T-Mobile gives existing customers 3 months of unlimited LTE, with one catch

Subscribers get three months of unlimited LTE data--with the exception of HD streaming video.

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If you’re tired of all the sweet incentives wireless carriers offer to new subscribers, T-Mobile’s new deal may come as a relief. The carrier says it will offer three months of unlimited LTE data to all postpaid customers who’ve signed up by November 23.

The one big catch is that users must not disable Binge On, T-Mobile’s new unlimited streaming video offering. With Binge On, certain streaming apps such Netflix and Hulu limit video quality to 480p, but don’t count against users’ data allotments. Subscribers can disable Binge On at any time, but then they’ll lose the unlimited LTE giveaway for everything else. (Clarification: Instead of being cut off right away, customers will receive a warning when they disable Binge On, saying they'll lose unlimited LTE if they stream more than 30 minutes of HD video.)

The offer could be an answer to Verizon’s latest Thanksgiving gift, which offers 1GB of extra data to subscribers on their current and next billing cycles. But while Verizon’s giveaway requires jumping through some hoops, T-Mobile’s extra data should trigger automatically.

Just keep in mind that unlimited LTE doesn’t kick in until customers have burned through all their rollover data. T-Mobile recently changed its rollover policy so that users can’t carry more than 20GB from one month to the next.

T-Mobile’s other holiday deals include a bargain basement tablet Alcatel Onetouch Pixi tablet for free with a qualifying data plan. And on Black Friday, the carrier will offer a Samsung Galaxy S6 phone for no money down and no payments for 18 months. (After those 18 months are up, subscribers must pay off the phone or trade it in for a new one.)

Why this matters: The holiday deals are flowing at wireless carriers, especially top T-Mobile rival Sprint, which is promising to cut wireless bills in half for people who switch. T-Mobile’s data giveaway is the rare incentive that actually benefits existing subscribers—though it also may help nudge them toward larger, more expensive plans by encouraging heavier data use.

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