T-Mobile-YouTube incorrectly throttles 1080p high bandwidth videos on youtube.com in the web browser for ALL T-Mobile customers

  • 7 January 2020
  • 8 replies
  • 2444 views

T-Mobile and/or YouTube incorrectly throttles 1080p high bandwidth videos on youtube.com in the web browser for ALL T-Mobile customers. (even with any video optimization settings turned OFF)

If you are a T-Mobile customer you can see this for yourself right now -- on your cell phone or tethered computer navigate in your web browser to youtube.com (do not use the YouTube app).

Search for any VEVO music video (since they use more than 1.5 mbps bandwidth).

Play the video in the browser, and change the resolution to 1080p - the video will freeze and buffer continously since the stream is capped at 1.5mbps.

I am working with T-Mobile's Office of the President and their engineers where I discovered the issue and I did calls with them and testing at home and in store with multiple devices to confirm.

Hopefully T-Mobile and/or YouTube resolves this soon.

Can I get T-Mobile customers to reply to this thread and confirm they see this issue?

Thanks.

William F. Garnett III


8 replies

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I don't have this problem.  Are you sure you are not in a congested area and used over 50GB of usage? 

I have the T-Mobile One Simply Prepaid 10 GB 4G LTE plan with Data Maximizer turned off.

As T-Mobile website states in the URL below you get up to 10GB 4G LTE whether you use the cell phone or tethered computer.

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images.rebellion.prod/General/Prepaid/marketing/Compare-plans_V4.pdf

I get download speeds late at night at 100mbps and even when I was on the call with the Office of the President this afternoon Ookla speedtest was over 50 down.

No issues downloading or uploading huge files on Google Drive - the 4G LTE speed is great.

How this started was when I filed a FCC complaint because when tethering I couldn't watch 1080p video on Vimeo, Youtube, on my tethered desktop.

See how the .pdf lists in fine print "You may deactivate Data Maximizer on some plans (e.g. Simply Prepaid) to allow on-device video to stream at speeds that provide HD video capability (max 1080p); tethering optimized." - I wondered if that meant I couldn't watch 1080p video while tethering at all.

I don't know if they modified my account but I can watch Vimeo 1080p video fine while tethered but high bandwidth (over 1.5 mbps) VEVO music videos don't play at all in the web browser regardless of cell phone or tethered computer so something is going on.  YouTube app on phone works fine so some coding issue is happening.

This happens even when I do my test at 3AM late at night with the web browser with VEVO music videos.

Even in the local T-Mobile store the Office of the President had me go to I went to a display model (Samsung Galaxy S10+) and didn't put my sim card in and it still wouldn't play.

Can there really be congestion at 3AM in the morning even though Vimeo and Vudu work fine and I can download huge files at 100mbps?

Check out the T-Mobile reddit thread too -- users are chiming in - many see the same problem on postpaid T-Mobile One Plus

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Ah ok prepaid.  Last I remember all prepaid were throttled unless on specific prepaid plans.  Don't quote me on that however there probably an old thread about it.

It is not just prepaid - I traveled to multiple stores in the Philadelphia metropolitan area (Levittown/Langhorne, King of Prussia Mall, and Springfield Mall) and the Android display models and the actual employee's personal postpaid Android phone all had the web browswer stuttering.

In addition, I have another phone number that it is AT&T so when I pop that sim card into my Android phone there is no web browswer stuttering.

Can I get some of you to run the test below to see what regions of the country this is happening?

Reply back the area of the country you live in (can list state or region only if you want for privacy), the plan you are on, the Android model phone you are using (please no Apple iPhone users), and state whether is stutters or not in the web browser in step 8 and verify the YouTube app itself in step 14 plays OK.

Thanks for the help everyone!

Testing Steps

1. Verify first that Wi-Fi is OFF on your cell phone - if not turn it off so the top of the screen shows LTE and the cell signal with no Wi-Fi connection.

2. Log into My T-Mobile and if there are video optimizations available (Data Maximizer, Binge On, etc) make sure they are OFF and HD is enabled.

3. Open the web browser on your phone -- Google Chrome or Samsung browser.

4. Type in web address for YouTube (howardforums is not allowing me to type the web address since I am a new poster)

5. Search for Karmin Hello - the first result should have this at the end of the URL: 0_I0DBUA_GI

6. Play the video (ads may play first).

7. As soon as the video starts click the wheel icon (settings) and change quality to 1080p and click "Stats for Nerds" and click OK.

8. The video will either play fine or the video will stutter and freeze throughout.

9. If the video plays fine the Stats for Nerds Connection Speed should be high.

10. If the video stutters the Stats for Nerds Connection Speed should be near 1500 kbps showing the video is being starved for bandwidth.

11. Close web browser.

12. Open YouTube app on phone.

13. Search for same exact video.

14. Play it at 1080p - the video should not stutter at all.

Userlevel 5
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wfgarnett3 wrote:

It is not just prepaid - I traveled to multiple stores in the Philadelphia metropolitan area (Levittown/Langhorne, King of Prussia Mall, and Springfield Mall) and the Android display models and the actual employee's personal postpaid Android phone all had the web browswer stuttering.

