T-Mobile offers free data to all US tablet users

US operator T-Mobile USA is offering 200MB of free LTE data each month to tablet users across the States, even if they are not already a T-Mobile subscriber.

The operator said that it made the move because 90 per cent of tablets in the US use wifi only, yet they were designed to be truly mobile devices. The free data allowance is the equivalent to sending approximately 800 Instagram photos, more than 2,500 emails or streaming 200 minutes of music, T-Mobile said.

“Tablets are supposed to be un-tethered like smartphones, but it hasn’t worked out that way because people know carriers will charge them an arm-and-a-leg for mobile data,” said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile.

“Carriers figured out a long time ago that they could make money – a lot of money – by forcing customers into restrictive, overpriced data plans. We changed it for smartphones and we’re changing it for tablets.”

Customers who want to purchase more data have a choice of options with no annual service contracts or data overages. T-Mobile offers daily, weekly and monthly options for adding 4G LTE data.

Speaking at the Broadband World Forum in Amsterdam this week, Alcatel Lucent corporate CTO Marcus Weldon noted that tablet devices are now processing more data globally than desktop PCs and laptops. He argued that this makes small cells are a vital part of the future broadband network.

“If you look at a tablet, it has no wires and no Ethernet port; if the dominant computing device is wireless that means we have to build capacity not just coverage into the network,” Weldon said. “These devices also have limited storage and rely predominantly on the cloud for storage, so we need high capacity networks. Furthermore, we use our tablets at home, at work and on the go, so we need to build ubiquitous networks that are always on.”


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