New in OS X: Get MacRumors Push Notifications on your Mac

Resubscribe Now Close

T-Mobile CEO Responds to 'Binge On’ Controversy, Announces 14 New Partners

T-Mobile CEO John Legere today wrote a letter in response to recent criticisms of the company's new free video streaming service "Binge On," claiming that the program does not permanently slow down data and that claims of throttling are just "playing semantics." Legere also reiterated the fact that users can opt out of the service at any time, and that anyone with the ability to access Binge On has "complete control" over the experience if they want higher than 480p resolution.

There are people out there saying we’re “throttling.” They’re playing semantics! Binge On does NOT permanently slow down data nor remove customer control. Here’s the thing, mobile customers don’t always want or need giant heavy data files. So we created adaptive video technology to optimize for mobile screens and stream at a bitrate designed to stretch your data (pssst, Google, that's a GOOD thing).

You get the same quality of video as watching a DVD – 480p or higher – but use only 1/3 as much data (or, of course, NO data used when it’s a Binge On content provider!). Watch more video, use less data from your service plan. That's an important and valuable benefit!
In the rest of the letter, the CEO calls out media outlets for making Binge On into a negative story over the past few weeks, suggesting some places as "using Net Neutrality as a platform to get into the news." Legere compares the new service to T-Mobile's "Music Freedom" platform that launched in 2014, giving customers free music streaming that wouldn't affect data plan cost.

In addition to reassuring customers, T-Mobile today announced a slate of fourteen new Binge On partners including: A&E, Lifetime, HISTORY Channel, and PlayStation Vue Live TV. The new additions bring the partner total to 38 and the company said that more than 50 providers are preparing to back the free streaming program in the months ahead.

Since Binge On launched in November, the service's questionable video throttling of non-partner content has brought it under scrutiny multiple times. Just this week, an independent test proved that a smartphone with Binge On enabled throttled video streaming of services not affiliated with T-Mobile and the free initiative. CEO John Legere's response today is the second time the company has directly addressed Binge On's negative accusations, following a dispute with YouTube in December.

Those interested can read Legere's full letter on T-Mobile's blog.



Top Rated Comments

(View all)

10 months ago

Yeah, no....


Absolutely no way is that picture synonymous with 480p quality on a 5" screen.
Rating: 53 Votes
10 months ago

Yeah, no....

That is the most garbage side by side comparison I have ever seen.

But yeah, no... nice try.
Rating: 40 Votes
10 months ago

Who's content with 480p? It's 2016.


On a device with a 4-6" screen it's good quality. I doubt most people could tell difference between 720p and 480p on a 5" screen.
Rating: 32 Votes
10 months ago

Who's content with 480p? It's 2016.


480p is more than fine on a 4" or 4.7" screen and good enough on a 5.5" screen, and especially so when the data is free. :p
Rating: 31 Votes
10 months ago
I'm a T-Mobile customer and think this is great. As far as I can tell, from a practical end-user standpoint, this just changes the default video quality settings.
Before almost everything would default to HD, and if I forgot to change it I would burn through huge chunks of data in very short order. Now I don't have to worry about it.
Rating: 19 Votes
10 months ago
It's not even a controversy. Binge-On is a great service for people who need it and want it. The only people who throttle is those other companies.
Rating: 16 Votes
10 months ago

On a device with a 4-6" screen it's good quality. I doubt most people could tell difference between 720p and 480p on a 5" screen.


Yeah, no....

Rating: 15 Votes
10 months ago
T-Mobile should have uploaded this video in 480p if it's so great.
Rating: 9 Votes
10 months ago

LMAO. We make your video look like crap as a BENEFIT!


You can hardly tell the difference between 480p and 720p or higher on a tiny 4" to 5.5" screen.
Rating: 8 Votes
10 months ago
'Binge On' reduces the bandwidth requirements for videos by degrading video quality (and thereby the bandwidth required to stream video of that quality). That, in and of itself, isn't a problem. The problem is in the implementation.

If it *only* did so for 'Binge On' *partner* sites, the people complaining would have absolutely *zero* leg to stand on, because the reduced video quality is the trade-off for the bandwidth not being counted against your limits.

The problem, and what people are *actually* complaining about is this:
'Binge On' degrades the quality of *all* videos (streamed, or not) from *all* sites (partnered, or not), but still counts bandwidth from non-partnered sites against the users' bandwidth limits.

Both the users *and* the non-partner sites whose videos are effected by 'Binge On' have a justifiable reason to complain about this service as it currently works.
Rating: 8 Votes

[ Read All Comments ]