Prepaid nationwide carrier Ultra Mobile on Monday introduced a new way for customers to manage data usage with a tool that lets them choose their own download speeds.
Dubbed “Data My Way,” the new feature allows Ultra Mobile and Univision Mobile subscribers to set their own preferred loading speeds to conserve their monthly 4G LTE allotment.
According to Ultra Mobile, the feature offers three data speeds options – Super Saver, Optimized, and Full Speed. The company said Super Saver is designed for customers who primarily use mobile data for “less data-intensive web activities,” such as checking email, while the Full Speed option comes with no restrictions. The Optimized tier allows customers to stretch their data up to 20 percent longer, the carrier said.
“For anyone who’s ever streamed a few seconds of a video on their mobile network before closing it out, chances are that much more of the video file was actually preloaded and still counted against their data plan,” said Chris Furlong, Chief Product Officer at Ultra Mobile. “For the majority of people who don’t have unlimited 4G LTE data, instances like these can take a major bite out of your monthly allotment. Rather than try to upsell people, Data My Way is Ultra Mobile’s solution to help our customers get the full value of high-speed data they’re already paying for.”
The offering appears to be similar to features offered by several other national carriers, including T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T, and Sprint.
T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T now all offer optimization for mobile video, streaming at 480p to reduce the amount of data used (though that doesn’t matter at T-Mobile since most video is zero rated through Binge On). Verizon also had a feature called Data Saver that allowed customers to opt to only upload and download content when connected to Wi-Fi.
Ultra Mobile said Data My Way is available immediately to customers via the Account Management portal. The default setting is “Optimized,” but the company noted customers can toggle back and forth between the different settings as often as they like.