If you're using T-Mobile's network to torrent all seven seasons of The West Wing (remember kids, piracy is for jerks) or tethering like an absolute madman, don't be surprised if your data speeds start dipping dramatically over the next few weeks. According to a leaked internal memo (which T-Mobile has substantiated) data draining customers with one of the carrier's Unlimited 4G LTE plans -- like the $80 Simple Choice option -- will see their speeds throttled starting on August 17 if they don't change their network hammering ways. The only real consolation here is that T-Mobile won't spring this on you out of the blue. Before you start getting throttled, the carrier will contact you to give you a warning -- if you don't shape up, your LTE speeds will be cut down until your next billing cycle rolls around.
T-Mobile confirmed to us in an email that it indeed plans to start throttling certain unruly customers if need be, and they've already found a few poor souls to make its corporate displeasure known to. Take a gander at the carrier's official statement below:
As America's Un-carrier, we have broken the wireless industry rules to abolish numerous customer pain points and provide our customers with the fastest nationwide 4G LTE network. A very small number of our customers are misusing their Simple Choice Unlimited data service in violation of their rate plan and terms and conditions by bypassing the default tethering feature or engaging in peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing.
This type of usage can negatively impact our ability to offer affordable unlimited data. In order to protect all T-Mobile customers, we will be reaching out to these people to educate them on our terms and conditions of service, but if the misuse continues, they could have their data speeds reduced for the remainder of their billing cycle.