T-Mobile Backtracks on 1GB Data Cap for Android-Based G1
T-Mobile pulls itself out of troubled waters by erasing a 1GB data cap from its service policy for the new G1 smart phone, the first mobile and wireless device based on Google's mobile operating system. Such a cap could put a crimp in the G1's ability to deliver the very Web services consumers look forward to in such a gadget. Not exactly what Google had in mind in creating a Linux-based, open-source mobile operating system, is it?Acting on eagle-eyed reporting from DSL Reports, the New York Times' Saul Hansell challenged T-Mobile for its policy of capping data usage at 1GB per month for the operator's new G1 smart phone, based on Google's Android operating system.
T-Mobile backtracked and removed the cap from its terms and conditions. T-Mobile said on its G1 Web site for the Sept. 23 launch:
If your total data usage in any billing cycle is more than 1GB, your data throughput for the remainder of that cycle may be reduced to 50 kbps or less. Your data session, plan, or service may be suspended, terminated, or restricted for significant roaming or if you use your service in a way that interferes with our network or ability to provide quality service to other users.
So, why did T-Mobile implement the cap initially? Hansell quoted T-Mobile as saying:
GigaOm's Om Malik, never one to take phone carriers' words at face value, is skeptical about this explanation:We have a responsibility to provide the best network experience for all of our customers so we reserve the right to temporarily reduce data throughput for a small fraction of our customers who have excessive or disproportionate usage that interferes with our network performance or our ability to provide quality service to all of our customers.
When T-Mobile says they are still figuring out specific terms for new data plans, it smacks of double speak. Does the company really mean to say that they are going to be imposing a bandwidth cap, though it would be north of 1 GB. If not, they could simply would have said: no caps whatsoever.Hansell meanwhile wondered why T-Mobile changed tacks so quickly, but I think it's pretty clear. You can't offer a 3G phone and hype it as the next-generation smart phone for mobile Web services on 3G with a data cap. That's just not right. Imagine using the integrated application on G1 to download songs on Amazon's MP3 service only to have your phone conk out.