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Sprint to keep unlimited data, it’s a “differentiator,” CTO says

Posted: , by Victor H.

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Sprint to keep unlimited data, it’s a “differentiator,” CTO says
Sprint’s CTO Stephen Bye is one of the key people at the carrier when the fate of its unlimited data offers is being discussed and he reassured everyone that the Now Network is keeping data just as the users like it - unlimited. CTO Bye stood for an interview with GigaOM and spoke about the future of Sprint. 

Still, keeping unlimited data is a tough issue and it is being actively discussed internally, but for the time being it’s more of a “differentiator,” setting the carrier apart. And there’s a couple of reasons why Sprint would like it to remain this way. First of all, it’s simpler from a technical standpoint to just offer unlimited data as there are no complex calculations to be done. In addition, users also don’t get confused and have a very simple system, ultimately translating into less resources required to support the service.

On the flipside of things, Bye mentioned that “there’s clearly a cost there to support unlimited” and as the distribution of usage is not always equal “there’s pressure and that’s a challenge for all engineers.” So it’s not 100% certain that the carrier will keep the unlimited offering in the long-term, but it’s sure that Sprint sees it as an advantage, a differentiating factor - just as the users.

But the market is not one where everyone wants the same service and that’s why Sprint will continue its MVNO efforts including Virgin and Boost, which give the users more affordable and shorter-term alternatives to long carrier plans.

Of course, it didn’t go without iPhone questions, but the executive was tough and nails and didn’t utter a word about an upcoming iPhone on the carrier. He did however mention that the Now Network has done “tremendously well” without the device. You make something out of this. All other minor indications however have pointed to Sprint finally getting Apple’s handset, though, so we’re keeping our fingers crossed - the official announcement is rumored to fall on October 4th, right around the corner.

source: GigaOM

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posted on 27 Sep 2011, 06:25 1

1. Phullofphil (Posts: 800; Member since: 10 Feb 2009)


First

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 06:39

2. dacastrator (Posts: 232; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


so what's your point?

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 06:49

3. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


so basically he just reiterated everything that Hesse has already said.. yay.

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 06:56

4. nyamo (Posts: 274; Member since: 19 Mar 2011)


for once i see sprint making a smart move. for how long? its anyone's guess but they stopped shooting themselves in the foot for now

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 07:35 1

5. BuckeyeCadet86 (unregistered)


"So it’s not 100% certain that the carrier will keep the unlimited offering in the long-term, but it’s sure that Sprint sees it as an advantage, a differentiating factor - just as the users."

This is the same language that Verizon used when it got the iPhone, leaving it open that unlimited data had an expiration date, and so does Sprint's.

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 08:26

6. superguy (Posts: 269; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


Let's call if the For Now Network. :D

Once iPhone comes over and people start using it more, I bet Sprint buckles to the pressure and starts offering tiered data. It won't happen immediately, but I'd bet we see in in about a year or so.

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 09:11 2

8. Vercetti (unregistered)


they ahve 3 times the spectrum of the other carriers. They can even expand when needed so they are not going to be overloaded.

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 12:22

12. ZayZay (Posts: 555; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


They should single out the iphone and only tier the data on that one phone.

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 09:12

9. gajetski (unregistered)


I don't know why everyone thinks the iphone uses so much data, its certainly less than android. Sprint has nearly half as many subscribers than Verizon. unless the iphone doubles their customers then I don't see it flooding their 3g spectrum anytime soon. Not to mention on the 4g side sprint has as much wireless spectrum as the Verizon and t-mo combined. The problem however is that being the only unlimited in town, they attract people like us who use more data than the average user.

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 10:00 1

10. woody350 (unregistered)


Sprints unlimited data could last forever. When 2/3 of there customers cant reach a network speed faster than 200kbps there is no need to.

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 13:46

18. Debbie (unregistered)


woody, I know what you mean...it is like dialup here in south Texas and it is pretty sad when even the Sprint managers that I have talked to says the same thing.

I am lucky to break 100k down on a good day and this has been going on for over a yr or 2. Once they lose unlimited data whenever the day comes I am gone.

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 11:40 2

11. theBankRobber (Posts: 645; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)


I just got my Sprint bill yesterday and I used a total of 18gigs of data last month. 4.7 of 4g and 13.5 of 4g. Now before start talking crap, I watch a lot of netflix and clips on my phone, and if the extra $10 is a unlimited data charge I have to pay for, well it came in handy. Most months I use ONLY 5gigs total but last month I was out of work with 2 broke ribs and needed to rest up.

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 12:24

13. ZayZay (Posts: 555; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)


Take unlimited seriously. I checked my bill and I had a few months with 10gbs and an average or 3.5gbs.

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 12:34

14. darth8ball (Posts: 519; Member since: 02 Aug 2011)


I have a novel idea for Sprint, VZW, AT&T, Tmo and all others, let the top of the line high end smartphone users have unlimited and all others who buy discounted or lower end smartphones have tiered data. Why should when I buy a top of the line Launch Day Phone for full price have to fight for data speed with a soccer mom who buys a year old reduced price phone and wants to email recipes while watching her kids soccer game?
Sorry needed to vent there for a minute. But my point remains bargain phone = tiered plans. full price high end phone bargain data.

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 13:00 1

16. shimmyx20 (Posts: 280; Member since: 03 Mar 2009)


I don't think whether or not unlimited is available should depend on the age or specs of the phone. I think it should be available to those who are willing to pay the higher monthly charge for it. Have the unlimited data plan at a higher MRC, while people who don't need as much data can pay a lower MRC.

Or they could make it speed based like a lot of internet providers are. Have unlimited, but pay a higher or lower monthly charge depending on what speeds you want.

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 12:39 1

15. woody350 (unregistered)


What part of the country are you in? I have been a sprint customer for 13 years and i have never ever had the chance to use even 2% of that on the sprint network

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 13:10

17. bolaG (Posts: 468; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


Unlimited will end. Q1 2013 tops.

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 16:21

20. Phoneguy007 (Posts: 218; Member since: 02 Jun 2011)


they have already capped some data plans....but not on there phones yet

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 15:32 1

19. The_Miz (Posts: 1496; Member since: 06 Apr 2011)


Lol, Sprint kills Unlimited data, they'd be signing their death warrant because people would just flock to carriers with far better networks and phones.

posted on 27 Sep 2011, 23:08

21. yungmel0 (Posts: 25; Member since: 18 Jun 2011)


Yeah. Some what agree. But sprint has been making some major moves snatching up some greats phones including jumping on the Iphone band wagon. I believe sprint will keep it truly unlimited.

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