T-Mobile is about to end one of their unlimited perks that have been a praised feature of their One and One Plus plans. Beginning in November (12th) they will no longer be offering unlimited high speed LTE data for customers roaming around in Mexico and Canada.
Normally this data would be considered part of their now 50GB limit (recently increased from 32GB) before they begin throttling the connection to lower speeds. Now T-Mobile customers will be limited to just 5GB of bandwidth while traveling beyond these borders, significantly decreasing their access in these regions. Once the 5GB has been used up, connections will be heavily throttled to between 128Kb to 256Kb depending on which of the two plans they have. So you will either be forced to upgrade to a different plan or package add-on if you travel frequently and foresee using up your data, or you will instantly re-live 2004 data experiences.
T-Mobile states that there are very few customers who travel to Mexico and Canada that use more than 5GB of data, therefore this wouldn’t affect the 99%. However it can be argued that if this is the case, why go out of your way to change something that looks good on paper. Even if they don’t take full advantage of it, a good perk is still a good perk, and helps add to customer satisfaction.
Throughout the length of your plan with a mobile carrier you will constantly see things come and go. Usually go more than come since companies love to tighten corners to increase profits (ie, Unlimited is never really unlimited). It seems that everything awesome comes to an end eventually as awesome isn’t profitable.
Hopefully this isn’t a growing concern about the stability and resources of the network as they continue to move toward new changes through the end of the year, including the roll out of their recently acquired 600 MHz spectrum and continuously push to achieve bragging rights as having the fastest network compared to Verizon (their words, not ours).
I sometimes look back on previous experiences with mobile carriers throughout time and it usually ends with missing the days of Cingular Wireless (before AT&T took them back over) where everything seemed to be “awesome”. The price was right, the network was always improving and I never had the issues experienced with other networks (usually). On top of that, their customer service was fantastic. Now it seems to be a battle of far too expensive vs. a much better price in exchange for the “maybe it will work, maybe it won’t” experience.
If T-Mobile could focus on the affordable pricing mixed with providing a handful of useful features and a network with fewer gaps all over, they could easily become the next Cingular when it comes to reputation/quality. They already have the customer service since you don’t have to wait on hold for an hour to speak with something. So hopefully combining with Sprint might actually help to push them in the right direction to achieve this image they think they have. Mostly because I personally would love to see another company pushing to confront the norms of driving prices up while cutting back everywhere possible.