T-Mobile USA is going to start strongly encouraging its customers that use the most bandwidth to use less. This move will not affect average users.
Starting later this week, the carrier will start notifying users who transfer over 5 GB of data in a single month that their service is being slowed down. The user in question will receive an SMS message notifying them that their connection speed has been throttled down. Exactly how slow it will go will depend on the device being used.
Data transfer speeds will return to normal at the beginning of the next billing cycle.
How Much is 5 GB?
It will be difficult for the average T-Mobile customer to reach the 5 GB cap. For example, it would require downloading an average web page 125,000 times during the month, or over 4,000 pages a day.
Users who will run into this cap are ones who extensively use video or music streaming services. Another group likely to be affected is those who use tethering their phone as their primary way of getting Internet access for their laptop.
T-Mobile says that less than 1% of its customers will run into this cap.
T-Mobile is not the first wireless carrier to put policies in place to deal with the small minority of customers who use far more than the average amount of data.
The most extreme example is AT&T, who has dropped its unlimited data plan and replaced it with one that gives customers 2 GB of data transfers a month, and charges users extra if they go over this limit.