In addition, I have another phone number that it is AT&T so when I pop that sim card into my Android phone there is no web browswer stuttering.

Can I get some of you to run the test below to see what regions of the country this is happening?

Reply back the area of the country you live in (can list state or region only if you want for privacy), the plan you are on, the Android model phone you are using (please no Apple iPhone users), and state whether is stutters or not in the web browser in step 8 and verify the YouTube app itself in step 14 plays OK.

Thanks for the help everyone!

Testing Steps

1. Verify first that Wi-Fi is OFF on your cell phone - if not turn it off so the top of the screen shows LTE and the cell signal with no Wi-Fi connection.

2. Log into My T-Mobile and if there are video optimizations available (Data Maximizer, Binge On, etc) make sure they are OFF and HD is enabled.

3. Open the web browser on your phone -- Google Chrome or Samsung browser.

4. Type in web address for YouTube (howardforums is not allowing me to type the web address since I am a new poster)

5. Search for Karmin Hello - the first result should have this at the end of the URL: 0_I0DBUA_GI

6. Play the video (ads may play first).

7. As soon as the video starts click the wheel icon (settings) and change quality to 1080p and click "Stats for Nerds" and click OK.

8. The video will either play fine or the video will stutter and freeze throughout.

9. If the video plays fine the Stats for Nerds Connection Speed should be high.

10. If the video stutters the Stats for Nerds Connection Speed should be near 1500 kbps showing the video is being starved for bandwidth.

11. Close web browser.

12. Open YouTube app on phone.

13. Search for same exact video.

14. Play it at 1080p - the video should not stutter at all.

Yes I have done all multiple times, and have no trouble.  From what I remember in that specific thread especially on prepaid plans you are 480 all the time.  Now some employee plans are treated like prepaid plans(even if they are postpaid) from what codes I have seen.  No I do not work with T-Mobile, but the company I have worked for dealt with a lot of carrier plans.

I have an HD plan which I always have on since I got the plan and paid for HD video and never turned them off.  For reference I have the original T-Mobile One Plan with the promotional HD video on all my lines. 

What I think is happening has to do with how T-Mobile checks for tethering and not actually throttling the HD video itself.  T-Mobile plans offer tethering at "3G" speeds unless paying for specific 4G data bundles that offer high speed tethering.  If the network thinks you are tethering you speed will slow down to 3G speeds.  This also happen in certain apps as well.

tidbits - not trying to be mean but you are stating inaccurate information.

I have the Simply Prepaid 10GB 4G LTE plan -- here is the actual pdf from T-Mobile's website that states everything about it:

https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/images.rebellion.prod/General/Prepaid/marketing/Compare-plans_V4.pdf

With Data Maximizer OFF the plan gives FULL 4G LTE speeds on both the cell phone and the tethered/hotspot computer as long as you stay under 10GB a month and gives you 1080p video.

I have already tested and verified I get the FULL speeds on both cell phone and tethered desktop -- I can download from Google Drive near 100 mbps and Ookla speedtest shows off peak over 100 mbps download and around 35 mbps upload.  No complaints with the speed - I get fantastic 4G LTE speeds - amazing speeds.

I can watch 1080p video too on Vimeo, Vudu, etc.

This is specifically a high bandwidth videos on youtube.com inside the web browser (Google Chrome or Samsung Browsers) issue on both cell phone or tethered computer for the Philadelphia area and certain other areas in the country according to posters on reddit.  Some get this issue, some don't.  I don't even know if it has to do with the plan because some people on a plan get it and some don't!  The funny thing is the YouTube app on the cell phone works perfectly fine for everyone including me and plays 1080p no problem.  That's crazy! - on the same cell phone youtube.com can't play high bandwidth videos but the YouTube app can! This doesn't even happen when I put my AT&T sim card in my phone for the web browser so we can probably rule out the "YouTube is forcing you to use the app" conspiracy theory.

This is a net neutrality violation which I would imagine would be hard for T-Mobile or YouTube to even identify or fix because only certain people are affected.    T-Mobile needs to stop with the optimizations because it leaves room for errrors....

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Hope you are aware your link provides what I said. Some plans are treated like prepaid plans and some plans only offer 3G tethering. One other thing you may be looking at the wrong prepaid plan as the prepaid plans changed like 6 times since they introduced their uncarrier initiative. The plan I have post paid have 4 versions and looking at. If I ever change to the newer plan with the same name I would lose my HD promo. It was a peeve a lot of pillars had because we saw it’ll cause a lot of confusion.

It just congestion. The towers where you are at are just overwhelmed by the volume of users. Sadly, your speed will not change till their network is upgraded to handle the volume in your area. We're talking months or longer. I'm in Los Angeles and now only get 3-4 mbps with T mobile for most of the day through out the entire Los Angeles area. So if you live in a large metro area, don't expect much service or cross you fingers that your towers are not congested. Their solution was for me to sign a new contract for a free low end phone or buy a high end phone from them. My recommendation is leave T mobile. 

 

PS. Another ISSUE is, T mobile is shutting down Sprint network without keeping all of the bandwidth working, this will make many of the sprint phone obsolete. 😕

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