T-Mobile confirms Speedtest data no longer counts against data allowances

Speedtest.net app

T-Mobile's Uncarrier 6.0 announcement brought "Music Freedom" to the carrier, giving unlimited streaming at no cost, and now T-Mo is doing us another favor and making Speedtest data not count against your data allowance either. Following some detective work, T-Mobile has confirmed that data used by the Speedtest.net app — and other similar apps — will no longer count towards your full-speed data allowance. From T-mobile:

"The 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."

That means customers can run as many speed tests as they want on the T-Mobile network, and reserve their often-limited high-speed data for other apps and services. Just another way the carrier continues to flex its network capacity muscle.

With moves like this that barely take up any data in the grand scheme of things but are big customer-facing winners, we can't blame them for wanting to whitelist some data traffic from going against your cap. The upside for T-Mobile is even more customers showing off their network speeds through the Speedtest app without worry that it will push them closer to their limited allowance of high-speed data.

Source: FierceWireless

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Andrew Martonik

Economist. Android Central editor. Let's talk about mobile things.

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Reader comments

T-Mobile confirms Speedtest data no longer counts against data allowances

11 Comments

Well what if another service thinks they can do speed testing better? T-Mobile's deal is a barrier for entry. I know T-Mobile means well for consumers, but picking and choosing which already massive services get the advantage will stop startups from reaching their potential.

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This only means for data usage. It does not hinder startups because they will continue to function the same way.

Well really there hasn't been Neutrality when it comes to data packets, we have just tried to believe it was there.

Cable companies have always "prioritized" their own data, on-demand video is sent as data to the set top boxes and not as a video signal and the priority has always been given to that signal.

Cable companies have two tiers of service on their network and Business customers are given priority at peak usage times over the home customers. This is why you pay more for business service than home service. When I used home service from TWC it was horrifically slow during the hours that get tied up at certain times of the data. This was before netflix and Time Warner's sales team told me the only solution is to pay the extra for business service to "prioritize" my data packets on the network above home users.

I switched and there was a big difference, both in the extra I paid but also in the quality of service I received.

On the subject of this particular subject of Ookla's Speedtest.net, T-Mobile does actually get matrix data from the speed tests done from their customers Smartphones and they use this data to make strategic decisions about where to focus upgrades or improvements to their service on a real time basis. They combine this with the T-Mobile app they pre-install on their devices (and available for those that have Nexus or iPhone handsets or brought their device from another network) that also, if you opt in on the set up, tells them when you get service back, where you were when the service was lost and how long the service was lost. All about improving their focus for improving the network.

You could say that it is a blow for net neutrality but since they are the 'minor' player of the big four networks and in the take over sights of another network that these changes have very little impact on Net Neutrality. Now if it was Verizon or AT&T then that is understandable and of course, I am sure that if another company offering data speed testing was to go to T-Mobile they would, if the company was used as much as Ookla and have made a point of building native speed test app's across multiple platforms then that rival would also be included as exempt from being counted in the data usage. T-Mobile have already made it clear that they will be expanding the streaming music choices and it will not be limited to those that were listed and the list will increase as they roll out more services.

So in answer to your question of "is this another blow for Net Neutrality?", no it's just making it fairer for those that have the tiny 500mb of LTE data to do speed tests without being penalized for doing so. Making for a fairer level playing field purely for T-Mobile Customers. It does not affect the internet in general and since they are the smallest of the big four networks it has very little or no impact on a start up (not like it would for the biggest two carriers). In fact you could say that through doing this, on T-Mobile's Wireless network "Speed Test" data packages are now far more equal. Available to all of their Wireless Broadband customers without a penalty regardless of what they 4G data allocation happens to be!

This is really cool, I just wish t-mobile would come to my area already! Every week they do something cool, take my money already!

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I know what you mean. In my area T-Mobile only has 2G service. As much as I would like to switch I just can't see moving from LTE to 2G.

My iPad mini is so fast from tmobile... I origional lay had Verizon... So glad I switched.

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