With New Streaming Options, Could Unlimited Data Become A Thing?

A new option at T-Mobile for unlimited streaming from certain apps could mean other mobile carriers will follow suit.

By Alain StephensNovember 12, 2015 2:21 pm,

Remember the good old days when mobile carriers offered unlimited data? Before they started throttling – which basically limited data without limiting data – a lot of us were used to watching Netflix from our phones and keeping the kids occupied on long trips.

T-Mobile apparently wants to bring that good feeling back. The nation’s third-largest carrier now says it will be doubling their available data for customers while keeping their plans same price, and throwing in some freebies.

If nothing else, it may make T-Mobile more competitive – but could it trigger a war over data plans?

Helping us sort through whether this has, in effect, sparked a new data war between mobile providers is Omar Gallaga, digital savant at the Austin-American Statesman.

Gallaga says T-Mobile has been known for introducing new ideas to the mobile world, like when they did away with two-year customer contracts. This new idea, what they’re calling “Binge On” which exempts data charges for certain streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go and Showtime. YouTube and other services will be still be charged data.

“Which brings up the whole issue of net neutrality – are they playing favorites?” he says. “If you are a competitor to Netflix, you won’t be happy about this. But on the other hand, customers are going to be able to watch these services on the go. It’s kind of a win for customers but perhaps a blow against net neutrality.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– Why T-Mobile chose certain services to exempt from data charges

– What other carriers have similar exemptions and how this service is different

– How this may be a new frontier for the net neutrality, depending on what services the carrier decides to use

Listen to the full interview in the audio player above.