Binge on: T-Mobile sets mobile video free on its network, doubles data plans

After setting streaming music free on its network, T-Mobile is doing the the same for video with partners such as Netflix, HBO, Sling, ESPN, Showtime, Vudu and more.
Written by Kevin Tofel, Contributor

T-Mobile CEO John Legere took the stage in Los Angeles on Tuesday to announce the company's latest "un-carrier" strategy and it's a bold one. Aside from doubling the data available for its Simple Choice customers, T-Mobile is setting online video free for its subscribers.


Dubbed "Binge On," the video service has two dozen initial partners including HBO Go, Showtime, Sling TV, ESPN, Vudu and Netflix to name a few. Legere says more video partners are in the works as well, and that any video service who meets T-Mobile's technical requirements can be part of the program. The carrier is optimizing the video specifically for 480p quality and low bandwidth on small screens.

If Binge On sounds like the video counterpart to T-Mobile's Music Unlimited offering, that's because it is. The carrier currently doesn't count music streaming against customer's data buckets when using certain music services.

The new video plan is somewhat surprising given the growth of use and bandwidth used by mobile video. Indeed, T-Mobile says video consumption on phones and tablets is 2.4 times higher than it was in 2013.

T-Mobile is also expanding the amount of high-speed data available for its Simple Choice plans, which until now provided 1, 3 or 5 GB of mobile broadband per month. The new plans are still priced the same but now offer double the data each month.

And in a final dig at its competitors, T-Mobile says that people hate to share data and manage who is using how much.

To that end, it's launching Family Match.

This program provides each user with the same amount of monthly data so that families don't have to share. If they shared 10 GB monthly, for example, each person in the home will now have 10 GB.

Family Match is also available to unlimited data users: Four lines of unlimited 4G LTE will cost $180 per month.

All in all, these are very aggressive moves by the carrier. But T-Mobile has had a string of such plan changes to try and attract consumers to switch mainly from AT&T and Verizon, which tend to cost more and provide less.

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