In a blog post, T-Mobile CEO John Legere pledges to go after data thieves, or “network abusers,” starting today. And he’s serious.
What exactly is going on? Legere says these data hogs are using as much as two terabytes of data per month.
“These aren’t naive amateurs; they are clever hackers who are willfully stealing for their own selfish gain,” Legere writes. “It’s a small group – 1/100 of a percent of our 59 million customers – but some of them are using as much as 2 terabytes (2,000GB!) of data in a month.”
T-Mobile’s network reaches 290 million Americans with the fastest 4G LTE speed, the CEO said.
The problem is with the carrier’s fixed amount of LTE intended for “tethering” (using the “Smartphone Mobile HotSpot” feature), at no extra cost, for those moments when broadband may not be convenient or available. If T-Mobile customers hit that high-speed tethering limit, those tethering speeds slow down. If a customer needs more LTE tethering, they can add-on more.
“However, these violators are going out of their way with all kinds of workarounds to steal more LTE tethered data,” Legere said.
T-Mobile only lets its users with unlimited accounts use about 7 gigabytes of data on their phones as mobile hotspots every month. But thieves know how to get around that limit, using apps designed for the purpose of illicit tethering.
“I’m not in this business to play data cop, but we started this wireless revolution to change the industry for good and to fight for consumers,” Legere says. “I won’t let a few thieves ruin things for anyone else.”
Read the T-Mobile CEO’s full statement.