Thursday, December 24, 2015

YouTube vs. T-Mobile: Do Customers Prefer Price over Quality?

John D. McKinnon and Thomas Gryta report to the Wall Street Journal that "YouTube said T-Mobile US Inc. is interfering with its video traffic, raising a new issue as federal regulators examine the wireless carrier’s streaming-video strategy.

T-Mobile recently began offering a program 
[Bingeon] that delivers video at lower quality in exchange for waiving related data fees. YouTube and its allies say T-Mobile also is lowering the quality of video that isn’t part of the program, including YouTube clips.

YouTube, which is owned by Alphabet Inc., said T-Mobile is effectively throttling, or degrading, its traffic. “Reducing data charges can be good for users, but it doesn’t justify throttling all video services, especially without explicit user consent,” a YouTube spokesman said.

T-Mobile declined to address YouTube’s complaints. In a statement, the No. 3 U.S. carrier by subscribers said its customers “love having free streaming video that never hits their data bucket” and like “both the quality of their video experience and the complete control they have.”

According to T-Mobile the video quality in the Binge On service plan "looks great. Binge On™ optimizes video quality for smartphone screens. It provides a great DVD-quality experience (typically 480p or better) which can also minimize buffering and maximize quality while using a fraction of the data. But it is your choice. If you want a higher resolution data experience, you can always choose to turn off Binge On™; however, you will no longer have the ability to stream for free from your favorite streaming services or have video optimized for your smartphone screen resulting in higher usage of your high speed data .. 

..All of our included video streaming services will be optimized when using the app or streaming through browsers

..if you are streaming video from one of our Binge On providers while tethering from a smartphone, tablet, or mobile internet device to a laptop, desktop, tablet, or handset you will enjoy all the great benefits of Binge On

See "YouTube Says T-Mobile Is Throttling Its Video Traffic" - here.