Thanks to the StreamOn option, customers with a Telekom mobile phone tariff have so far been able to use the streaming services for as long as they want without using up the booked data volume. But after a ruling by the European Court of Justice, the Federal Network Agency has now declared the option inadmissible. It is therefore abolished.
According to the court, StreamOn violates net neutrality. Therefore it can no longer be offered by Telekom, not even in existing tariffs. For customers, the decision means a huge change, as cell phone tariffs significantly lose value with the discontinuation of StreamOn.
StreamOn is deleted without replacement
StreamOn is a free option that Telekom customers can add to their mobile phone contracts. Telekom has partnered with over 280 streaming and multimedia services, including big names like Netflix, Disney + and Spotify, but also Apple Music, Twitch and Instagram. Instead of consuming data volume to use the services, they run across the EU at a flat rate. But this is precisely where the problem lies, as offers like StreamOn do not treat data traffic in the same way and therefore violate net neutrality.
Telekom must therefore stop marketing the option by 1 July 2022. The option can be offered in existing tariffs until the end of March 2023 at the latest. It then disappears without replacement. However, customers do not have a special right of withdrawal due to StreamOn’s discontinuation, as this is only an additional option and not a fixed part of the contract. You continue to pay the same fare price, but you have to give up the option.
This is particularly bitter because Telekom’s cell phone tariffs aren’t cheap. The smallest network-wide flat rate offer for telephony and SMS and 6 GB of data costs EUR 39.95 per month for a term of 24 months. Although the 5G option is already included here, the offering is no longer really attractive without StreamOn’s unique selling point. To make a comparison: Congstar has a rate with 15 GB of data for 22 euros per month, Edeka Smart, for example, offers a rate with 5 GB of data for just under 15 euros per month. Both suppliers operate in the Telekom network.
Read also: Consumer Center warns Telekom, Vodafone and O2
Are the rates getting cheaper now?
On the other hand, the Federal Network Agency believes that the discontinuation of StreamOn and similar options such as the Vodafone Pass have a positive impact on the German mobile communications market. “We expect vendors to now offer higher data volume rates or cheaper mobile flat rate rates. Consumers will benefit from it, “says Klaus Müller, president of the Federal Network Agency. It is questionable whether Telekom will really revise its tariffs after StreamOn is discontinued.