New Binge On report shows more video consumption without increased T-Mobile network load

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Consulting firm P3 Group today released a report on Binge On that is the result many weeks of observing the usage of 1,000 T-Mobile customers. These users installed an app from P3 that measured their smartphone usage, including data speeds.

During its study, P3 Group found that with Binge On, the bandwidth allotted to video content — streamed or downloaded — was around 1.5Mbps, echoing the findings of the EFF. However, P3 says that apart from net neutrality concerns, the bandwidth limitation actually has positive effects. With Binge On, customers spend more time watching more video, video services get more content in front of users, and T-Mobile attracts customers and can better fight network congestion, says P3.

The P3 Group’s study measured the amount of data used by particular apps before and after Binge On’s introduction. With Binge On enabled, P3 found that the average amount of data used for each YouTube and Netflix session fell quite a bit, but that Hulu usage went up so much that the average session actually used more data with Binge On. However, Hulu uses quite a bit less data than Netflix. P3 also found that T-Mobile customers launched YouTube and Hulu more with Binge On, but that they launched Netflix about as often as before. Once in the app, though, the average time that consumers used the apps increased across the board.

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P3 Group also took a look at other apps that are affected by Binge On. For example, social media apps that offer video in addition to text and images — like Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr — saw their average throughputs cut by Binge on as well. The same thing happened with several Android browsers and even games. With games, though, it’s likely that only the video ads were affected by Binge On, not the performance of the game itself.

In the end, P3 Group found that Binge On enabled its users to use watch video more often and for longer stretches of time. Meanwhile, Binge On has enabled T-Mobile to stream more video to its users without increasing the load on its network, and actually decreasing the load in some instances. During the pre-Binge On portion of the study, the users consumed an average of 83MB per sessions across Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, but that number fell to 72MB with Binge On enabled.

While today’s P3 Group report does reinforce the EFF’s previous study that showed that Binge On limited throughput speeds for video to around 1.5Mbps, it also shows that the service appears to be doing what T-Mobile wants. That is, enabling customers to stream more video while minimizing the impact on T-Mobile’s network. T-Mo has to be satisfied with the results of this report, especially with all of the controversy surrounding Binge On lately. There are still criticisms about Binge On and whether it should be opt-in or opt-out, though. We’ll have to wait and see if T-Mobile has another response to those criticisms or if they’ll leave it at John Legere’s open letter.

Via: PCMag
Source: P3 Group

Tags: , ,

  • Fabian Cortez

    There’s no surprise with these findings as this is exactly what the program was intended to do.

    I expect data usage and congestion to decrease as the program progresses.

  • Chris

    statistics statistics lol…

    It’s that one thing in math where you can interpret it in so many ways and can argue both sides.

    • John Doe

      The report was made from a 1000 customers that opted into the program LoL it is not very scientific. The only company that can provide the correct statistics is T-Mobile.

      • PBL

        This is really bothering you.. Is it just the fact that they Opted you in? What would of made this study more scientific?

        • John Doe

          It is not scientific because it only observed a 1000 customers out of 63 million and it was from users that already knew about Binge On so of course they watched more videos. Only T-Mobile can accurately show how Binge On is affecting their 63 million customers and how many opted-out.

        • PBL

          I agree 1000 people is a smaller number in comparison to their overall users. When T-Mobile announces their results, how is that going to be any different? They are going to say, more videos and less data, and X amount of people opted out. Everything is going to be positive. At the end of the day, the users that want it disabled have the option to do so, and the users that save on data get more bang for their buck.

        • John Doe

          Yeah but all of that does not matter if it throttles and breaks the law.

        • PBL

          Not being able to roam in the US but being able to have unlimited roaming in 140+ international countries should be against the law. Not optimizing video streaming

        • John Doe

          Unfortunately roaming is a much more complex issue here in the US unlike in Europe and all the FCC can do is force carriers to some sort of roaming agreements when they buy spectrum.

        • calvin35

          T-Mobile will never say how many people opted out, that would just reinforce what do many here are saying.

      • frankinnoho

        So, what you’re saying is you don’t have a clue as to what statistical analysis and sampling are all about.

        • John Doe

          1000 out of 63 million is not an accurate statistical analysis and the people that were part of it already knew about binge on and agreed to join the study.

  • John Doe

    While today’s P3 Group report does reinforce the EFF’s previous study that showed that Binge On limited throughput speeds for video to around 1.5Mbps, it also shows that the service appears to be doing what T-Mobile wants.

    So…THROTTLING without explicit customer consent. That is good to know.

    Funny thing is that T-Mobile still hasn’t come out and said that they throttle videos to 1.5Mbps even after all this mounting evidence. Quite disappointing actually.

