Breaking Down Your Data Usage, What Kind Of A User Are You?

With our recent findings of T-Mobile’s upcoming revamp to their rate plans some of you have expressed both frustration and confusion regarding data usage. We thought we would try and help you out with some acquired ninja shots. First we’ll help determine what category you fit in. As you can see there are four categories to consider yourself, the low user, average user, high user and heavy user.

  • Low user (200MB) someone who sometimes checks email, news and weather, posts infrequently to Facebook
  • Average user (2GB) someone who regularly checks email, posts to Facebook, sends some email attachments, downloads some music or games
  • High user (5GB) someone who frequently posts pictures or videos to Facebook, sends many emails with large attachments, downloads lots of music games and movies, uses online gaming and radio, video chat
  • Heavy user (10GB) someone who regularly posts pictures and video to Facebook, uses phone for tethering, online radio, online gaming and lots of downloads

Perhaps the most discussed topic of data usage on T-Mobile’s network is that of throttling when hitting the limit. Throttling is defined as a user’s speed being reduced once they’ve crossed the allotted threshold based on their chosen data plan. In other words if you’ve chosen 5GB worth of data as your monthly allotment and hit that limit, your speeds are reduced rather than charging you move for overage. It’s both a blessing in the sense that T-Mobile is helping you to avoid overage charges on data plans that can often reach into the hundreds if not thousands of dollars per month. On the other hand throttling speeds are super slow when compared to 4G speeds and can cause customer frustration until their billing cycle closes and a new data allowance is reset.

The above image gives a great snapshot of what data life is like when throttled. On high speed data sending an email can typically take anywhere between 2-6 seconds. When throttled the same email will take upwards of 30-40 seconds. The same goes for uploading a picture to Facebook, 25 seconds on high speed networks and 4 minutes when throttled.

There is a clear difference to be sure when a user is throttled but in the eyes of T-Mobile, throttling is a lot less stressful than a $400 bill for overage charges.

So what must one do in order to keep track of their data usage? Well the good news is T-Mobile provides a number of ways an individual can track their daily usage and see how close they are to their limit.

  • Dial #web# (#932) from your mobile device and click send, a text message will be sent to your device with data usage information
  • My Account app from your smartphone, go to My Activity
  • Web2Go click on My Accounts
  • Customer care, call customer care and say ‘data usage’ and follow the prompts
  • My T-Mobile, log into your My T-Mobile, go to 1) Manage Menu 2) click Billing and Payments to see unbilled usage 3) Click ‘See Activity Link’

 

 

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  • Anonymous

     Throttling beats overages and MORE tiered options beats LESS tiered options.  T-Mobile definitely will have the best options when it comes to data plans.  

    Finally I have a reason to completely revamp my family plan from 1800 MyFaves.

    Now where’s Hercules?

    • http://twitter.com/rdelar01 Roger de la Rosa

       I hear ya…I’ll be changing from my 1800 MyFaves Family Plan next month when I upgrade my phones.  Sensation/G2x here I come!

    • http://twitter.com/rdelar01 Roger de la Rosa

       I hear ya…I’ll be changing from my 1800 MyFaves Family Plan next month when I upgrade my phones.  Sensation/G2x here I come!

  • Guest

    Weird AT&T does this as well? Wat a coincidence

    • DIAMOND PRINCE

      AT&T doesnt throttle you acually pay for what you go over so no at&t doesnt offer the same!!! Tmobile is cheaper and better!!!

      • Mopar6464

        Until AT&T completes the Buy-Out and then tells you they don’t offer unlimited data and start charging you after you reach 2GB.

        • Anonymous

          Except that if you have a contract that says explicitly 2GB on 3G/4G then throttled afterwards they can’t charge you for going over. They will be required to respect all contracts if this deal goes through until they are up of course. If they charge you for overage you can legally break the contract with no penalty because they didn’t hold up to the agreement.

        • Mopar6464

          Yes you are correct.
          I was just pointing out that AT&T does’t have unlimited/throttled data plans and since they would have to honor your T-Mobile contract , they could’nt charge you extra afterwards once you hit the 2GB limit but i bet your data will be useless after that.
          I doubt AT&T will honor unlimted data after 2GB when they don’t offer it for their own customers.

