T-Mobile recently edited the fine print on its 4G LTE Simple Choice plans to notify customers that there's a 21 GB soft cap on data usage, reports TmoNews. Customers who exceed 21 GB of data usage during a billing period will see their data speeds throttled during periods of high network demand.
Unlimited 4G LTE customers who use more than 21 GB of data in a bill cycle will have their data usage de-prioritized compared to other customers for that bill cycle at locations and times when competing network demands occur, resulting in relatively slower speeds. See t-mobile.com/OpenInternet for details.
Prior to the explicit 21 GB soft cap, T-Mobile's Simple Choice subscribers who used more data than 97 percent of other T-Mobile subscribers were seeing slower data speeds during times of network congestion. According to TmoNews, customers who exceed their data limits see considerably slower speeds in busy areas, sometimes lower than 1Mbps.
This change in fine print makes it clear exactly how much data you have to use in order to feel the pinch. Previously, the 97% marker was ambiguous at best. You have no idea how much data other customers are using, and so you will have no way of knowing if you're in the top 3% of data users, or not. Now there's a much clearer 21GB "soft" cap.
T-Mobile's 21 GB soft cap is rather generous and is likely to affect only a small percentage of T-Mobile customers. Reduction in data speeds is only enacted when there's network congestion, so affected customers will only see throttling during peak usage times.
Customers who use more than 21 GB of data in a billing cycle will be flagged as de-prioritized by T-Mobile and could experience slower speeds at certain times until a new monthly billing cycle begins.