  • Jose Mendoza

    People and companies complain about it and say it is throttling, but people thought that T-Mobile was going to offer BingeOn without a quality restriction, but some videos on YouTube are 4k and some devices support it. So if you think about it, if a cellular network simply can’t support that type of traffic which is why it has to be DVD Quality. And to people ranting about throttling, T-Mobile only had BingeOn automatically enabled because some people know absolutely nothing about how to use the UnCarrier services which is why it is enabled without consent, and the term throttling and limiting is two different terms. Throttling occurs when a person goes over their data bucket on their plan and gets downgraded to a capped speed. Limiting happens when specific traffic is throttled, but doesn’t affect everything. Prioritizing is basically when the carrier uses Qos to give customers that heavily use the network (I.e. Unlimited Plan, prioritized after 21gb) less priority than the lighter data users.

    • John Doe

      If a network can’t support this type of traffic then they can put a speed limit on the entire network which is perfectly legal and follows the rules like when you buy broadband you can choose from different speeds.

      • PBL

        So what do you think they should do instead? Discontinue BingeOn? Reverting everyone will definitely have an impact on the network. T-Mobile is trying to get more spectrum but its not going to happen overnight.

        • John Doe

          They already raised prices they can have speed tiers so 5Mbps,20,50, etc. also they can end programs like music freedom. Besides T-Mobile’s network was fine before binge on and it is the same now (at least for me). And there are other ways to get spectrum like merging with another company like dish that has plenty of it.

        • Kim

          They can end all un carrier move and just be a carrier. Charge for every speed and gigs consumers use and everyone will be happy. It sounded like that is what you wanted. If they were ok before binge on then they don’t really need binge on to save bandwidth. I really wonder how much data does it save. Unlimited users are usually more tech savy and will turn it off and more limited user will jump on video. May be turning off music freedom will probably save more bandwidth. Thanks for your suggestion but it seems like Verizon is a better fit for you because they have everything you asked for but just more expensive which you are kind of suggesting T-Mobile to do anyways.

        • John Doe

          All of that still does not change the fact that T-Mobile is breaking the law by throttling video services even if I do switch to Verizon (which is highly unlikely I’d rather go to google fi) they would still be breaking the law and I would still have a problem with it because this is just not about me as a T-Mobile customer but as how it will effect the entire industry.

        • Guest

          Now you pulling the same trick distract with another subject. In fact they didn’t break the law just offer in a rather grey area then is why it is offer as an option unlike music freedom. If they break the law they will get punish and do feel free to sue them. Instead of just whining this and stir up stuff. It is like torrent they offer with disclaimers. But, indeed many are benefitting from it and you have the option. If anything try deal with them directly and if they can’t work with you then maybe you should switch. Bedside that you can’t do much about it and complaining here doesn’t help. Especially, when I see it is like 50/50 for and against here.

        • John Doe

          Now you pulling the same trick distract with another subject.

          The subject here is Binge On Lmao

          In fact they didn’t break the law just offer in a rather grey area then is why it is offer as an option unlike music freedom.

          Music freedom does not throttle music services but Binge On does which makes it illegal and only the FCC can enforce its own rules and they will but they take time.

          If anything try deal with them directly and if they can’t work with you then maybe you should switch. Bedside that you can’t do much about it and complaining here doesn’t help.

          Like I said above this is not just about me this is about the entire industry and the Net Neutrality laws it does not matter which carrier you are with this has negative effects on the industry we are already seeing rumors of verizon and at&t doing the same.

        • Guest

          But many are not arguing about the legal aspect, rather the fact they getting throttle without consent. I not saying if it is legal or not but what you just say is like I dont care what you say it is illegal period. I think it is relatively grey rather than illegal because it is an option. If other are trying to copy than it is probably not illegal.

        • frankinnoho

          Just because you throw in a Lmao every once in a while doesn’t mean you aren’t a Sprint troll. Have you all seen the number of post this guy has on every Binge On story? The only reason to devote this much time to something is money… and since this is Saturday he must be on time and a half!

        • John Doe

          I wish I was getting paid lmaoo

        • frankinnoho

          So, not a paid shill, then. Just a troll. Got it!

        • John Doe

          Whatever, I don’t care what you think I am but insults will get you no where.

        • John Doe

          You should also look up what a troll is.

        • Steve

          The network wasn’t fine though Jon. As a Tmobile tech care employee the amount of data prioritization accounts has drastically dropped.

      • Guest 2

        As of today Simply Prepaid is limited to 8Mbps. They can do something similar with a new Plan. Make it unlimited but at a speed of 1.5 Mbps, all for $50, they can watch all they want, day or night… one single plan to rule them all.

        • John Doe

          They can a lot of people don’t need/want 100Mbps. The next transition is to a speed tier one.

        • Guest 2

          But I think the carriers don’t like competing that way or by who gives more gigs for how much money. I think they prefer competing by who gives more “free” services. That’s why this is a slippery slope not just against net neutrality but against real choices.

  • Matt

    You know what? This whole argument makes a mountain out of a relative mole hill. I like being able to watch unlimited Netflix, Hulu, etc.

    • John Doe

      Great then go and turn it on but do not turn it on by default for 63 million customers without explicit consent.