        • Micksigler

          Actually they do not have to honor your rate per your contract. They can change it at anytime. The only caveat is that if they do change your rate to something different than what is specified on your contract, your are free to cancel your service with termination fees. This is true of all carriers, including your current agreement with T-Mobile.

        • Micksigler

          Without termination fees, sorry about that typo on a critical part of my post

        • Micksigler

          Without termination fees, sorry about that typo on a critical part of my post

        • Mopar6464

          That’s true and why AT&T will not let T-Mobile customers they assumed from the Buy-Out have unlimited data after the 2Gb cap.
          I believe they will just tell us if you don’t like AT&T data rules you can leave and go else where. All AT&T really want’s is the towers and radio bands. If they lose a few customers because of their data rules their not going to sweat it.
          Even Verizon is going to data cap plans this summer as well. So T-Mobile customers sucked into AT&T will have to play by their rules regardless.
           

        • Micksigler

          Actually they do not have to honor your rate per your contract. They can change it at anytime. The only caveat is that if they do change your rate to something different than what is specified on your contract, your are free to cancel your service with termination fees. This is true of all carriers, including your current agreement with T-Mobile.

      • Guest

        Ok.. But I’m just saying they got the same scale thingy on deciding your chosen plan..

        • http://profiles.google.com/brooklynboiz Jamille Browne

          no they really don’t they only allow users 2Gb’s at the most. 

        • Guest

          I’m not saying the same plan I’m just say the same strategy, for lack of a better word, to get customers their plan and I kno after you reach the limit they strt charging but I’m jus talking about the scale!!! Lolz I dnt kno how 2 explain any better so if you dnt get it ohwell

    • DIAMOND PRINCE

      AT&T doesnt throttle you acually pay for what you go over so no at&t doesnt offer the same!!! Tmobile is cheaper and better!!!

  • Guest

    Weird AT&T does this as well? Wat a coincidence

  • DIAMOND PRINCE

    I love it on data im going to save $40 then on plan $20. So thats $60 im saving on my bill I have 4 lines. So its awsome :D I love t-mobile

  • DIAMOND PRINCE

    I love it on data im going to save $40 then on plan $20. So thats $60 im saving on my bill I have 4 lines. So its awsome :D I love t-mobile

  • sniff

    So what would stop me from reducing my data plan to the lowest each month and just upgrading it as needed?

  • sniff

    So what would stop me from reducing my data plan to the lowest each month and just upgrading it as needed?

    • Anonymous

       Nothing would stop you from doing that from what I understand.  But I would like to know what this means “This premium smartphone requires a Web service” And “This standard smartphone requires a Web service”  What’s the difference if you can use either the 200MB plan or the 2/5GB plans?  What does one phone being “Premium” mean?

      • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

         Generally it depends on how “high end” the phone is, for example when we got new phones in November the G2 and MyTouch 4G were considered “Premium” while the Optimus T was not.

        • Anonymous

          But my question is what does the difference mean?

        • http://robert.aitchison.org raitchison

          I don’t see where it talks about “Premium” vs “Standard” in reference to these data plans.  As for why they have the differentiation I know when we got our phones we were unable to take advantage of the BOGO offer that was going on at the time because my wife’s new phone (MT4G) was a “Premium” smartphone and was only eligible for the BOGO if we got the $30/mo data plan for her.  If we wanted to get her an Optimus T, a “Standard” smartphone it would have been BOGO eligible with the $15//mo data plan.  I’m guessing the differentiation is there so they can put in place similar restrictions for future promotion.

        • Anonymous

           It doesnt talk about ”Premium” vs “Standard”.  I just decided to ask that question.  Ok the BOGO is a good example of the premium/standard but what about for everyday situations?  You know the ones that aren’t a BOGO situation?

