T-Mobile to throttle data plans after 5GB

For cell carriers, the struggle continues to find a business model that balances rapid growth in mobile Web access with the demand for affordable service contracts. Earlier this week Canadian carrier Rogers was reported to be considering a flat-rate data plan that customers could use with multiple Internet-connected devices. And Tuesday T-Mobile announced it would drop overage charges on its unlimited data plan, but will restrict some services for those who exceed the 5GB limit.

Jim Evans reports that T-Mobile's "throttling" will allow e-mail and Web access to continue after the customer hits her 5GB monthly plan limit, but high-bandwidth services such as streaming video will be limited. Evans notes that Sprint has no overage changes in its new 4G Overdrive service, but does on the 3G version.

"I’m hopeful that as T-Mobile and Sprint both play with their plans, and AT&T gets into a new offering with the iPad 3G, that maybe we'll finally see an elimination of the overage fee and true all-you-can-eat bandwidth plans. After all, for almost $70 a month to Sprint and others, you'd think that instead of a 5GB limit, it would be all you can eat, especially when you compare that monthly fee to the one that most people pay for all-you-can-eat cable-based Internet access."


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