that vague statements like this only serve to fuel controversy.  No less vague than Comcast's previously hidden usage caps (oh, there's Comcast again), which we know was a thorn in the side of many.

So, readers, what do you think?  Is 1 GB really plenty in this data-centric age?  Will this change your view of the G1?

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shanewu replied on Wed, Sep 24 2008 10:05 AM

I don't use my phone for anything other than phone calls, but that would definitely make me think twice before signing a contract with T-Mo.

Another day, another crappy move by a corporation.

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rapid1 replied on Wed, Sep 24 2008 10:14 AM

Sorry to say it but I've used T-mobile b4. It was a costly mistake. There service and area was horrible. I payed a deposit of $300 to not have a contract. When I realized there service absolutely sucked I canceled them then they tried to charge me a cancellation fee. As far as Comcast goes you really have to keep them on point. I just upped my data speed from 6-8 mbps for 25 dollars less a month less than I paid last month. I keep my premium channels and everything. You just have to watch there specials and call in they never charge you to change your service as long as it stays with them. On this phone, I will wait till Verizon or Cingular or another big carrier picks them up. Which should be easy seeing as it's built on an open source platform. Of course my Env2 works phantastic for now and I heard there's an Env3 coming out with 3G capabilities to. Basically I was reading something on another forum and someone said I won't be happy till my desktop is in my cell phone. I think that will be less than 5 year personally so I just watch the market and see.

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I just hope plans like these will bring down the Iphone plan... because 120 a month is crazy!!!

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I don't use my phone for internet very often, but if I had a good screen like that I would. This is very disappointing.

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SqUiD267 replied on Wed, Sep 24 2008 5:46 PM

thats crazy. i couldnt live with 1 GB

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warlord replied on Wed, Sep 24 2008 9:01 PM

I don't really even text much. Much less for internet

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