T-Mobile Nationwide 4G LTET-Mobile CEO John Legere has announced that the U.S. carrier will begin taking action against customers with unlimited 4G LTE data plans that deliberately violate the company's terms and conditions by masking excessive tethering usage as smartphone data.

T-Mobile notes that less than 1% of customers are using apps or other methods to blow past their Smartphone Mobile HotSpot allotment, which is included free with every Simple Choice plan but capped at up to 7GB per month. The carrier says that, in some cases, these customers are using up to 2TB (2,000 GB) of data per month.

Here’s what’s happening: when customers buy our unlimited 4G LTE plan for their smartphones we include a fixed amount of LTE to be used for tethering (using the “Smartphone Mobile HotSpot” feature), at no extra cost, for the occasions when broadband may not be convenient or available. If customers hit that high-speed tethering limit, those tethering speeds slow down. If a customer needs more LTE tethering, they can add-on more. Simple.

However, these violators are going out of their way with all kinds of workarounds to steal more LTE tethered data. They’re downloading apps that hide their tether usage, rooting their phones, writing code to mask their activity, etc. They are “hacking” the system to swipe high speed tethered data. These aren't naive amateurs; they are clever hackers who are willfully stealing for their own selfish gain.

T-Mobile says that customers who continue to have excessive tethering usage will first be warned, and then lose access to their unlimited 4G LTE smartphone data plan and be moved to an entry-level Simple Choice plan if they do not comply. T-Mobile began informing customers about the crackdown on network abusers today and has posted a detailed FAQ on its support forum.

T-Mobile prepaid and MetroPCS customers are not affected at this time.

Top Rated Comments

shareef777 Avatar
83 months ago
Any plan which has the word UNLIMITED in it, I would urge everyone to use as much data as possible. Either UNLIMITED means what it has always meant, or they got cute with the word. Either way, make them remove the word or stand by it. Use as much data as you can!
Based on your logic, I can go to an 'all you can eat' buffet, and go back the second day cause I wasn't done eating. Before you argue that they're different situations, you read the word 'unlimited' and just ignored everything else. I read all you can eat and ignored everything else.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Crosscreek Avatar
83 months ago
Must have everyone in the neighborhood running off that hot spot.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tigres Avatar
83 months ago
Way to go T-mo. John continues to speak the facts, doesn't hide behind corp. speak, and says it direct.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
k1121j Avatar
83 months ago
wow 2 TB i don't even use that with my cable ISP and i DL a lot of stuff
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Warbrain Avatar
83 months ago
The way Legere points this out makes it seem like he's still the good guy, which he is very good at. What this means though is for anyone who tethers against the TOS, even just once or twice, will now be throttled. Something that Verizon still hasn't done.
It's excessive use. Don't try and spin this to make Verizon look like a saint when they hardly are.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
furi0usbee Avatar
83 months ago
THEN DON'T ****ING CALL IT UNLIMITED AND THEN THEY WON'T USE UNLIMITED AMOUNTS OF DATA! ****ERS!!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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