      • maximus1901

        They did it bc it helps TMO by reducing network load.

        • John Doe

          That is not a good enough reason and if that is truly the reason why then they should say that and be more transparent about it. They could have made it opt-in and advertised it better so more and more customers would join.

        • maximus1901

          Wahhhhhhh.
          It helps TMO. It helps you.

        • Guest 2

          Correction:
          1. It helps T-Mobile a lot.
          2. It may help some costumers, it will fool others and it will harm others in one way or another.
          3. It will help some (established) video providers, it will harm others, especially small video providers that don’t have the resources and capabilities of Hulus and Netflixes to adjust their services to throttles.
          You guys need to read the EFF report, and I also recommend you Sacha Segan’s opinion article at PC Mag.

        • jo

          But that wouldn’t make the shareholders happy, T-Mobile’s real customers.

        • Phone Guy

          No. Opt in would not work.

        • Guest 2

          That’s not our problem.

        • frankinnoho

          No, it is not… you job is just to stir up shit.

        • John Doe

          Everyone who disagrees with binge on is apparently hired to write bad comments about it in your mind.

        • frankinnoho

          Absolutely not. Just the ones who show up on a Tmo news site to spread excessive FUD.

        • John Doe

          But everything I said is true and many of the complaints are valid but you seem to believe that they are paid to write them. You are delusional.

        • John Doe

          Yes it will if the program is as consumer friendly as it is advertised to be and presents many benefits to the customer as it is advertised to be then the customers that want it will opt-in especially if they run out of data and want to watch Netflix, Hulu, or whatever partner with Binge On. It is not that hard to advertise just send a costumer that runs out of data a text that says you can “stretch out your data” sign up to Binge On.

        • frankinnoho

          No it won’t… people never read the frakking manual…. ever… they just hear “free video” and off they go.

        • John Doe

          what manual? WTF?

        • frankinnoho

          Don’t you mean “what manual? WTF? Lmoa”? You forgot the lmao… Remember, always add lmao because it makes you look less like a troll

        • John Doe

          because what you are currently doing is not trollish at all /s and you should look up what lmao means.

        • frankinnoho

          As of 9:34 PM Pacific Time, there are 110 comments to this post, 28 of which are yours. All of which are negative postings to the subject matter. Therefore, if ‘trolling’ can be defined as the excessive expression of negative or contrarian ideas or beliefs, I would have to defer to you.

          EDIT:
          Oh, almost forgot… Lmao

        • John Doe

          No that is not the definition of trolling lmao

          But thanks for stalking my habitats online and replying to everyone of my post to call me a troll and a paid shill because that is not trolling lmao

          Oh one more thing… Lmao.

      • Phone Guy

        Wrong. Turn it on, and let those who don’t want it turn it off. You see, John, if you turn it on, 95% won’t even notice the difference or loss of bandwidth. But if you do it the other way, most people will be too afraid or confused to try it. So since probably 99% of the public out there (who are not on these boards) have no clue, its better to turn it on for everyone, and let the 1-5% of the techno nerds (all of us on here) just turn it off. They turned on the unlimited music with lower quality and nobody complained. Oh, and one more thing. T-Mobile does not need your explicit consent for anything. They can legally (read your contract) drop you at any time they feel like it. They don’t need to call John Doe and get his permission to change the service. But they do give you the right to drop it whenever you want.

        • John Doe

          But if you do it the other way, most people will be too afraid or confused to try it.

          That doesn’t even make sense if it is advertised properly and T-Mobile told them they can watch videos for free then people not on unlimited plan would sign up for it especially if they run out of data.

          They turned on the unlimited music with lower quality and nobody complained

          No Music freedom does not throttle or change the quality in anyway.

          T-Mobile does not need your explicit consent for anything.

          They definitely need my consent to sign me up for service and to finance phones. You have to agree to the ToS agreement and if there are any changes in that agreement then they must alert the user. And this is not about what it says in the agreement this is about doing the right thing as a company that prides it self for listening to its customers and being on their side because if that is not true then T-Mobile and John legere need to stop advertising themselves as the white knights that get rid of our “pain points” and will save us from the duopoly when they are doing the same things.

        • StevenM

          Exactly. My wife still hasn’t noticed a difference and her data consumption is down 8+gb per month since binge on started. Multiply that by the number of people who watch videos for the content instead of counting pixels and the network load is greatly reduced.

        • frankinnoho

          Haha… watch videos for the content instead of counting pixels! Brilliant!

    • PBL

      Agreed!

  • John Doe

    Okay but that does not make what I said any less true.

    • PBL

      It is doing as they said and is optimizing the videos… 480 doesn’t use as much data as 720+ so therefore reducing the bandwidth is one of the ways its optimizing. Everything else is still in tact. I highly doubt that many would of Opted in, this gives the chance to try both and make up their mind.

      • John Doe

        Okay so it is reducing bandwidth. In other words or one word actually they are throttling which is against the rules.

