Sprint unlimited data "may not be here to stay"


Sprint is not exactly the most loved carrier in the United States: among the big four, it has consistently ranked at the bottom when it comes to network quality, and the effect on subscribers has reflected that in the last few years. The change has been so big that Sprint, which was formally a solid third in terms of subscribers, leading on T-Mobile, and behind the AT&T and Verizon Wireless juggernauts, is now tied at the fight for subs with T-Mobile.

This, however, is changing. The first winds of change could be felt some eight months ago when Bolivia-born Marcelo Claure took over the CEO role at Sprint, and with a multi-billion dollar investment by Softbank (a Japanese carrier) billionaire Masayoshi San, the carrier has set on the difficult task of overhauling its network.

In the last few quarters, Sprint has witness some marked improvement in a few areas, with improving quality of the network in a few places, outpacing T-Mobile for the third place, and aiming for the first two.

In that transition, however, one of the key weapons of Sprint that it uses to lure in new subscribers is the promise for truly unlimited data. This signature feature of the Now Network, however, 'may not be here to stay', according to CEO Marcelo Claure.

As the network is improving, the carrier will have to introduce data tiers, similar to what we have on other carriers, in order to ensure fast speeds and avoid having certain users hogging the whole network.

Is this a good thing? It's a matter of priorities, and it seems that fast data and a good network trump the promise of unlimited with a so-so network, so that's one win for common sense, and - inevitably - the way forward for Sprint.

source: Re/code

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16 Comments

1. Doakie

Posts: 2478; Member since: May 06, 2009

LOL. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Let's make a SO SO network before we kill off Unlimited Data. Right now Sprint has a slow spotty data network, horrible dropped calls issues, and now they're getting rid of their unlimited data which is 100 Kbps in some areas? HAHA! I guess beggars can be choosers.

2. JesseJames

Posts: 226; Member since: Feb 22, 2015

It really depends on the area, I am in atlanta and in atlanta sprint is top notch for sure.

8. waddup121 unregistered

ooooooooooooo

10. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Dude you keep talking about Sprint like 2-3 years ago. The Sprint network is completely different now. I travel 2-3 weeks per month nationwide with a Sprint iPhone 6 from work and the network performs very well. Why do you insist on continuing to bash Sprint. Many changes have been Mande and many more to come. Give it a rest already.

11. QWERTYslider unregistered

As a 9 year Sprint user, the voice and data network is terrible. Price was all they could compete with. Now, they are raising their rates AND talking about removing unlimited? LOL So long Sprint, I'm dumping you.

13. TheRequiem

Posts: 245; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

I love looking at Doakies comments, every time I see his name I inherently see "Dookie" and next to it is a brown slivered android. HAHA Either way - completely invalid post, their network has VASTLY improved this past year and continues to do so. Sprint currently has 132 root score awards so far for the 1H when compared to the 11 last year during same time. The call drop rates are less then 1% in most area's now. Quit clinging on to 2008, it's 2015, time to step up your game.

3. thxultra

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

I don't see why anyone would want sprint with limited data plans. If you are going to pay for data may as well get Verizon or AT&T. I had sprint and had to dump them in a few months because their network was so awful. Sprint has a long way to go to compete on network performance with AT&T and Verizon.

12. threed61

Posts: 259; Member since: May 27, 2011

I found that I couldn't rely on either Sprint or T-Mo as my main carrier, they just aren't as reliable as Verizon.

4. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

If they Change my plan I bolt to verizon

5. Kelley71

Posts: 105; Member since: Nov 26, 2012

I'm a loyal Sprint customer, but I have to agree with thxultra. I know I'm not the only one who's stayed with Sprint not because I need unlimited data, but because I don't want to manage finite data. If this comes to pass, Project Fi just becomes that much more attractive--is Sprint really going to stay afloat just from the income from MVNO resales? If you can't compete on quality--and I'll be the first to admit Sprint isn't doing that--then you'd do well to compete on value.

6. QWIKSTRIKE

Posts: 1459; Member since: Mar 09, 2010

The big two said the same thing about data and set 5-10 gig limits until sprint and t-mobile set unlimited. Now they offer up to 100 gigs of data. This is all about making bigger profits period. If I must pay tiered I will go to verizon F Sprint if this happens. I knew when they completed network vision they may try this. They are in for a rude awakening...... Corporate greed at its finest. I have been here since 1997....I feel a change for the best will happen if they screw me.

7. xanderalmighty

Posts: 13; Member since: Mar 18, 2015

I still dont know why people talk crap about sprints network. YESSS they were less than stellar at one point but recently since this new CEO, their network has improved tremendously. New york, florida, New jersey and maryland are just some of the recent states i visited and had great service to say the least. Sprint spark has been improved. Sprint negative reputation still very much follows them, but they are #gettingbettereveryday.

9. Omarc07

Posts: 574; Member since: Nov 12, 2012

Like they say depends on the area i know a few people as of today with sprint spark phones they have showed me how much it still sucks here i seen it with my own eyes.. 1.1 dwn ,0.5 up with full bars lte on a iphone and half of the time they on 3G which is worse gets less than 1 mbp. Maybe in those areas u gone they fixed it but not here in los angeles its still waaaaay behind att n verizon

15. Jyakotu

Posts: 867; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

Highest I got with Sprint Spark on 4G LTE is 4 down, 0.3 up. Horrendous. Sad part is, it's still faster than our home Internet service, which is Clear. Yup, basically, we're surrounded by crappy service all around.

16. thxultra

Posts: 457; Member since: Oct 16, 2014

I have to agree with Omarc07 on this one. I used a spark phone and 1st it wouldn't always get spark even in Chicago. I would walk 1 block in a direction and it would lose spark and be back to 3g which was more like edge speeds. Sprint is always promising a better network but never delivers on that promise. They will bleed customers if they go to meeterd data because most of their customers have them because they offer unlimited and are cheap.

14. Jyakotu

Posts: 867; Member since: Dec 12, 2008

I learned that the family plan we're on now is no longer unlimited data, but instead, has a 4GB cap of 3G/4G LTE data with Mobile Hotspot. While tethering is nice, let's be real, why stay with sprint and have a data cap when Verizon and AT&T offer better networks? I know it depends on the area, but even in my own house and on my old college campus, Sprint's network was so inconsistent when compared to Verizon, AT&T, and even T-Mobile. My contract is going to be up soon and I am seriously considering dropping Sprint and going prepaid through AT&T GoPhone or even Cricket.

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