Today, brash T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced the latest piece of its long-running Uncarrier initiative. Uncarrier X was teased late last month, and well-known smartphone leaker Evan Blass even spilled the beans saying that T-Mobile would offer unlimited streaming for video services like Netflix and HBO. As Legere alluded to last month when he offered Blass an invitation to today’s event, those early leaks were absolutely correct.
Legere has declared this “Data Day” in an effort to “disrupt the scam” being perpetrated by Verizon Wireless and AT&T — at least in his mind. “Dumb and Dumber are making this so f--king easy for me it’s incredible.”
T-Mobile started Uncarrier with Simple Choice, now they’ve moving forward with Simple Choice Amped. With Simple Choice Amped, T-Mobile is going to double the amount of data in each and every one of its data buckets. So 1GB, 3GB, and 5GB buckets have been doubled to 2GB, 6GB and 10GB respectively — that’s simple enough.
In addition, Family Match gives, for example, each person in a family of four 6GB of data to use. Customers don’t have to share as they would on competing carriers like Verizon Wireless. “I never shared sh-t when I was kid,” shouted Legere. Those four lines, each with 6GB of high-speed LTE data, will cost you $140 per month. But for a limited time, T-Mobile will offer that same package for just $120. A comparable plan from Verizon Wireless costs $140 for 6GB of shared data for a family of four.
But that wasn’t the big news announced today; that was reserved for Binge On.
With Binge On, you can use streaming services like Netflix, HBO Now, HBO Go, Hulu, Crackle, Vudu, Watch ESPN (24 in total) without tapping into your monthly data pool — it’s absolutely free. It’s open to any streaming service that meets T-Mobile’s technical criteria. Unfortunately, services like Amazon Prime Video and YouTube have not yet signed on, but T-Mobile welcomes them with open arms.
Legere says that Binge On is similar to Music Freedom and doesn’t trample on net neutrality. And if you don’t want to take advantage of Binge On, you can turn it off. The choice is absolutely yours. The video is optimized so that it doesn’t waste data (its three times more efficient than a standard video stream over an LTE connection), and provides DVD-quality video (or higher). The fact that streaming video has to use T-Mobile’s proprietary algorithms explains why streaming services have to opt-in and why customers have the option to turn the feature off if they don’t want to see an erosion in video quality (at the expense of eating into your data pool).
As Legere wrapped up his time on stage, he went on to state that competitors like Verizon are banking on the incredible increase of streaming video to trap customers into paying overage fees. He also explained that this is why Verizon created Go90 for the “dozens of people” that have downloaded the app.
Legere then used Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam’s own words to make his case:
T-Mobile’s new doubled plans go into effect starting this Sunday for new and existing Simple Choice customers. Binge On will be available on all new plans with 3GB or more of data starting Sunday, while customers on existing data plans of 3GB or more will have access to Binge On starting November 19th.