While a number of wireless carriers in the US offer unlimited data plans for smartphones, there’s pretty much a universal 5GB data transfer cap on 3G service for laptops. Typically if you pick up a 3G USB modem or a computer with a 3G module built in you can sign up for service plans with data caps — unlimited service isn’t usually an option for laptop 3G. If you go over the limit, the wireless carrier will charge you an arm, leg, and kidney for each extra bit of data sent down the pipeline.
But that’s not necessarily the way things work in other countries — where when you hit the limit, the mobile service provider just throttles your internet speed so that you can relive the experience of connecting to the internet with a dial-up modem.
Now it looks like T-Mobile is bringing that kind of throttling to the US. Customers with T-Mobile’s webConnect data plans won’t be charged extra for going over the 5GB data limit anymore. But their connection speed will be slowed down for the remainder of the month.
If you opt for T-Mobile’s cheaper 200MB/month plan you’ll still have to pay for overages, but T-Mobile is dropping that fee from $0.20 per MB to $0.10.