Instead will throttle back your speed should you exceed 5 GB a month...
We're entering an era where wireless giants like AT&T and Verizon are making it very clear that they're considering new broadband pricing systems that -- however altruistically
they're portrayed by these carriers -- winds up with you paying more money for data
through more heavily monetized consumption (AKA more caps, and higher pricing per bit). The shift toward more expensive data overages is designed to offset potential voice and SMS revenue losses in the face of smartphones and mobile networks.
That's why it's very interesting to see T-Mobile this week announce that they were going the other direction
-- and will be removing overages for many mobile laptop users.
Previously, T-Mobile laptop card customers who crossed the 5GB threshold faced $0.20/MB overages. Now -- apparently in the hopes of luring in customers terrified or confused by overages -- the company says they're simply going to be throttling users who cross that 5 GB threshold. From T-Mobile's terms of service
To provide a good experience for the majority of our customers and minimize capacity issues and degradation in network performance, we may take measures including temporarily reducing data throughput for a subset of customers who use a disproportionate amount of bandwidth; if your total usage exceeds 5GB (amount is subject to change; please periodically check T-Mobile.com for updates) during a billing cycle, we may reduce your data speed for the remainder of that billing cycle.
The company isn't saying precisely what speed users are being throttled back to -- though perhaps heavy resident T-Mobile users can run a few tests and let us know in the comment section below. Note that users on T-Mobile's 200MB per month plan (now $20 a month) still have to pay overages, though the overage penalty has been reduced from twenty to ten cents per MB.