          I’m not tryna be difficult FYI

        • http://profiles.google.com/brooklynboiz Jamille Browne

          I do believe premium refers to smartphone usage and standard(web2go, t-zones etc) refers to dumbphone data. In reality its all the same data but since you are more likely to use the data allotment with smartphones then you pay a premium cost  

        • Anonymous

           Nah that aint the case because if you browse TMO’s phones (lets say a Defy and a MT4G) the Defy is a “Standard Smartphone” while the MT4G is a “Premium Smartphone” and yet you can still choose whichever data tier you want.  I’m confused because I would assume that a “Premium Smartphone” would NOT be able to use a 200MB data plan on contract because that phone is considered a data hogger.  

          Nah mean?

  • Schippma

    I wonder if these plans will be compatible with legacy plans (Family Time and Get More)? Or will they force us to choose a new plan to take advantage of these new offerings? I hope we can keep our current voice plans and just add these new data options. I hope……

  • Anonymous

    I’m a heavy user

    • allcentury

      diet & exercise m8

  • http://www.facebook.com/marklenkner Mark J Lenkner

    The only thing I DONT like about it is how low the 1st tier is….why couldn’t it be 500MB/mo for the starter package?  After that watermark, the 2gb package costs an avg of $40.  The pricing structure is still slanted so that occasional users pay more per MB than phoniacs…

    • http://twitter.com/timzirkel timzirkel

       Because they don’t want people buying the low tier.  I’d bet there are a lot of people who typically use more than 200MB/mo but don’t often go over 500MB/mo.

      • Anonymous

        my phone dosent even have a data plan anymore i just use wifi….. wifi is everywhere lol  

    • http://twitter.com/PaulHarrisonPro Paul Harrison

      I think if you’re using less than 500Mb per month, the chances are strong that you’re not using anything high bandwidth, like, for example, video, in which case you’re not going to be overly bothered that your bandwidth is throttled after your first 200Mb.

      I suspect that’s the logic, anyway.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marklenkner Mark J Lenkner

    Another thing I’d like to see ANY cell provider do is provide free data bandwidth for “app updates”.  This would be great especially for those apps which seem to be updated twice a week! :)

  • http://twitter.com/DannOfThurs DannOfThurs

     Those #’s are identical to ATT’s logic. “85% of users….”

  • Cappy

    If I has tmo, I could use the 200mb one. Not because of how little I use, just it would take a month to rack up that amount thanks to gprs. Throttle me lower that 5KB/s?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Eric-Sjoberg/1277288865 Eric Sjoberg

    I use about 75MB of data a month because 95% of the time im connected to a WiFI network at home, work, etc 

    • Anonymous

      Thats the way to go. I was baffled at how my wifes usage was so much lower than mine and it’s because she always has wifi turned on. So when she gets home her phone just autoconnects. I just never worried about it.

    • Tortionist

      Way to go bro. That’s exactly what my wife and I do. We use wifi at home and wherever it’s available. we only use the data if we need to, which isn’t very often, so the 200 Megabyte plan is perfect for us. My 15 year old son has the cheap LG phone (non-android). He uses his phone for mainly texting and email. it’s funny cause my wife and I together use about 400 text messages a month, then there’s my son who uses 1600 text messages a month. Thank goodness for unlimited texts at $20 a month for the family. 

  • Porsche911

     Yah, cheaper data plans. I don’t want to pay 15 dollars when I can pay 10.

    • http://ashn.myopenid.com/ Ash

      Tell that to ATT & Verzion.

  • whosaidwhat

    Anyone know if the 2GB unlimited family shared data plan is 2GB for each line or 2GB for both lines?

    • http://twitter.com/jbjtkbw00 jbjtkbw00

       You can’t share data. You’d need it for each line on the account.

      • Respawn

        I get that question all the time. I don’t know of any company that has a family data plan for all lines so I don’t know where it comes from….

        • whosaidwhat

          As ridiculous as that question might sound, it really isn’t because of the way the carriers nickel and dime us for everything. They do charge us $15 to $25 just to tether the same unlimited (capped at 5GB) data we’ve already paid for our cell phones so a question like this is very valid.

  • http://cosmicbreeze.tumblr.com/ DtheArtist

    Average, just under 1GB. Well sometimes, I’ve gone to as much as a bit over 5GB’s before (I tethered, I didn’t think I was using that much, guess I did). The average-high though was 1.5GB’s. Right now it’s like 550MB, I believe that’s because I forget to turn my G2x on WiFi when I get home or be at home, sometimes.

