T-Mobile have changed the terms of their Full Monty tariff so you are no longer allowed to tether. T-Mobile won a lot of acclaim when they introduced their ground-breaking The Full Monty tariff. At the time, we praised this monthly plan that gave customers “unlimited everything” including tethering-enabled mobile internet. Now, less than a year later and after signing up countless customers to expensive 24 month contracts, T-Mobile have infuriated their users by changing the terms of the tariff. From 8 August, new customers will no longer be allowed to tether on T-Mobile’s The Full Monty. There are also strict fair usage policies on streaming and “downloads”.
What is tethering?
Tethering means using your phone’s mobile data capability to provide internet access to other devices such as tablets (like the iPad), games consoles, laptops, PCs and other mobile phones. It includes physically connecting your computer to your phone to share the connection with a cable or using it as a mobile hotspot. Other things that count as tethering include putting the SIM in a non-phone device like a tablet computer, e-reader, MiFi mobile router or in a mobile internet dongle plugged into a computer.
Many people find tethering useful when on the move. For example, you can connect your laptop to the internet to work on a train while your phone is still in your pocked. And many people are using mobile broadband plans to replace their home internet if they can get decent speeds at home. It’s very easy to buy a cheap Android handset for about £30 and put in a tethering-enabled data SIM to have a portable mobile broadband connection in your house as well as wherever you may go.
Why has it been removed?
The obvious reason is because T-Mobile aren’t making enough money out of it. This could be because they want to maximise their profits even more or because they miscalculated how much data people would use on this plan.
By removing the ability to tether, they are guaranteed to cut down the amount of mobile internet people use by a huge proportion. When tethering to computers or tablets, people are more likely to engage in high-bandwidth activities like video streaming and large file downloads such as apps, films and games. While it’s possible to use as much data on a phone as on a computer or tablet, it’s highly atypical.
Another reason is that T-Mobile have introduced newer, cheaper versions under The Fully Monty branding. The price has been slashed and you no longer need to be locked in for a lengthy 24 month contract either. T-Mobile now have a 12 month SIM-only plan that costs only £21/month. While this offers great value for money, it might mean that it’s no longer feasible to offer tethering too.
Either way, T-Mobile can argue that they are being forced into this position to prevent the masses having to subsidise a small number of extremely high-volume data users. They may well claim that this is the only way to ensure the continuity of flagship The Fully Monty tariff.
What other options are there?
Well, first of all, the good news is that existing customers won’t be affected. If you signed up before 8 August, you’ll still get tethering on your Full Monty plan. Only new T-Mobile customers will be restricted.
At the moment, there’s only one mobile network left that offering unlimited data with tethering enabled and that’s Three. Their incredible-value One Plan gives you pretty much as good a deal as T-Mobile. For £25/month you get 5000 Three-to-Three minutes, 2000 UK minutes, 5000 texts and unlimited mobile internet. Not bad, eh? It gets better – not only do you get unlimited data and you’re allowed to tether as much as you want, it’s a rolling 1 month SIM-only plan so you’re not even locked in at all. If this sound better than the new T-Mobile Full Monty tariff, it’s really easy to switch networks.
So, has T-Mobile’s Full Monty tariff been revealed to be the Emperor’s New Clothes? Can you now see through the transparent marketing trickery to the naked truth? Or do you think it’s not commercially viable to offer unlimited data with tethering at these prices? Please let us know.