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T-Mobile backs down on data cut for existing customers

T-Mobile has cancelled plans to cut its data fair use policy to 500MB from up to 3GB, although only for existing customers -- and it won't charge if you go over.

T-Mobile has changed its tune quicker than a trumpet player with his flies caught in a meat slicer, saying in a statement that it won't be cutting the fair-use limit from 3GB to 500MB, but only for existing customers.

A wave of derision washed over the Internet after the company previously published a clumsily written missive telling customers, "if you want to download, stream and watch video clips, save that stuff for your home broadband."

People chained to T-Mo contracts were climbing over themselves to cancel their contracts, despite the company weakly parrying with claims that the mobile data allowance wasn't part of its core service. The fact that it had given less than a month's notice about the change didn't help the big pink network either.

With its tail firmly tucked between its legs, T-Mobile has moved the change forward to 1 February, and says it won't now affect existing customers, just new ones. That means if you bought an Android phone with a 3GB fair-use limit from T-Mobile you can keep it, unchanged. The sting in the tail is that you'll join the new customers in the 500MB ghetto if you upgrade. 

You won't be charged if you go over the fair-use limit, but some of your phone's data services, such as streaming music, will be cut off. If you want to keep surfing with all systems go, you have the option to pay more for a 1GB limit.

That gives T-Mobile some advantage over Vodafone, which charges its customers a fiver when they break their 500MB data ceiling. O2 also ditched unlimited data for new and upgrading customers last summer, cutting its fair use from unmentionably high to a mere 500MB.

Head on over to our tips on the best mobile data deals if you're still looking for a port in the Web-surfing storm.