        • PBL

          They are not blocking anything, all they are doing is giving the user a more reliable connection. I have unlimited and BingeOn enabled, ZERO issues. My data went from 20 GB to 12GB and the videos weren’t buffering like before.

        • John Doe

          Throttling is not blocking. Throttling is slowing down of speeds by putting a limit on bandwidth.

        • PBL

          So its wrong for them to slow you down once you reach your data allotment? or how about when the network is congested and data speeds are reduced? Does that qualify for an FCC Complaint?

        • kgraham182

          Would you rather 5 minute clips downloading in 4 minutes or 30 seconds. Cause with BingeON that’s what happening, leading to poorer battery life as well.

        • PBL

          In your situation BingeOn didn’t work for you. Did you disable it? if so how much effort did it take?

        • John Doe

          Those are permitted by the Net Neutrality rules. That is fine, it actually includes exceptions for those if you read it. But throttling is not; especially when it singles out specific services like video or a specific app/website like Facebook. Blocking, Throttling, and Paid prioritization are all banned that is why T-Mobile does not want to use the term Throttling.

        • PBL

          When they first announced this, they made it clear it was for 480 quality. If 480 quality doesn’t require as much data, then whats the issue with optimizing that streams bandwidth to something more conservative? Its in the best interest of all users to at least try it. You have choices!

        • John Doe

          Because optimizing is not the same as throttling. Optimizing means that T-Mobile selected a lower resolution of the video and sent it to the user but that is not what T-Mobile is doing they is throttling by placing a 1.5Mbps cap on videos.

        • Guest 2

          Yeah, that’s why many people are having problems with YouTube videos. T-Mobile just throttles and hope the video provider adjust properly, if not screw them. Now can you imagine with video providers that don’t have the capabilities and resources of Hulu and Netflix or a parent company like Google to fight for them.

        • calvin35

          That’s you. A can watch 1440p videos regularly with no buffering.

        • PBL

          If you prefer to watch your movies in 1440p then all you have to do is disable it. No one is forcing you to keep it enabled, nor are they restricting you and making you leave it for x amount of days.

          I have older family members that would of never enabled it if it was opt in. They watch a few videos here and there and are consistently hit the allotted HS data. Doesn’t it make more sense for everyone to try it? Isn’t Wi-Fi calling automatically enabled on all new devices? It’s the same concept, giving the user a more reliable experience.

        • kgraham182

          A more reliable connection will be added more towers to deal with the 3rd place congestion. Good luck reaching 2nd John, without any new towers.

        • PBL

          I totally agree more towers and spectrum are needed, but this giving all users the opportunity to keep more data. Even VzW’s network cant handle all that video usage at once.

        • John Doe

          T-Mobile is actually selling its towers and then leasing them from the buyers.

      • calvin35

        T-Mobile didn’t say they were optimizing their network, they said they were optimizing the video content, which they aren’t. 480p at the fastest LTE speeds the network will allow is one thing but what T-Mobile is doing is throttling.

        • PBL

          So reducing the quality to 480 and reducing bandwidth for that single application, while everything else is still at working with no issues, is a problem? Have you tried BingeOn and hotspot on together? Run a speed test

        • kgraham182

          BingeON doesn’t work like that, once it detects video it limits/chokes/gags/throttle the downstream to 1.5Mbps. Everything is limited to 1.5Mbps until no video is detected.

        • maximus1901

          No. It only limits video. If you’re downloading a PDF and a vid, vid is limited but not PDF.

        • PBL

          Not true! I have BingeOn enabled and Hotspot on. Running a speed test on my laptop still shows I’m at 20+ Mbps while streaming a movie on my device.

        • Guest 2

          Speed test apps are not telling the truth about throttle for various reasons, do a search and you’ll find out.

        • PBL

          Actually, the FCC banned anybody from zero rating speed test sites and apps.

        • Guest 2

          I can’t verify your claim, but I was reading a news article of when T-Mobile whitelisted speed testing apps from throttling, their explanation was: “[t]he Ookla Speedtest.net application is
          designed to measure true network speed—not show that a customer has
          exceeded their high-speed data bucket. Other speed test providers are
          also whitelisted.”
          I think the same applies in this case of throttling as well.

  • calvin35

    So were all of the participants limited subscribers that knew what Binge On was and had it turned on and knew they were participating in a study? Really not trying to be a smart ass, but if that is the case isn’t this just stating what everyone already knew? I mean with Binge On enabled a YouTube video streams at 1.5Mbps at a resolution of 480p, of course it will result in less data used. The EFF report told us stuff we didn’t already know, while this report just seems to state the obvious.

    • PBL

      I think they are trying to show you that BingeOn users use less data but watch more video.

      • calvin35

        Everybody already knew that, didn’t they? I mean 480p uses easy less data than 720p or 1080p.i just don’t see the point of this study.

        • PBL

          More people are watching on their device because of this. Regardless if your on a newer plan or older, you have the ability to watch more without paying more.

