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T-Mobile boosts data throttling threshold to 50GB per month

Subscribers will get more data to consume starting Wednesday before they face a possible slowdown.

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T-Mobile CEO John Legere is at it again. 

Josh Miller/CNET

Those of you on T-Mobile's unlimited data plans will soon get to use at least 50 gigabytes of data each month before you face a possible speed reduction.

T-Mobile, the third-largest wireless player -- well behind Verizon and AT&T -- previously warned that it may reduce customers' download speeds once they've consumed 32GB of data each month. The wireless carrier said Tuesday that the threshold will increase to 50GB starting Wednesday.

The big four wireless carriers all offer plans with unlimited talk, texting and data. But when you hit a certain data limit, your data speeds are slowed down or your data needs are sent to the back of the line. AT&T and Verizon Wireless currently have 22GB data limits, while Sprint sets its limit at 23GB.

T-Mobile said the new limit means only the top 1 percent of data users will face a possible reduction in speeds, compared with the previous 3 percent.

"When T-Mobile customers who use the most data hit these prioritization points during the month, they get in line behind other customers who have used less data and may experience reduced speeds," the company said in a blog post. "But this impacts them only very rarely, like when there is a big line, and it resets every month."

The boost comes after T-Mobile and Netflix announced a partnership earlier this month that will give many subscribers to T-Mobile's "One" unlimited data plans free access to Netflix. But the freebie only works if you have at least two T-Mobile One unlimited data voice lines (single line customers are out of luck).

Unlimited data is one of many perks the carriers are dangling to get you to switch to their service -- or to stay if you're already there. For instance, there's T-Mobile Tuesday, a program to offer weekly freebies. AT&T offers its DirecTV Now online streaming service for $10 a month to all its unlimited customers. Sprint previously offered a year of Amazon Prime service to new customers, and it's now offering a free year of service for those willing to switch, as well as access to music streaming service Tidal.  

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