T-Mobile Unveils Unlimited Streaming Without Using Data
T-mobile is ready to take on the world of mobile cell phone service in a big way. The company recently unveiled their "Uncarrier" program, which sounds like a savvy marketing tool but has proved to represent and real attempt to shake up the way that cell phone companies do business.
Streaming video uses more data than any other form of media, a fact that everyone with a smartphone can attest to. An hour of standard streaming video content uses a LOT of data. If a user were to watch an hour a day, then it would bring the total for the month to 14GB of data, and hundreds of dollars per month. (Standard cell plans are for around 5GB or less).
T-Mobile isn't giving away that kind of data, though they are certainly giving away a great deal of data. They're using a proprietary technology to sort out which content is video and to treat it differently than the rest of the data, scaling it down so that it doesn't eat up all of that data. The free video is also not HD quality, but at 480 pixels it's more along the lines of what a user would experience with a DVD. T-Mobile is betting that users will be ok with that level of quality.
So far there are nearly two dozen streaming providers who are part of the plan, including Netflix and HBO Go. But users are likely to be disappointed when they discover that YouTube is not onboard. According to T-Mobile, the Google owned video channel wasn't compatible with the streaming technology but there are hopes that it will be added in the future as T-Mobile claims that the process of coming in line with their needs is a simple and straightforward one. In a bold move, T-Mobile is allowing rival cell phone company's streaming services to be part of the same free service, including Verizon's Go90 and AT&T's Direct TV content streaming apps.
In order to get free streaming video as part of Binge On, users must be on at least the 3GB per month plan, though 1GB per month customers will still experience lower data costs as the technology that shrinks the data usage will be applied to their plans as well.
The Uncarrier initiative has been an unqualified success for T-Mobile, who added nearly nine hundred thousand users in the third quarter thanks to free streaming music along with other innovative additions like ending cell phone contracts and free international messaging.