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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