      • vrm

        That is a good point. For non video apps, 1.5 mbps is way more than enough to get work done (assuming that is also ‘throttled’).

        Almost every page in the browser has 1/2 a dozen useless videos that the user has no interest in ( and isn’t even aware of), many of which are ads and they chew up data/bandwidth. Binge-on helps by cutting that out.

        • Anon

          1.5 is 3G speed. Are you paying for 4G lte ?
          What if your city cut your water pressure to 1/3 of today, and still charges you for the same usage?

    • John Doe

      Yeah I like how this report basically had the same result as the EFF’s except for the watch more videos part (which was obvious) but John Legere cursed out the EFF and loves the P3 which is a German company by the way.

      • calvin35

        Literally, this is the same report as the EFF except they added the one fact about Binge On that there is literally no debate over, that when streaming videos at 480p it will use less data than when streaming at 1080p.

  • calvin35

    But no one has ever argued that limited subscribers who are aware of the program don’t benefit from it. They get to watch as much video as they want. Everyone already knew that. I just don’t see the point of this study. These were people that know what Binge On is, knew they had if on and knew they were participating in a study.

  • Calgrav24

    I don’t know if it’s like this for everyone but I’ve noticed today that YouTube is able to stream at 720p with Binge On still active. Maybe it’s just a coincidence but maybe they have tried to appease Google with a compromise.

    • FILA

      Itll stream at 720, but it will take longer to load due to the decrease in speed.

  • mikeZo6

    T-Mobile NETWORK can not handle the current amount of subscribers on it to congested and auction coming up will not help ANY until 2020 who cares about then we need speeds NOW

    • Andrew Singleton

      cool, that’s not true but hey, whatever.

      • Matt

        I’d like to see the HSPA+ network decommissioned and refarmed to LTE.

        • SirStephenH

          That and EDGE…

    • Ascertion

      They have their AWS3 winnings to deploy soon. They’ll also pick up B12 spectrum where they see fit in the meantime and perform necessary spectrum swaps.

  • Guest 2

    This is from the report, enjoy:

    “Our data shows that all apps that download video content one way or another are affected. This applies to well-known video streaming apps like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube, as well as to mixed media (text, picture, video) apps like Facebook,Tumblr, Viggle and the Web browser.”

    “…and the Web browser”!? Who are these people?

    • Guest 2

      One more for now:

      “P3 telecommunications clients include wireless carriers…”

    • Jo

      Wah? Even non-video connections are throttled? Wow.

      • Jo

        NM, I read that wrong. Only the video connections (both streaming and file download) get throttled.

  • jazzmanmonty

    I really dont care much about this whole debate..my only concern is that when watching video on apps like history , its showing that my data is being used when its not supposed to be..binge on is turned on and customer service doesnt know why its using my data..yet they cant reset my data counter..i could care less about the video quality as long as its watchable and doesnt buffer all the time. I just hope they fix the data consumption glitches.

  • Who the F*** is the P3 Group

    Who the f*** is the P3 Group. Sounds like JL owes the EFF a public appology. Should also apologize to tmo customers for bull shitting them about “throttling”‘ “optimizing” or whatever he calls it.

    • Andrew

      He already addressed his comments to EFF. pay attention.

  • Edgar Gonzalez

    Look if you really have a problem with what T-Mobile is doing get off my network. I’m paying less money and getting more free stuff aka bang for my buck with T-Mobile than with anyone else. At least T-Mobile is trying so instead of trying and whining and complaining just go to Verizon and att or (lol) sprint. If it wasn’t for T-Mobile trying new things we would still be stuck on 2 year contracts and 120 dollar 5 gb data plans. Soooooo BYE FELICIA

    • name

      Ay mamá!!!

    • John Doe

      Didn’t know you own T-Mobile? congratulations lmao

      • Edgar Gonzalez

        The joys of typing fast on an iPhone with fat fingers and not reading what I wrote down.

    • AS118

      You’re whining and complaining the most out of anyone I”ve seen here. Plus, if we do what you say, T-mobile’s going to lose money, and how much stuff would you get then? It’s ironic that you’re the biggest whiner here.

      • Edgar Gonzalez

        What do you care if T-Mobile loses money? The whole point of “Uncarrier Is that if you don’t like the service go somewhere else. Verizon will pay off your EIP or ETF and so will everyone else. Who started that? T-Mobile did. Look they aren’t holding a gun to your head so if you don’t like what they are offering look somewhere else. Like I said at least they are trying to be different. Apart from the occasional drop in reception I haven’t had many issues with them.

      • I’d rather see T-Mobile lose money than me. Or are you a major investor in the company, when your bottom line is the same as theirs?

        • TechnoRealz

          I’d rather ppl not steal from me if they are hogging bandwidth.

        • Edgar Gonzalez

          Yeah that’s true it’s one thing to have unlimited data and rack up 15-20 fun but it’s another thing to rack up 200gb worth of data when everyone else uses less. Before anyone else says anything yes I know a good amount of us might use more than the implemented soft cap that T-Mobile has and I know I’ve gone over that cap a few times. But Jeez how much Japanese tentacle porn do we need to watch in a given month. And where are you watching that when not at home to be on a wifi network.