  • AdrianMT4G

     Ok so now I’m lost. Since I’m on the 1500 minute promotional plan, which doesn’t exist anymore and throttles at 5GB, what would happen if I wanted to bump up to the 10GB? If I could recall, the text, minutes, and data was all included in this $80 plan. Would I have to change my plan all together?

    • keep it real

       yes

      • AdrianMT4G

         R u sure?

  • Ex-SKLX09 User

    Im still good with my unlimited, no throttle, “4g speeds” $20 data plan.

    • guest

       just so you know…you still get throttled with that data plan. It has a 5GB cap…you just never notice it b/c you probably don’t come close to that amount of usage

      • Ex-SKLX09 User

        or, its so old that there wasn’t such a thing as throttling before. i’ve used it enough before but never ran into any sort of issues, recently though i have been using wifi this year, so lately no i don’t get anywhere near the caps they are starting to introduce new plans on.

      • Ex-SKLX09 User

        or, its so old that there wasn’t such a thing as throttling before. i’ve used it enough before but never ran into any sort of issues, recently though i have been using wifi this year, so lately no i don’t get anywhere near the caps they are starting to introduce new plans on.

  • SirWilliam

    Wait soo if I have an iPhone and already only get EDGE speeds. I can get the smallest plan and just go over every month??

    • keep it real

       yup

      • SirWilliam

        Awesome!!

        • http://twitter.com/TechAce01 Antonio Cunningham

          sorry to dissapont you, but The trotted speeds are slower than edge (I’ve been throttled almost every month scene T-mobile dropped the Cap from 10Gbs to 5Gbs)

        • Anonymous

           While it may be true that the throttled 3G speeds can be slower than edge, it’s my understanding that edge isn’t throttled. While throttled, you might get faster speeds by switching your phone to 2G only mode. The iPhone is obviously a 2G only phone on T-Mobile so throttling shouldn’t affect it at all.

        • http://profiles.google.com/jjwagner33 J.J. Wagner

           It’s throttled in their system, not by the phone.  Last I checked, the throttled speeds are 100kbps,

        • http://profiles.google.com/jjwagner33 J.J. Wagner

           It’s throttled in their system, not by the phone.  Last I checked, the throttled speeds are 100kbps,

  • JG01

    I would like all those processes that run automatically in background on an android phone, to stop using my data plan without my permission unless I allow it. This will reduce unwanted data usage and allow me to use my data plan for what I want. I am not in to paying for Google and it’s partners to collect information about me without me knowing.

    • Richardthegrape

      Go to your phone settings and disable them yo, simple as that!

      • http://profiles.google.com/jjwagner33 J.J. Wagner

         Actually, the easiest thing to do is turn off auto synching, which would make the apps not update unless you manually updated or if the app is set to update when you open it.  It’s not rocket science.

      • http://profiles.google.com/jjwagner33 J.J. Wagner

         Actually, the easiest thing to do is turn off auto synching, which would make the apps not update unless you manually updated or if the app is set to update when you open it.  It’s not rocket science.

    • Anonymous

      Without you knowing? Seriously? All apps have the permissions you grant them clearly outlined when you install. So only you have you to blame. Also you can turn off Google “tracking” you as soon as you get the phone. It’s literally something you agree to before you see your first home screen.

  • TMoFan

    I’m mostly blanketed with wifi so I use that almost exclusively. Actually if T-Mobile never offered their 200mb plan I would never have my G2 because I can’t justify spending $30 when I’m just going to use wifi anyways.

    I do use my data though and for general surfing with no youtube and streaming I average anywhere from 150 to 200mb. I know I’m in the minority but I’m glad there’s tiered data for those of us who don’t use as much and use wifi.

    And T-Mobile 4G is pretty solid where I am. I average 2-3mbps and I don’t get EDGE as much as I use to.

    • MoTfan

       Yeah, but wifi kills the battery, so are you using wifi at work and plugged into the charger??  That’s a bit of a drag, isn’t it?

