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
111 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
111 months ago
Must have everyone in the neighborhood running off that hot spot.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
tigres Avatar
111 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
111 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
111 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
111 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)

Popular Stories

Apple Logo Spotlight

Source: Apple to Announce New Products This Week

Sunday March 3, 2024 11:38 am PST by
Apple plans to announce new products with press releases on its website this week, a proven source familiar with the matter told MacRumors. While the products that Apple plans to announce have not been disclosed, there are rumors about new iPads, Macs, and accessories. It is unclear exactly what will be announced this week. Bloomberg's Mark Gurman today reiterated that Apple is planning new...
Apple Maps vs Google Maps Feature

Apple Maps vs. Google Maps: Which Is Better?

Friday March 1, 2024 7:10 am PST by
Apple Maps has been providing navigational guidance to Apple users for almost 13 and a half years now, and much has changed about the app in that time. However, according to data from Canalys, the overwhelming majority of iPhones in the U.S. still have Google Maps downloaded as an alternative to Apple Maps, which comes preinstalled on all iPhones. We want to hear from MacRumors readers. Which do...
apple tv plus banner

Apple TV+ Gains Over 50 Movies for a Limited Time

Friday March 1, 2024 6:29 am PST by
Apple TV+ today gained over 50 movies, adding to its back catalog of content for a limited time. The collection includes a large number of popular and classic titles. Subscribers can access the movies in a "Great Movies on Apple TV+" section in the Apple TV app. Some titles are also available in 3D. Movies in the collection include: 21 Jump Street 300 American Sniper Argo ...
iPad Air 12

Gurman: No Apple Event Planned for Upcoming iPads and Macs

Sunday March 3, 2024 5:09 am PST by
Apple does not plan to hold a traditional event to unveil new iPads and Macs, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Instead, he said Apple plans to announce the products on its website with a "series of online videos and marketing campaigns." If this plan is accurate, we can expect the new products to be announced with press releases on the Apple Newsroom website. Gurman expects Apple to...
Apple MacBook Air 2 up hero 240304

Apple Announces New MacBook Air Models With M3 Chip

Monday March 4, 2024 5:04 am PST by
Apple today announced new 13- and 15-inch MacBook Air models with M3 chip, improved external display support, Wi-Fi 6E, and more. Apple says that the new MacBook Air is up to 60% faster than the M1 model and up to 13x faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Air. With a faster and more efficient Neural Engine, Apple says that the MacBook Air continues to be "the best consumer laptop for...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New Beta Firmware for AirPods Pro 2

Thursday February 29, 2024 11:41 am PST by
Apple today introduced a new beta firmware update for the AirPods Pro 2, both the USB-C and Lightning versions. The new firmware is version 6E188, up from the prior 6B34 firmware released in December. Apple does not often provide details or notes on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware, so it is unclear what's new. Note that this software is limited to developers at the...