        • Edgar Gonzalez

          I wish I would of invested money in T-Mobile a few years back instead I blew it all on cocaine and strippers. As much as I appreciate the whole binge on idea it’s not implemented correctly I’m curious to see how it changes and how other carriers change in order to compete after all that’s the whole point. If I end up not liking how T-Mobile is doing things later on down the line then I’ll switch to another carrier they will pay off my EIP or ETF and I’ll be on my merry way waiting for them to screw me over too and then switch again.

  • Joe

    With all these complaints, I hope T-Mobile takes in the reasonable ones and improves Binge On. It’s a great idea but difficult to implement. Customers save money with the zero-rating and T-Mobile can cope with network congestion by throttling (they should still continue to improve their network, of course).

    There are implementation and transparency issues (opt-in vs. opt-out, video file downloads are throttled, non-partner video sites are throttled, the whole T-Mobile trying to say it’s not throttling, etc.) but I feel these can be fixed.

    For the implementation issues, T-Mobile quickly released easier ways to toggle Binge-On and reduced the switching time from hours to 10s of minutes (not-ideal but a good band aid). In the long run, they should work towards improving their throttling algorithm. A flat 1.5 Mbit/s throttle rate isn’t ideal as experienced by users streaming from non-partner sites. Also, hopefully, T-Mobile can figure out a way to differentiate between a video stream and video file download.

    Well, Binge On has a lot of potential and when T-Mobile perfects it, I hope other carriers will copy them.

    • calvin35

      Very good post.

    • squiggleslash

      I think it’s a good idea in principle, T-Mobile just needs to be upfront about what it is, otherwise those of us who maintain websites are going to have trouble embedding videos that are T-Mobile BO friendly.

  • kev2684

    …so it’s throttling. Case closed.

  • AS118

    While this is interesting news, making it opt-in would’ve still been a better choice, imho. A lot of people want at least 720p when streaming on larger devices, and don’t want their video downloads throttled.

    The fact that even downloads are throttled is a separate issue that I’d like to see addressed in of itself.

    • Andrew Singleton

      Can you quote a source for that last piece of information? I was specifically told the opposite.

      • Guest 2

        There is the EFF report and this (P3) report (first link of the article).

        Videos and video downloads are being throttled as well as mixed media applications like Facebook, Tumblr and also Web Browsers applications. There is no specific mention of Web Browsers on PCs and tablets when tethering, but I’d assume they are affected.

        Here’s a quote from the P3 report:

        “Our data shows that all apps that download video content one way or
        another are affected. This applies to well-known video streaming apps
        like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube, as well as to mixed media (text,
        picture, video) apps like Facebook,Tumblr, Viggle and the Web browser.”

      • calvin35

        That is one of the issues with Binge On, T-Mobile has been intentionally vague about exactly what Binge On is doing and outside groups have had to step in to keep people informed. T-Mobile made no mention about throttling direct video downloads, or throttling at all. They made no mention of throttling the videos instead of allowing them to stream at the fastest speed that the network will allow. Combine that with the fact that T-Mobile enabled Binge On for unlimited users at all times when they could have just as easily only enabled it when they were tethering and you have a program that needs some serious revamping.

    • Edgar Gonzalez

      Let’s consider this binge on v1.0 it’s kind of like the first production run its bound to have some bugs and not everything is going to work exactly how you want it. That’s when v2.0 comes out fixing bugs and addressing download speeds and so on and so forth. But where I do agree with you is the opt-in. Assuming most of us here are a little bit more tech savvy than most other people. It would be easy for us to figure it out. But what about all the other people out there who don’t know T-Mobile would have to figure out how to dumb it down for everyone. What we consider as easy as “flipping a switch” is rocket science to most.

      • TechnoRealz

        “. Assuming most of us here are a little bit more tech savvy than most other people. … What we consider as easy as “flipping a switch” is rocket science to most.”

        Then they shouldn’t have smart phones.

  • SirStephenH

    So wait, you use less data when you’re throttled? I would have never guessed.

  • Guest

    What I am seeing is a lot of people trying to speak for others. I think to be fair and from what I see it is a 50/50. I personally didn’t here any complaints about binge on from people around me. For all you that complain be mature do it the right way go deal with them directly or sue them. Don’t help to be a headless chicken and go crazy on the web. I mean some even the most reputatable company may not work for everyone, but instead of whining online just try deal with them, if things don’t work out then just leave and screw them.

    • Guest

      I also see other people trying to decide for others. So, there, maybe I see more than you.
      Maybe the people around you don’t know about Binge On and they think something is wrong with their phone or something, who knows, all that is anecdotal anyway.

