Top 5% of Sprint's unlimited users could be throttled starting next month
The idea is for Sprint to allow everyone in a particularly congested part of its network, to receive high quality data at the same time. Once a heavy data-using customer is no longer in the affected region, or the traffic in a congested area returns to normal, the customer's device will revert back to normal data speeds. A Sprint spokesman said that the carrier isn't being slammed with increased usage overnight, adding that this is a problem that has been getting worse over time, and will continue to be a problem as more people use complex mobile applications.
On the Sprint, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile FAQ web sites, Sprint notes that the heaviest data users are consuming more than their fair share of bandwidth. The mobile operator explains how it uses an algorithm on its CDMA and LTE networks to "dynamically allocate available bandwidth in a way that is fair to all users."
While the top 5% of data consumers are being targeted here, that group is constantly changing. As a result, if you're not sure if you are in the top 5% of Sprint data users, there is a quick and dirty rule of thumb. According to Sprint, those who use 5GB of data or more in any given month, will probably be part of the affected group. "Customers that continue to fall within the top 5 percent of data users will continue to be subject to prioritization," Sprint said.
But sometimes, those consuming a much smaller amount of data could fall within the top 5% of a smaller region. You might recall that AT&T had throttled speeds for the top 5% of users in certain regions. But when AT&T's unlimited customers started to get throttled after consuming just 2GB of data, the mobile operator had to make changes to its plan.
Boost and Virgin customers who exceed 2.5GB of data usage will have their speed throttled down to 128Kbps. Boost has added a $60 monthly plan that includes 5GB of data before throttling. Customers of both pre-paid services can make a payment to top off their account, and re-start their monthly billing cycle if they want to avoid the slower speeds.
1. Jommick (Posts: 169; Member since: 10 Sep 2013)
So you can have unlimited data, just not too much of it?
40. lsutigers (Posts: 696; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)
Dude, some of these data abusers are using upwards of 100GB+ of data /month. Wireless spectrum is a finite resource and there is only so much to go around. It is not meant to be used as your primary ISP which is what many are doing by tethering every wireless device they own on a single cell connection.
42. Fallout09 (Posts: 412; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)
I don't know how they can use that much data.... my data coverage is horrible at best. I have to move from WiFi to WiFi in Charlotte for almost a year now. It has been getting worse and worse everyday. I have been patient with Sprint for a while now because I knew the end game of Project Vision but I am near my breaking point.
2. rdaex (Posts: 72; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Sooooo... no change from current speeds? Got it.
6. grahaman27 (Posts: 345; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)
Its a matter of going .02mbps to .01mbps. I'd be ticked if I were still a sprint customer, but for other reasons lol.
31. Doakie (Posts: 1095; Member since: 06 May 2009)
So the 5% of customers lucky enough to have a LTE signal are going to get throttled....
Sprints network seriously only provided me 50-200 Kbps here in Seattle, totally unusable data in Waikiki I couldn't even send a Hangouts message and roaming on Verizon in Disneyland. Sprint is garbage.
3. rdaex (Posts: 72; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Alternatively: In other news: we have found the most patient 5% of people on earth!
4. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1191; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
So they sold you a plan that was truly unlimited but then comes around and say sorry, you used too much data and we are going to slow you down now.
11. tech23 (Posts: 9; Member since: 22 Dec 2012)
1gb with mobile hotspot ,speed will slow down after 1gb FREE
3gb with mobile hotspot ,speed will slow down after 3gb $10
5gb with mobile hotspot ,speed will slow down after 5gb $20
Or truly unlimited data with 5gb mobile hotspot $30
12. ErenJaeger (Posts: 114; Member since: 22 Apr 2014)
I miss the $20 unlimited, no throttle data. I was too late for the offer. I wish i could get it.
13. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1191; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
I have AT&T family share 10GB plan and even with me streaming video about 1 hrs of content a day while I commute to work. I only used about 5GB of data o.O I still don't know how can that many people used that much data.
