When T-Mobile launched Binge On last year, it had some pretty big issues. Many customers were not happy that they were being forced to watch lower-resolution video on their smartphones, in exchange for that video not counting against their data cap. Shortly after it launched, T-Mobile made it easier for users to opt out of the service, however, as the company's CTO Neville Ray mentioned today, very few have actually turned off the service.
Ray was speaking at the Mobile Future Forward conference today, and stated that less than 0.8% of T-Mobile's customers have actually turned off Binge One since it was launched last November. The ability to turn off Binge One became a big topic shortly after the service was announced last year. Many were concerned that it violated the FCC's Net Neutrality rules, which the FCC ultimately said that it doesn't, and that's due to the fact that any service could be part of Binge On, and that it wasn't limited to just Netflix or Hulu. Now, all video is automatically part of Binge On, meaning it's definitely not violating Net Neutrality.
Binge On has been such a huge success, even though the company is kind of steering away from it now with their new T-Mobile One plan, that even international carriers are calling up Ray to find out how they were able to accomplish this. He stated that he has received calls from no less than a dozen international operators asking about Binge On service, as well as their approach to video usage in general. Now, Ray didn't say which operators specifically contacted him, nor whether they were looking to launch their own service similar to Binge On, but there's definitely interest there. Launching Binge On has definitely changed the network data traffic on T-Mobile, it has been significantly reduced. Ray noted that data traffic is now much flatter, and in some cases it's reduced from the same period a year ago.
The way that Binge On reduces the amount of data on T-Mobile's network is downgrading high resolution streams to 480p. So instead of watching a 1080p or even a 4K video on YouTube and using a lot more data, you are watching a 480p version using much less data and for the most part customers don't notice a difference. Binge On was just one of many Un-carrier moves that the magenta carrier has carried out since John Legere took over the company in 2012. All of which have been designed to solve customer pain points, and have brought in more and more customers, each and every quarter.