      • vinnyjr

        Or Maybe these complaints are coming from Trolls who aren’t even T-Mobile customers. Binge On is a great service that allows my disabled sister to enjoy certain shows on Netflix for hours. She absolutely loves Netflix and with Binge On she is enjoying Netflix. Thank You T-Mobile, Thank You John Legere. Binge On is a great service, if AT&T or Verizon had thought about it they would be charging their customers to sign on, T-Mobile gives their customers the choice, if you don’t want it just shut it down. Thanks Again.

        • Fabian Cortez

          Or Maybe these complaints are coming from Trolls who aren’t even T-Mobile customers.

          Or even worse. A select few actual T-Mobile subscribers that pay T-Mobile every month, that rather complain anonymously online versus actually taking their complaint(s) to the company they pay and/or porting out.

          Miserable people who have long opted out of Binge On but still have an agenda in its regard. Very odd indeed.

          But yes I agree, choice is where it’s at.

      • Guest

        I don’t understand what you trying to say. I’m not deciding for anyone. I just trying to help it don’t help the matter to complain here. It is like you have problem with your spouse or whatever you complain here or to everyone around you but not deal with them directly, that ain’t gonna solve shit and may get worst. If talking to them don’t work out you have to learn to let go. Just baby logic and people should know this by now. There are something company and things that will work out for one but not others. The people I know chit chat about tech and stuff all day and more and more is going to T-Mobile because of the value.

  • GinaDee

    To be honest I purposely didn’t tell those on my T-Mobile family account that the service was active. I’ve been periodically asking them about their data experiences streaming and nobody volunteers any negative information. Then I tell them about BingeOn, what it does etc and they really don’t seem to care either way.

    My primary line is with AT&T so I prefer to watch my videos at full quality.

    However I think the average T-Mobile subscriber could care less so everyone who is making a big negative deal about BingeOn should stop speaking for others and trying to manufacturer anger where there isn’t any.

    • Fabian Cortez

      And this is exactly why these types of perks and services are automatically opt in by default. Just like music freedom et al.

      Can you imagine the uproar if this was opt in by choice and they went ahead and advertised free video streaming and people were streaming why using up their data?

      Talk about fraud and deceit at that point.

    • calvin35

      Is that an unlimited account? I only ask because if it’s not then they most likely don’t do a lot streaming anyway and most likely wouldn’t notice enough to think anything was wrong.

    • Adam

      I had a similar experience visiting relatives for the Christmas holidays. I would find the extended family sitting around the TV watching standard definition. During the commercial break, I asked if I could change the channel to the high definition version. The next day, the same thing happened, but this time I got a response that the channels don’t make a difference from my family members.

      Stanford University did a study on music bit rates. The result was the majority of study participants preferred the lower bit rate samples.

      • JLV90

        We have a tv at work, by default the SD channels are stretched to fill up the screen. Most people don’t care it’s usually just one person who has to have it in HD

  • Guest

    I didn’t know bingeon was active on my UNLIMITED plan. So T-Mobile secretly tried to save bandwidth without notifying me. I turned this off today.

    • Romdude

      I have unlimited too and the first thing I did was check if it was on for all and made a point to turn it off on the first day I could. But for the two non unlimited data phones on my account, I left it on.

    • calvin35

      That’s exactly what they did. Binge On is targeted directly at unlimited users and is all about throttling as many unlimited users as T-Mobile can, all other aspects of the program are simply window dressing intended to distract. John Legere stated on camera that the only benefit for unlimited users is unlimited tethering and a free movie. T-Mobile already had the ability to tell when the user is tethering and as such could have easily only turned on Binge On for unlimited users when they were tethering, but they chose to turn it on all the time for unlimited users knowing full well that this would lead to millions of throttled unlimited users such as yourself. The real benefit of enabling Binge On for unlimited users us to benefit T-Mobile and that’s it.

      • TechnoRealz

        It’s also to stop all the bandwidth hoggers which benefits everyone.
        So if they are throttling, then good for them, cause it’s their damn network we’re paying for usage on it. Or have you forgotten that?

        • calvin35

          I haven’t forgotten anything. If T-Mobile wants to opt-in all their unlimited users for throttling without their explicit consent for the sole purpose of reducing the amount of data they are using (which is why they did it) while all the while continuing to charge them the same monthly rates then they can do that. They should just have the decency to tell their unlimited customers that that’s why they’re doing it. You really shouldn’t be so gullible. Don’t let T-Mobile fool you, most of their unlimited customers are not out there being “bandwidth hoggers”, only a very small percentage are. T-Mobile loves that people like you believe this because it makes it easier for them to do what they are doing while fools such as yourself blame the ” evil ” unlimited users for all their problems.

        • TechnoRealz

          & people like me call out fools like you who think every corporation is the evil empire doing things to us all.

          How about you quit trying to tell people how to live their lives & insulting their intelligence.

          So if you are going to insult me & call me gullible, how about you quit being so paranoid delusional & take your meds.
          Or get a better paying job so you can go to VZW with better coverage, less data & pay more!