      • Guest

         I use wifi on my G2X at work for 12-14 hours straight with a couple hours of it searching but not connected and still have ~25% left at the end of the day. I just condition my battery & don’t leave it plugged in for 8 hours a night or recharge it when it’s at 80% already, so yeah it depends on your phone but if you take care of the battery wifi is a legitimate option.

      • Anonymous

         I’m on WiFi 90% of the day and (with WiFi calling enabled), and I’d stay around 90% battery life left with CM7 nightly #77.  WiFi actually SAVES battery because it prevents battery-draining cell-tower hunting.

        I only charge in the car or when sleeping.

      • Anonymous

        Wifi does not kill the battery. It’s a big misconception that got spread around somehow. What does kill the battery is having wifi on while not connected to wifi. Then the radio used for wifi is constantly searching and draining your battery.

        • http://twitter.com/shipman jon shipman

          Only when the screen is on 

      • TMoFan

        In my case after all day wifi use between work and home I’m usually down to 15/20 percent. I always turn off wifi and gps when I’m not using them and I keep the brightness on a medium setting.

  • Jdmap1

    what happens to my existing $20 “android data plan”? Is that going to be umlimited 3G? Or I am force to pick one of those?

    • Anonymous

      I wish I still had my unlimited web and text for 25 from when I got the MyTouch 3G 2ish years ago 

    • guest

      you get to keep it b/c it is “grandfathered” and it still has the 5GB cap before it gets throttled 

  • TheAnalyst

    I’m just hoping to keep my $20 loyalty unlimited android plan.  No changes for me please.

  • Anonymous

    Sprint looks so good right now. Same prices but actually UNLIMITED data.
    They make the family plans cheaper, but the “add line” is back up to $10 from $5. They never make anything cheaper without a catch.

    • Guest-O-Matic

       Hey JackWagon… Pulled this straight from the Sprint site…

      “Voice/Data Usage Limitation: Sprint reserves the right, without notice, to limit throughput speeds, and to deny, terminate, modify, disconnect or suspend service if off-network usage in a month exceeds: (1) voice: 800 min. or a majority of minutes; or (2) data: 300 megabytes or a majority of kilobytes. Prohibited network use rules apply. See in-store materials or sprint.com/termsandconditions for specific prohibited uses.”

      I would rather pay for 2Gb and get throttled at 2GB then pay for unlimited and get throttled at 300Mb

      • http://twitter.com/KunningLingwist glen greezy

        300megabytes of ROAMING data… we should read things thoroughly

        • http://twitter.com/shipman jon shipman

          Isn’t Sprint like 90% roaming though? 

        • http://profiles.google.com/jjwagner33 J.J. Wagner

           Also, don’t they charge you an extra $10 to have 4G?  Don’t get caught tethering with them because their tethering plan is another $30 on top of your data plan, plus the $10 on top of that if you have a 4G phone(even if you’re not in a 4G area).

    • guest

       You are dumb…you might want to check the fine print over at sprints unlimited data plan before posting a comment like that

    • Anonymous

      Beware it applies only to 4G.
      Try to run slingplayer over 3G for extended time and see what happens.

  • Carmen Diva

     I’m definitely a low user

    I had the 200 MB plan and I used like 18 MB my last month with t-mobile.
    I don’t care about edge, 3g, 4g,  data caps or being on edge….My college and my
    home have wi-fi and I use that 97% of the time.

    • VinylDestination555

      Very good. You deserve a golden star…

      • Carmen Diva

        Aww, cute…you made a funny
        GOOD FOR YOU SWEETIE! 

        • Bememt96

          You’re really pretty sweetheart. :)

  • Jbertran72

    How about a family data plan? My wife and I have smartphones and it cost us a lot of money a month. A shared family data plan would be great. I believe Verizon is rolling out there family data plan in the near future.

    • Anonymous

      I am looking into a family data plan as well, and in my research, I have learned that there are a lot of options for us at T-mobile.  The biggest difference is in amount of data needed.  The good news is both lines get the total amount of data you pay for, and you do not “share” the data.  Both lines get 2GB or 5GB or whatever you choose.  The next big question for you (and me) is 1000 shared minutes or unlimited…This is a great deal that I don’t think I can pass on UNLESS Verizon does better with their tiered data.  Somehow, I am doubting it.

