T-Mobile USA will start levying overage charges on its entry-level, $10-per-month 200 MB smartphone data plan, a T-Mobile spokeswoman confirmed to FierceWireless, a major switch from the carrier's current strategy of throttling the data speeds of its customers once they pass a usage threshold.
The spokeswoman said that starting Aug. 14, new customers who sign up for a 200 MB plan and then exceed that usage amount will incur overage charges of 10 cents per MB. There will be a maximum monthly charge of $40 for customers on both T-Mobile's Classic and its newer Value plans (that charge includes the cost of the original 200 MB plan), she said. Current customers on the 200 MB data plan won't be subject to the overage charges, and will continue have their data speeds throttled after they exceed their 200 MB cap.
Customers will receive a free text message from T-Mobile advising them they are nearing their monthly threshold at 90 percent, or 180 MB, of data in a given bill cycle, and will receive a similar message at the 200 MB threshold.
The blog TMoNews first reported the changes, citing an internal T-Mobile document. In the document, T-Mobile said that adoption of its 200 MB plan has exceeded expectations, and that it is making the changes in order to remain competitive.
T-Mobile first unveiled the 200 MB plan--along with additional data tiers and its throttling mechanism--in May. The company then unveiled cheaper postpaid Value plans in July that allow customers to either bring their existing device to the carrier or purchase a device in monthly installments. T-Mobile lost 281,000 net postpaid subscribers in the second quarter.
- see this TMoNews post
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Article updated Aug. 11 with confirmation from T-Mobile.