          Unlimited all day on TMO & on 1080P.

          Must make you mad I’m smarter than you.

        • calvin35

          When they do i call them out on it. If you read all of my posts you’d realize that i think the idea of Binge On is good but the implementation was terrible and not transparent in the least. Lastly you are wrong, i actually going you to be quite foolish and irritating.

        • TechnoRealz

          Paranoid & delusional -yes.

          Nannyism -yes.
          Understandable -no.
          ================you

        • Fabian Cortez

          Add irrational to that as well.

        • Fabian Cortez

          His conspiracy theory that T-Mobile is intentionally throttling people for some evil domination is ridiculous.

          He’s been spewing it on every single Binge On article here at TmoNews. Again, without any proof of their “evil” intentions whatsoever.

    • AFAIK, all customers got a text explaining Binge On, haven’t you?

  • TechnoRealz

    Still don’t get what’s so bad about watching 480p on a ~5.5″ screen @ lagless efficiency.
    Must be all those snopes who have unlimited but too cheap to get home broadband & can’t download their pr0n at wackoff quality.

    • EXACTLY!

    • JTrip

      It doesn’t play as well while casting it to the big screen tv.

      • Then turn it off or switch carriers. Nobody is stopping you.

      • TechnoRealz

        Maybe a smart person with a big screen TV aka a video phile – knows not to take content & not magnify without increasing its resolution.
        Heck I still check the YouTube resolution settings on my PC before ever clicking play.
        Oh wait, so you found the button to post here, but can’t find the button to upscale on TMO. com?

        Guess smartphone smart user.

      • TechnoRealz

        If you have a big bad HDTV, you should flip the switch on the TMO website to get your full precious 1080P.

        It’s not complicated.

        • Edgar Gonzalez

          I’m on wifi when casting. No problems there.

      • TechnoRealz

        Must be your set up.
        I find it fine on my OLED & Plasma TV’s.
        60 & 65 respectively.
        Makes a blind person see.

        User error = you.

      • Edgar Gonzalez

        At that point you should be on your wifi network. No throttling there. Unless you aren’t then that’s a whole different issue.

  • steveb944

    I love how all the Binge-On articles have the same comments. “But it should have been opt in…. But I have unlimited… But I don’t like Legere…” We’ve heard it all repeatedly at this point.

    I think this study did a great job, increased use is always great.

  • Not only do I think Binge on should be “opt-out”, I think Binge On should be mandatory on “unlimited” accounts, and optional on other accounts. If you’re buying a bucket of data, it makes sense that you use it however you like. It also makes sense that as a condition of “unlimited”, you get a more limited service. I know this probably won’t happen, but I suspect it’d sure help the network. It’d be interesting to see if that violates Net Neutrality, because it would still be an “optional” plan.

    • JTrip

      So, when I signed up and paid for HBO Now and Netflix to get 1080P streaming video I shouldn’t be able to opt out and have to play them at 480P instead?

      • In my opinion, no. “Unlimited” wireless data is unsustainable and will eventually go away anyway. Doing it sooner than latter would combine many of the arguements of today into the arguements of tomorrow and get them over with.

        • Rod

          Unlimited data is only unsustainable because the carriers don’t want it to be. Att and Verizon are both cable/Internet providers unlimited data would force them to spend money on network upgrades at the cost of canibalizing home cable and Internet sales. Huge no-no. Binge -on should Def not be mandatory on unlimited data plans, I pay for unlimited for a reason.

        • I’m referring to radio spectrum bandwidth, that’s the limited resource, not Internet backhaul.

        • Rod

          I’m aware and that’s what I’m referring too. Att and Verizon have plenty of unused spectrum that they are just sitting on that they could deploy to beef up their networks. The whole point of the “spectrum crunch” was so that they could get rid of unlimited data and still buy more radio licenses at auction.
          Case and point that unlimited data isn’t unviable: ATT now offers unlimited data for DirectTv customers.

        • Just because they do a sale doesn’t make it a viable business model.

  • Net neutrality guarantees the tragedy of the commons and higher prices. Binge On minimizes this tragedy and keeps the cost down, both pain points being eliminated by the uncarrier.

  • Guest 2

    So far we really don’t know how exactly Binge On is working, but based on the EFF report and this P3 report we have learned that:

    – Videos files including video downloads are affected.
    – Video applications and applications that contain a video file, for example gaming apps

    – Mixed media applications (text, picture, videos) like Facebook, Tumblr and also Web Browsers applications like Firefox, Chrome and Opera

    I’m not sure if messaging apps count as mixed media or that it is being throttled. And there is no specific mention of Web Browsers on PCs and tablets when
    tethering, or any other program and application we use in such a form.

    Here’s a quote from the P3 report:

    “Our data shows that all apps that download video content one way or
    another are affected. This applies to well-known video streaming apps
    like Netflix, Hulu and YouTube, as well as to mixed media (text,
    picture, video) apps like Facebook,Tumblr, Viggle and the Web browser.”