36. bigdawg23 (Posts: 344; Member since: 25 May 2011)
I am with you. I had AT&T unlimited data and never got throttled. I moved to the Family 10GB when it launched and dropped by bill $50 a month. I stream like you do and cant touch 10GB. I travel and go out of my way. It makes me wonder if the uses complaining about Unlimited Throttling tether their laptops and don't pay for home internet. How someone can use 20-60GB on a phone is mind boggling.
39. jaytai0106 (Posts: 1191; Member since: 30 Mar 2011)
I think those people do use tether for their home internet usage. Might as well go with Net 10 or something alike to get unlimited data to tether. Nevertheless, personally I think 10 GB is way more than I need for now :D
5. joe1blue (Posts: 77; Member since: 25 Jul 2013)
I just left sprint for t-mobile and I have to say how can anyone use a lot of data on sprints slow ass network it took me so long just to load a simple Web page and it was impossible to play a YouTube video so I have to ask how are these people using more than 5GB of data unless you know how to force roam onto Verizon's network If I wasn't able to get on wifi then I often gave up on whatever website I was trying to load.
8. grahaman27 (Posts: 345; Member since: 05 Apr 2013)
Yeah I went from sprint to at&t and thought I would never use over 2GB of data... Then I got at&t and realized how wrong I was.
17. downphoenix (Posts: 2266; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
Sprint's Terms and Conditions only allows 100mb of data roaming a month. So if they were forcing roaming on Verizon, they would also have to simultaneously dupe Sprint into thinking it's their data they're using instead of Verizon's and also dupe Verizon into thinking that they are on Verizon. Quite a feat to do, since otherwise they'll get the boot.
25. theBankRobber (Posts: 645; Member since: 22 Sep 2011)
If your in a LTE or Spark area such as me then using internet at speeds up to 60Mbps can easily add up. But myself I watch 30 mins of Netflix everyday at lunch and only manage 3.4gigs a month. Depends on your area and by the lack of your education I can see how to think Sprint is just a slow network.
32. Doakie (Posts: 1095; Member since: 06 May 2009)
You're lucky. You're in the top 5% that'll be throttled. Sprints network is crap. It's been crap everywhere I've traveled... Your experience is what people call anecdotal and it doesn't have any bearing on what happens elsewhere. I understand mine is anecdotal too, but at least the hemorrhaging of customers reenforces my claims...
41. lsutigers (Posts: 696; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)
Yes but all you do is bash Sprint while they are in the middle of a full network rebuild from the ground up. Im not going to argue whether that was a good decision to take on such a massive project at once but the reality is that in upgraded markets their network is performing much better and not anecdotal. Sprint has millions of business/enterprise/government customers, including our company and the service works great and that is using non Spark devices and thy are not completely finished with the network.
I understand you were bitter at one point about it but jut stop bashing in every single article, you sound like a broken record. Bro, we get it, you don't like Sprint.
18. downphoenix (Posts: 2266; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
by going from 56K to 28K or 19K or something like that?
10. ez31k (Posts: 40; Member since: 10 Jan 2012)
Well, if anyone couldn't find an excuse to get release from their contract, this is as good enough as ever. Sprint will lose out on the customers that wanted a truly unlimited despite the slow network to companies that already have a throttle implimented and a better network. Good Job D*cks, you are now T-Mobile minus the Network.
14. joe1blue (Posts: 77; Member since: 25 Jul 2013)
thanks for mentioning that I totally missed it now I got a perfect excuse to get off this contract
15. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3214; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
Not a good way to keep customers sprint.
16. MrRansom12 (Posts: 3; Member since: 13 Nov 2013)
Glad I am not under contract with them. I will take a little throttle however if this becomes like 2G speeds, I will find another carrier. I signed up for lifetime unlimited data and thats what I want, it shouldn't be throttled either, how about upgrade the network?
19. true1984 (Posts: 582; Member since: 23 May 2012)
aww crap, i used a lttle over 15gb last month...
22. Planterz (Posts: 536; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
I think you'll be OK. I'm with T-Mobile, and I used over 300gb last month. I doubt 15gb would place you in the top 5%.
