As the company explains, it uses a prioritization system to manage network traffic and prevent a small subset of its most active users from affecting other users. After a customer has used 50GB of data during a month, their data is de-prioritized when connected to a cellular tower that's experiencing congestion. In these situations, a customer who uses a lot of data will experience slower speeds than customers who have not hit that 50GB cap.
Even when the 50GB cap is reached, no de-prioritization takes place if the network is not congested.
All of the major carriers have a similar system in place for their unlimited data plans. Both AT&T and Verizon de-prioritize customers after 22GB of data usage, while Sprint does so after 23GB of data usage. At 50GB, T-Mobile offers more than twice the data before any network de-prioritization takes place.
According to T-Mobile, 50GB of data usage represents the top 1 percent of data users.
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