  • matt

    i’m thinking about getting a data plan, but i’m not sure which i would need if i use my phone for wifi calling (i live in a basement apartment).  what would you guys recommend? 

    • http://twitter.com/shipman jon shipman

      Wifi calling… are you serious? Tell me this, when you buy bottled water from WalMart do you report this to your Water utility so they can charge you?

      Wifi data over your router is something YOU’RE ALREADY PAYING FOR through your telco/cableco.
      Wifi calling works WITHOUT A DATA PLAN. 

      • matt

        yeah, i guess i didn’t think that all the way through.  and i would never buy my water at wal-mart. 

  • Anonymous

    I usually use up to 3-4GB because I play a lot of internet radios over 3G/4G.
    Clearwire has unlimited 4G, but the coverage is not consistent (not good on driving/train/bus).

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GRIFVUHCR7SCF2J4ACDIVSVGJM Hilton T.Y

    I don’t get it.  I go to the My Account app and I’m at 2.74GB (only took two weeks to get there…yay!) and no text alert saying I’m getting throttled.  As a matter of fact it seemed to be running at 4G earlier today when I was in a 4G area.

    • http://twitter.com/shipman jon shipman

      I’m assuming you’re still on the default 5GB plan. 

    • Dimartini72

      They trottle back at 5GB so watch your usage 

  • xnifex

    the #web# doesn’t work for me.

  • Brian

     Throttled data and high frequency for poor building penetration.  No thanks.

  • Weasel

    #web# no worky for me either.  

  • Weasel

    #web# no worky for me either.  

  • Biggbrother

    #web# doesn’t work for me. I have “unlimited” web ($35) with loyalty plan. Btw.. I thought web was reduced to $30?

    • Dimartini72

      I have the same plan and at 5GB they send you a text letting you know they are throttling back your speed. It happend to me for the first time yesterday. Yes you get unlimited data but the speed gets reduced at 5GB. Thank God I only have a week left in my billing cycle 

  • http://profiles.google.com/s10shane Shane Stenson

     when does these data plans start for tmobile? i havent seen any of these at all..

  • Charly1179

    I have a unlimited data plan ..so will I get charged more for using AP…on my Phone

  • Charly1179

    I have an unlimited data plan But I use ap on my phone for wifi to connect my iphone . Will I get charged more for using that.

  • http://twitter.com/NickMiller1218 Nick Miller

     This has to be the most creative idea of data plans i have ever seen. You can either live with the slower speeds, or upgrade to the new plan. no overages??!!!! Maybe others will adapt?

  • Anonymous

    i avg about 3 gb monthly

  • Tlaloc_sun

    Is a grandfathered Unlimited T-Zone truly unlimited. To they throttle down?  Is it 3G?

  • Tlaloc_sun

    Is a grandfathered Unlimited T-Zone truly unlimited. To they throttle down?  Is it 3G?

  • Tlaloc_sun

    Is a grandfathered Unlimited T-Zone truly unlimited. To they throttle down?  Is it 3G?

  • http://twitter.com/WillieFDiazSF William Diaz ✔

    “85% of T-Mobile customers, even on Smartphones, use less than 2GB of data per month” If only 15% use more than 2GB, then why is there even throttling happening? Why not just have an “Unlimited” plan with 5GB and pay per GB there after like $5.00 or $10.00 for full-speed data? Why not offer an “Unlimited” 10GB plan with throttle after that 10GB without extra per GB charges? Better yet, why not have TRUE tiered data. Everyone has “Unlimited” data, starting at 2GB included in the price of $20, 5GB for $30 and 10GB for $50. If you go over your 2GB, automatically move to the 5GB plan and pay additional $10 (the price difference), go over 5GB then you move to the 10GB plan for $20 more (the compounding price difference applies). After 10GB data speeds are reduced to 256kbps – 1mbps depending on network congestion and area.

    • Candyman3937

      I agree what you said. That’s crazy