21. rdaex (Posts: 72; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Its interesting, as a business decision... theyre bleeding customers still, they cant fund NV properly, theyre schizophrenic as all hell with their decisions (ED plans, My way plans, Framily plans, free tablets, 100 off SPC, NV, Spark!) and through all of the crap, they havent introduced ANY consumer friendly policies or anything. I worked there for years and remember when activation fees were 18 bucks, there were no upgrade fees, employee discounts were applied to ALL lines, no restocking fees, and the R/E period was 30 days.
ALL of that has gotten worse, the NETWORK has gotten worse, and PRICING has gone sky high... it boggles the mind how they attract new customers.
27. TruPatriot (Posts: 87; Member since: 27 May 2013)
You're such a keen observer of the wireless world but you think Sprint's pricing is sky high with no mention of ATT or VZW? Interesting.
33. Doakie (Posts: 1095; Member since: 06 May 2009)
At least with those you pay more for a bigger faster network... We left Sprint where we were paying $260/mo for five lines(before Framily plans existed) and now we're paying $160/mo for 4 lines on AT&T.... I don't even know how much Sprint charges for 4 lines now, I have been so happy with AT&T that I've never looked back!!
26. jskates420 (Posts: 40; Member since: 29 Jun 2013)
You guys bashing Sprint, hey atleast I don't have problems with my spark enabled phone,seriously if you guys got the 50mbps I get in Los Angeles and all over the OC then you guys would shut up,but since mostly everyone is on T-Mobile they go and defend T-Mobile,do a Real time speed test with sprint spark and T-Mobile you'd see that spark blows tmobiles LTE out the water I'm glad I get great speeds with sprint you guys just find something wrong with sprint and keep hating shaking my head at all the haters
34. Doakie (Posts: 1095; Member since: 06 May 2009)
Weird. I was roaming in Disneyland with a Galaxy S 3. I didn't see what you're experiencing.
35. jskates420 (Posts: 40; Member since: 29 Jun 2013)
Well that's because the galaxy s3 is only a single band phone unlike spark enabled phones which use 3 bands hence the name Tri-Band,just wait and see sprint may not be showing progress right now but soon it will have spark in every city in the u.s and come on I have the GS4 mini and even when I'm on 3g it's way much faster then when wimax or single band LTE would fall to 3g
38. benzb (Posts: 26; Member since: 19 Jan 2012)
Hey buddy, guess what? I am in Los Angeles and I tried out Sprint Spark - IT SUCKS! You can have "up to 60mbps" speeds in one block, drive a half a block and be lowered to less than 1mbps. Same goes with their crappy LTE network that they still have not completed in Los Angeles. Major freeways (405, 101, 134, 210, 10, 5, etc.) still have huge spots with no LTE and extremely slow 3G! T-Mobile network and speeds overall kills Sprint's network and speeds! So you have Spark - great! What about that great indoor signal on the 2.5ghz network? (*sarcasm*) I have used Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon. Sprint is the worst of the four in all tests in Los Angeles - period! Horrible policies - Horrible customer service - Horrible network. Don't fool yourself. I hope they NEVER buy T-Mobile! I have no love for any carriers because they all only want one thing - MONEY! None of them care for their customers. However, I will gladly pay the other three and don't see myself ever joining Sprint.
28. dorian827 (Posts: 123; Member since: 28 Jul 2012)
Nothing new from such a under promising carrier. Sprint needs to replace the P, R and N with an H in front of the I.
Also discontinue the Sub Companies operating under Sprint like Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile. They're trailing behind competition. Especially in coverage
29. jroc74 (Posts: 4720; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)
Many called this years ago....eventually....they all follow suit....
37. retronig (Posts: 15; Member since: 21 Nov 2013)
So sprint is getting worse instead of better. I remember many people saying that they were gonna do this eventually and look they did. Next they are gonna have tiered data plans. I hope mr son is happy with this. I guess he and hesse think this is gonna bring more customers. After losing so many already this is a very bad time to do this. They suck already