T-Mobile USA closes data plan loophole

Reports about trouble with T-Mobile USA's data service had crept up within the blogosphere last week, but we suspected something bigger was going on: Sure enough: "I spoke with T-Mobile tech support and they confirmed they made security updates to their network and that feature codes (SOCKS) were changed as part of that upgrade. She was able to reset my account (T-Mobile Internet) remotely and told me it would take up to 48 hours for the change to take affect. She admitted that the 'security updates' were to prevent unauthorized data connections and that they had knocked customers off the grid. She also stated that tech support intervention is required for existing customers to get this resolved on a customer by customer basis."

T-Mobile USA has two popular mobile Internet packages: one for $5 a month, which more or less gives you access to the carrier's WAP deck and their email client, and a $20 a month package that gives the user greater access ("unlimited") to the Internet through a mobile browser. T-Mobile USA just figured out that many $5 a month subscribers had found a way to access the "full" Internet, even though they were on the limited plan. The latest update seems to have fixed this loophole and took a few legitimate "unlimited" $20 a month subscribers down temporarily as well. By most accounts this morning, it sounds like most subscribers have regained their rightful service.

For more on T-Mobile's loophole:
- see the original report from JKontheRun
- and the follow-up discussion over at SmartphoneThoughts