Sprint taking the "unlimited" out of unlimited 4G mobile broadband plans
Sprint is the last remaining of the four main carriers to offer truly unlimited 4G data with no caps or speed throttling. Their mobile hotspots such as the Overdrive have been available on a monthly plan that included unlimited 4G data courtesy of Sprint’s WiMax network while a 5GB cap would be in place when in 3G areas.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that Sprint also took away unlimited data when using your smartphone to tether. This all comes after Sprint CTO Stephen Bye labeled unlimited data as a “differentiator” last month. Even though Sprint’s smartphones still will not be capped, this must be asked. How much longer until it is?
In addition to tablets and mobile hotspots, affected devices include netbooks and laptops with built-in WiMax support and USB connection cards. Sprint is making this change effective in November but dates will vary depending on the billing cycle. Once that change happens there will be three different plans to choose from; a 3GB, 5GB and a 10GB option. Instead of speed throttling Sprint is going the way of charging overages as every extra MB of data will cost $.05.
Unfortunately Sprint will not be grandfathering anybody into this plan. Once the change goes live everybody will be affected. It really only was a matter of time until this happened. What do all of you think of Sprint putting an end to unlimited 4G mobile broadband?
1. lubba posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:49 9 4
Deceitful business. Get the iphobe, lock millions of customers in, then change the plan. With the losses from the iphone deal, gotta break even somehow. No way they can run unlimited 4G with all them smartphones out there, especially the iphobe.
16. arcq12 posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:44 8 0
idiot aren't you? it's only for mobile broadband do you understand that?
45. tim7722 posted on 22 Oct 2011, 04:32 1 0
and at 5 cents a MB thats 51.20 per GB of data where verizon only charges $10 per GB for overage.
Good news is, those silly "are you truly unlimited" commercials will be gone.
30. Droid_X_Doug posted on 21 Oct 2011, 14:02 1 0
It will be interesting to see how many of the customers for Sprint's data devices switch to VZW. A large majority of the data devices that are the subject of the current shift in contract terms are probably not under the $325 early termination fee and are probably close or fairly close to the regularly scheduled contract end date. Given the larger LTE footprint that VZW has compared to Sprint's WiMax footprint, I suspect that if prices are comparable, Sprint data customers will make the move to VZW.
53. Phoneguy007 posted on 23 Oct 2011, 17:59 0 0
I dont know why it took pa so long to post this.
34. JeffdaBeat posted on 21 Oct 2011, 15:45 0 0
I don't think that's quite the case. If you signed your contract with an unlimited plan, you should be able to keep it. If Sprint decide to change that, they would have to let you out of your contract...I think that's why there are so many grandfathered plans...
42. networkdood posted on 21 Oct 2011, 22:11 0 0
nope, read it again - this is for existing and new customers - AT&T did this at one time, too....
56. JeffdaBeat posted on 24 Oct 2011, 08:26 0 0
Then they have to let people out of their contract...
2. WirelessCon posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:54 0 3
Wow, so many people I know are on Sprint specifically for the unlimited data. This will disenfranchise many customers.
OCCUPY SPRINT! THEY ARE THE 1%
Time for some data legislation methinks.
4. Tux4g63 posted on 21 Oct 2011, 09:57 0 0
Although their will not be any grandfathering, will current subscribers still be allowed to download unlimited 4G data per the terms of their original contract?
5. EclipseGSX posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:01 2 0
"Unfortunately Sprint will not be grandfathering anybody into this plan. Once the change goes live everybody will be affected"
that would be a no
32. Tux4g63 posted on 21 Oct 2011, 14:30 1 0
I understand that no current subscribers who have unlimited data would be able to renew their contract, but im wondering about people who are in "mid contract." I may very well be wrong but my impression was that grandfathering in the wireless industry meant for those who are trying to resign another contract.
48. Lotus posted on 22 Oct 2011, 15:24 0 0
You are mistaken. To be "grandfathered in" in this context means you are locked in because you currently have the service. According to Phone Arena's report, even a currently unlimited subscriber will be subject to the new rules.
6. DROIDX0430 posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:05 2 0
Unlimited data is a thing of the past..with the influx of 4g and people capable of dowloading 60gb or more....creates a loss for the business...and cell phone companies arent in business to lose money....luckily you arent stuck...all contracts are two years...but where are you going..metro pcs. Boost....so you can complain because itsnot going to get better. The now network is now canceling unlimited and the premier customer perk incentive....going down..down..down
7. arcq12 posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:07 1 0
wrong move by Sprint. next stop most likely are for smartphones.. good luck sprint users..
