T-Mobile US offers zero-rated Pokémon GO data for a year

US operator T-Mobile US is offering its subscribers free, unlimited data to play hit mobile game Pokémon GO at part of its T-Mobile Tuesday promotion.

TMUS CEO John Legere, known for his ability to generate publicity, was quick to jump on the fad, tweeting the promotion yesterday alongside a photo of himself with a Pokémon in the background. His company is also offering other Pokémon GO related rewards, such as virtual currency.

“This is what T-Mobile Tuesday is all about – thanking customers with hot, new, totally free gifts every week, and right now, nothing is hotter than Pokémon Go!” exclaimed Legere. “With the carriers’ shared data schemes, players could easily burn up the family’s data bucket – and then, hello, overages! At T-Mobile, we’re unleashing Pokémon Go so our customers can play free for a year. It’s gonna be a fantastic T-Mobile Tuesday!”

What is less clear is how generous an offer this is. While the game does require you to be connected while you play it a lot of the hard work is down by the GPS chip and there are no data-heavy features like video streaming that we’re aware of. Nonetheless this is another example of how quick, aggressive marketing enables TMUS to punch above its weight against the likes of AT&T and Verizon.

Network analytics company P3 has already had a look at data consumption on the app and concluded it’s not that high. The average mobile data consumption is around 5-10 MB per hour, a fraction of the 350MB streaming an hour of HD video requires. Having said that if you play the game every day, as many people seem to be doing, it will soon add up.

Over in the UK EE has updated its Pokémon GO uptake numbers, having revealed that 350,000 subscribers were playing the game before it was even officially available in the UK. On the first full day of availability half a million further EE subscribers have joined the party, which represents the fastest take-up of any app or game ever seen on the network.


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  1. Avatar James Vincent 16/07/2016 @ 8:47 am

    Correction to the last paragraph.
    Over in the UK* that should be. EE has…

    • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 18/07/2016 @ 9:17 am

      Corrected, thanks.

  2. Avatar John B 19/07/2016 @ 7:36 am

    Typo paragraph 3 – think it should be “no” now “now” for “data heavy features”.

    While the game does require you to be connected while you play it a lot of the hard work is down by the GPS chip and there are ***now*** data-heavy features like video streaming that we’re aware of.

    Last paragraph: “having revealed that ***350, ***subscriber”.
    Think there’s part of the number missing after the comma. 350,000 perhaps?

    • Scott Bicheno Scott Bicheno 19/07/2016 @ 9:21 am

      Corrected, thanks.

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