T-Mobile today announced that its prioritization point is being increased from 32GB to 50GB, allowing customers to use more data before facing slower speeds during periods of high network congestion.
As the company explains, it uses a prioritization system to manage network traffic and prevent a small subset of its most active users from affecting other users. After a customer has used 50GB of data during a month, their data is de-prioritized when connected to a cellular tower that's experiencing congestion. In these situations, a customer who uses a lot of data will experience slower speeds than customers who have not hit that 50GB cap.
Even when the 50GB cap is reached, no de-prioritization takes place if the network is not congested.
All of the major carriers have a similar system in place for their unlimited data plans. Both AT&T and Verizon de-prioritize customers after 22GB of data usage, while Sprint does so after 23GB of data usage. At 50GB, T-Mobile offers more than twice the data before any network de-prioritization takes place.
According to T-Mobile, 50GB of data usage represents the top 1 percent of data users.