8. miker875 posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:13 3 0
don't know if anyone is reading correctly, but this is for broadband devices not phones
13. warlockz posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:20 2 0
Good call. However given the fact that no one would be grandfathered in it will be only a matter of time with cell phones. But ya I don't think ppl read it clearly such as myself lol
9. warlockz posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:17 1 1
First of all lol at sprint. There are two opionions and they are only mine. I don't like to state facts without documentation and support of said facts. From my understanding given the information I have read it seems people are abusing tethering if that's the case than shame on them a cell phone is ment for what it is not for maintaining a server lol but given the fact that sprint just got the iphone and now they decided to halt the unlimited data plans and NOT be grandfathered in is shady shady shady. I feel ashamed that I was considering going from vwz to them just for their plan. I rather pay vwz extra premium now more than ever because they didn't take my unlimited plan away. Nexus here I come.
11. catfacepanda posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:18 2 1
Since they aren't grandfathering anyone, the people who signed a contract prior to this change will probably have the option to get out for free.
29. Snapdude posted on 21 Oct 2011, 12:05 2 0
doubt it, there are terms in the contract allowing for plan changes to maintain "network integrity"
46. tim7722 posted on 22 Oct 2011, 04:39 0 0
That would fall under other things like Throttling, cutting you off at your data cap and so forth. when they're main selling point is selling you on an "unlimited plan" and then saying it's 51.20 per GB for overages is just plain old misleading and I can see this becoming a big legal issue. They may not willingly let you out of your contract but you can definitely argue your way out of this one.
12. akhi216 posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:20 1 0
That's why I left that sinking ship and went to Verizon.
14. spanky posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:23 1 0
this has been out for a while now. it is only affecting mobile broad band, not phones. increased revenue from this is being used to find the network vision project. i know very very few people that use more than 5gb of mobile broadband anyway.
15. skymitch89 posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:23 1 0
And that's why I don't have a tablet or mobile hotspot, not to mention that I can't afford it. I'm happy with my teathering app that I have on my phone, though it would be nice for wireless teathering.
17. ZayZay posted on 21 Oct 2011, 10:53 0 0
Already knew about this for a few weeks. Phone arena your behind the times.
18. arcq12 posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:00 0 0
i know right? it's been announced since like the end of sept or 1st week oct..
27. Ian.M posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:58 2 0
There were two seperate announcements. One for taking away unlimited internet when tethering and then this one for mobile broadband devices.
28. ZayZay posted on 21 Oct 2011, 12:04 0 0
We understand phone arena had two different announcements but not Sprint. We got informed in September.
19. squallz506 posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:04 1 0
i like how im on virgin mobile and get unlimited data for $25/mo. including tethering. i just think its funny that sprints prepaid offers something that now none of the big 4 offer. i am talking about tethering unlimited for no extra charge for 1/4 of what people pay on the big 4.
24. jdrevolution posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:38 4 0
Just to let you know, while Virgin Mobile (and Boost for that matter) do use the Sprint network they don't actually access it in it's entirety, so the coverage is smaller then Sprint's actually coverage, that's why it's cheaper.
20. ecml490 (unregistered) posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:05 3 0
Sprint is starting to be a lot more like verizon and att. Increased etf to and today when I was going to return my epic touch 4g I learned that they changed their return policy to 14 days without knowing and wouldn't accept my return.
21. arcq12 posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:09 1 0
yup. they did those effective sept 16.. when they released the SGS2..
22. elandrumiii posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:18 1 0
I have been pro Sprint for years. I dont mind the change but atleast VZW and ATT grandfathered those that already had the plan in place. Hello VZW or ATT. I can get more native coverage and LTE coverage with either one. Thats why I didnt get a new phone as of yet.
43. networkdood posted on 21 Oct 2011, 22:13 0 0
No, eventually AT&T did force everyone onto 5GB plans....
23. Ravail posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:21 2 0
I think many of us saw this coming when the iPhone was announced on Sprint. With this throttle being put into place its only going to make AT&T and Verizon stronger.
25. jdrevolution posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:49 1 1
This doesn't actually effect the iphone's internet use at all, considering smartphone internet is still unlimited and still un-throttled, and this effects the iphone even less because it's not a 4G phone anyways, so nothing here is effecting the iphone at all. The only thing this effects is broadband cards, tablets and netbooks. and people don't use the internet on those that much to begin with (as in the don't normally hit over 5GB).
So if you have a sprint smartphone and don't have mobile hotspot or any of the other items, this has nothing to do with your phone or phone plan, and you would still continue to get the unlimitied internet and whatnot, which is something that still, neither ATT nor Verizon offer.
I think the not grandfathering people in sucks but it won't effect sprint smartphone users as a whole.
