In the past - not all T-Mobile smartphone plans included the ability to tether (via USB or by creating a personal hotspot). And those that did would cut off the tethering feature entirely after a certain data allowance was used up.
Starting June 12th though - all T-Mobile smartphone plans (including prepaid plans) will include tethering capability.
And - the hard data cap is being removed too!
The details, as posted to T-Mobile's internal system:
Don't Get Too Excited...
Data usage on T-Mobile may be unlimited with no overage charges to be found, but every plan still has a very limited amount of "high speed data" - and when that is used up, speeds will drop to a downright glacial pace of 128kbps.
This is fast enough for getting an email out in a pinch, or sharing a quick status update, but it will be unusable for streaming and unpleasant for even basic web surfing.
But unpleasant sure beats unavailable.
Even T-Mobile "Unlimited 4G LTE" plans that offer unlimited high speed data on the smartphone itself still have a data buckets for tethering data - with the basic $80 T-Mobile Unlimited plan currently coming with a 5GB data bucket available for tethering.
After this bucket is used up, tethering speeds will plummet.
Bigger Buckets Coming Too
According to TmoNews, these data buckets are being increased by 2GB for all T-Mobile Unlimited plans. This means that starting later this week, the $80/mo plan will now include 7GB of tethering data instead of 5GB.
It is great to see carriers offering more for the same price.
T-Mobile: A Great Secondary Network
Overall - these are great changes coming to T-Mobile.
The increased tethering flexibility and ability to always be able to get a laptop online in a pinch substantially increases T-Mobile's utility as a secondary network for RVers.
Hopefully this will keep the pressure up on other carriers to be more flexible too.