T-Mobile has confirmed that it will be increasing the deprioiritization threshold for its T-Mobile ONE™ plans from 32GB to 50GB on September 20th. This means that, every billing cycle, T-Mobile ONE™ customers will be guaranteed to have at least the first 50GB of their data usage for each device on their plan be unimpeded before they may experience slower speeds due to having their network traffic deprioritized relative to other customers’ devices which have not yet reached the 50GB threshold.
Already the leader amongst the “big four” carriers in this regard, T-Mobile’s latest move makes their potential-slow-down threshold more than double that of their competitors. Sprint’s Unlimited Freedom plan currently has a 23GB threshold, while similar Verizon and AT&T plans set theirs at 22GB.
How much is 50GB in practical terms? To put it in perspective, an hour of Netflix video streaming uses about 1GB of data in standard definition and 3GB of data in high definition. So it’s going to take about 50 hours of standard definition viewing or 17 hours of high definition viewing on Netflix before you potentially experience slower speeds. Other streaming services use different video compression techniques, so those times aren’t universal, but they should give you a ballpark idea of what to expect.
Something else to consider is that, as cell phone plans such as T-Mobile ONE™ become more generous, it can become increasingly feasible to downgrade your dedicated home Internet service to a less expensive plan or perhaps drop it altogether. It can even make economic sense to upgrade your cell phone plan if it enables you to reduce or eliminate your home Internet bill.
If you’re contemplating a switch, you can use our cell phone plan calculator tool to compare carriers’ offerings for your usage.