26. KevMauHen18 posted on 21 Oct 2011, 11:52 4 0
First of all, if you keep saying that smartphone users are screwed reread the article it clearly states that it is netbooks, tablets, the mifi devices, and the hotspot app. Also, I don't understand why people make such a big deal of sprint putting "caps" on their data, Verizon did it, ATT did it, and they're still as prosperous as ever. If anything, Sprint should be applauded for keeping up the truly unlimited data experience. It's inevitable that the change is going to happen it's a must in order for business to thrive. Obviously if you're grandfathered into an unlimited data plan you have nothing to worry about. So if you DON'T have a plan with Sprint or already have an unlimited data plan, stop complaining!
31. TECHY101 posted on 21 Oct 2011, 14:12 2 2
Hmm still seems ok to me...........my phone is still unlimited. i barely use 2gigs of data on my overdrive mobile hotspot so i'm ok with the change. I'd rather have this change then to worry about throttling my headset speed or limiting how much data I use on my iphone. Frankly you all should just get over it. Most of you'll have been stuck with those expensive VZW and ATT plans anyways so why does sprint matter.
33. downphoenix posted on 21 Oct 2011, 15:38 0 0
It better be a contract opt-out event. If not the BBB and FCC will be getting a lot of angry letters about sprint.
35. threeline posted on 21 Oct 2011, 16:37 0 2
If Sprint doesnt offer the Galaxy Nexus next month, there is no real reason why they shouldn't, Im out to VZW! VZW has 3 monster phones (Rezound, Galaxy Nexus, Droid RAZR) coming out and Sprint is resting on the 4S! Not good enough for me!
44. sinfulta posted on 22 Oct 2011, 00:58 4 0
I thought the Galaxy S Nexus Prime is exclusive to VZW. Google was giving one exclusive model per year. First TMobile, then it was Sprint, and Now Verizon, Next year ATT. (This is not counting unlocked ones of course) I'm pretty sure this was the plan they said they had in place when google mentioned it a couple years ago.
36. GeekMovement posted on 21 Oct 2011, 17:32 1 0
If sprint ever changes unlimited on smartphones... *poof*
37. DigitalMD posted on 21 Oct 2011, 17:56 1 0
Sure puts a dent in your shiny new paper weight don;t it?
39. marcee posted on 21 Oct 2011, 18:58 0 0
Gonna make it a helluva lot harder to sell, that's for sure.
We all knew it was only a matter of time...
40. Jeradiah3 posted on 21 Oct 2011, 19:11 0 0
I knew this was coming...it was only a matter of time b4 sprint would follow everyone else and end their unltd data. although their cellphones arent affected, with the addition of the iPhone, its only a matter of time b4 sprint caps their data.
id give it a year, maybe a little longer
47. Astreo posted on 22 Oct 2011, 12:13 0 0
And so it begins. I knew their "unlimited" plans were just a ploy to get people to sign up and that it would soon end. I do notice that it just says 4G though so does that mean 3G will still be unlimited?
Edit* I suspect many people will be filling lawsuits now that they are stuck in contracts with supposedly unlimited data. such is the way of america.
49. ChrisTheTechGuy posted on 22 Oct 2011, 20:42 0 0
My whole thing is, I understand changing it for mobile broadband services because you certainly can hog down a lot of data. But 5 cents a mb? Really? That means the worst bill I once saw (65gb) of overage that a customer used on a netbook (at vzw amounting to $650 in overage) would have been $3328. I would hate to field that call.
50. yungmel0 posted on 23 Oct 2011, 05:51 0 0
This is the Begining of the end for Sprint. I've been on Sprint for two years and the unlimited data has been sweet. I myself might have abused it tho. I used my hotspot app to access the net for my xbox..... Won't be doing that anymore!!!! But if Sprint wants to remain in competition they will have to hold out and keep making smart moves. This might not be a major blow to the company now but It's still effecting consumers. Unlimited data is the only thing holding them in a solid 3rd spot amongst the other big companies. If Sprint loses unlimited data they will not survive no matter how good their phone selection maybe. I will remain loyal to sprint but if unlimited data is gone I might as well look for better coverage vs a better deal.
51. mktpostal posted on 23 Oct 2011, 10:35 0 0
I have been with Sprint since 1997. I stick with because of its loyalty plan and because of Sprint offers unlimited data plans on smartphones. If Sprint changes this I am a gonner. I love Verizon Fios so to consolidate all my services including phone services would be easy to do.
54. DigitalJedi_X1 posted on 23 Oct 2011, 21:06 0 0
Is this really that hard for some of the dummies here to understand?! THIS IS FOR TABLETS AND MOBILE HOT SPOT DEVICES ONLY!! NOT FOR CELLPHONES!! Is that really that hard for some to understand?!
55. Cristianx posted on 24 Oct 2011, 05:00 0 0
I like that you do cancel my comtrato and I imagine many people will also leave unlimited deveria that's what differentiates sprint