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Report: T-Mobile to limit national data roaming for subscribers

Consumer Reports News: January 31, 2012 10:23 AM

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For T-Mobile subscribers, getting data on your mobile phone might soon get a little more complicated. According to leaked documents, the carrier plans to cut off subscribers who reach certain data limits while roaming, or using another carrier's network rather than T-Mobile wireless data service.

According to the reportedly official T-Mobile documents received by the TMoNews website, T-Mobile subscribers will have monthly "domestic off-network data roaming usage limits" proportional to their individual data plans. For example, customers on the 200MB monthly data plan will be allowed a roaming limit of 5MB—about 2.5 percent of their monthly allotment. For those on a 2GB plan, the roaming data cap is 10MB—half a percent of their total monthly plan's limit. What's more, wireless data roaming access will be cut off once the limit is reached. Says the document:

The allotment will be reset with each bill cycle. After the allotment is reached, the customer will no longer have data roaming access until they return to the T-Mobile network or connect via Wi-Fi if they have a Wi-Fi capable device.

The T-Mobile document is meant to inform employees of the changes, says such "domestic data roaming allotments are currently used across the wireless industry and are quite common with other carriers." And T-Mobile is adding these limits on data roaming "to continue providing competitive pricing options in the industry."

Prices for T-Mobile's monthly data plans aren't affected and the company advises its employees that "very few customers will use enough domestic data while roaming on other carriers' networks to be impacted."

Still, when the changes go into effect on April 5, T-Mobile will send text messages to customers when they reach both 80 and 100 percent of their domestic roaming data limits.

T-Mobile Changes To Domestic Data Roaming Detailed, Confirmed For April 5th [TmoNews]
T-Mobile to tighten the purse strings, limit data roaming starting April 5th [Engadget]
T-Mobile domestic data roaming limits start April 5 [Slash Gear]

Paul Eng

   

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