Speculation is growing that T-Mobile subscribers will be allowed unlimited high-speed streaming of select video services as part of the carrier’s next “Uncarrier” initiative, to be announced Nov. 10.
The initiative would be similar to the carrier’s Music Freedom program, launched in June 2014 to let consumers stream unlimited amounts of music from select music services over the company’s LTE network. The program, available at no extra cost for Simple Choice plan subscribers, has since expanded to include more than 30 services, including AccuRadio, Black Planet, Grooveshark, Radio Paradise, Rdio, Songza, iHeartRadio, iTunesRadio, Pandora, Rhapsody, Samsung Milk, Slacker and Spotify.
Twitter leaker @evleaks contends that Netflix and HBO will be among the services that can be streamed without the streamed data counting against a user’s high-speed data cap.
The initiative will likely stir up questions over whether T-Mobile, by including some music and video services in its unlimited-streaming programs, is violating the net neutrality policy adopted earlier this year by the Federal Communications Commission.
If it launches the video program, subscriber-hungry T-Mobile will leverage its newly enhanced 4G LTE network, which is in a better position than AT&T and Verizon to accommodate unlimited-streaming services because its network has fewer subscribers and is therefore less congested.
Last week, T-Mobile announced that it expanded its LTE network to 300 million people, achieving its year-end goal ahead of schedule. The company also expanded its wideband-LTE 15MHz+15MHz network to 245 markets, with plans for 260 by year’s end, to boost data capacity and boost data speeds up to 50 percent.
The carrier also said its Extended Range LTE technology, which implements LTE in newly acquired 700MHz (LTE Band 12) spectrum, covers almost 175 million people in 204 markets. The technology, which will be expanded to 350 markets by the end of the year, improves in-building coverage and extends LTE coverage beyond major population centers.