US operator T-Mobile undergoes data abuse, few customers hack system and steal tethered data

American telecom operator T-Mobile has found network abusers among its customers, who hack its network to steal unlimited tethered data, causing the company huge loss. According to John Legere, President and Chief Executive Officer of the company, T-Mobile has started ways to curb the practice by ‘going after every thief’.


Those customers with T-Mobile’s unlimited 4G LTE plan for their smartphones get a fixed amount of LTE for tethering at no extra cost. This is intended to use during the occasions when broadband may not be convenient or available. After the usage limit of tethered LTE, customers can add more.

However, few T-Mobile customers violate the policy and download apps to hide their actual LTE tethered data. They then ‘hack’ the system to swipe high speed tethered data. According to the company, a few customers use around 2 terabytes (2000GB) of data in a month through this method.

According to a primary analysis, T-Mobile said the malpractice is carried out only a very small group of people – 1/100 of a percent of its 59 million customers. “I’m not in this business to play data cop, but we started this wireless revolution to change the industry for good and to fight for consumers. I won’t let a few thieves ruin things for anyone else. We’re going to lead from the front on this, just like we always do. Count on it!,” responded Legere through the open letter published on its website.

T-Mobile claims to have developed a technology that can detect the people who break its terms and conditions. The erring customers will be warned and if found continuing, the customers will be moved to an entry-level limited 4G LTE data plan, according to a support page.

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5 Comments on "US operator T-Mobile undergoes data abuse, few customers hack system and steal tethered data"


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September 3, 2015 8:32 am 8:32 AM

I still can’t understand the reason for differentiating tethered data. If I have subscribed a data plan it is me to decide how to use it. How can an operator claim loss if I downloaded a 10 GB file (say a Blue ray DVD) on my PC instead of mobile. However, I could have downloaded the same file on my mobile and then transferred it to my PC.
Isn’t it a violation of net neutrality?

September 17, 2015 8:32 pm 8:32 PM

Normally the high-end plans by T-Mobile have unlimited data for smartphone usage only. The logic is that, on an average, a smartphone consumes lesser data than a computer. So if unlimited tethering is also given then it will be a huge loss.

Aam aadmi
September 17, 2015 10:11 pm 10:11 PM
Warna bhi jaise tmobile bahaut profit kaama leta hai ? Aur agar aap gaaur karogey toh tmobile bhi dheere dheere unlimited to eliminate karney ki koshish kar raha hai. Unka ek plan pehle $100 including line charges unlimited deta that 2 devices ke liye. Ab unhoney 4 line for 10 GB bana diya ussey for $120 yaa aise hi kuch. Unhono unlimited hataa diya lekin woh yeh nahi bolengey balki yeh bolengey ki dekho hum sabko 10 GB detey hai lekin Verzion 4 logo ko 10GB share karney deta hai. Aisi anokhi marketing hai unki ki agar consumer kaa loss… Read more »
September 1, 2015 8:05 pm 8:05 PM

some people do this for fun….it gives them immense pleasure. they don’t really need so much data.

September 1, 2015 7:36 pm 7:36 PM

Excellent… I remember in 2002 several customers of Airtel would use the Delhi smsc (+919810051914) to send free SMS.