All good things must come to an end. With Sprint
being the last major oasis for unlimited data plans, the news that subsidiary Virgin Mobile
is going to begin throttling users is indeed negative.
With competitors Verizon
, and AT&T
killing off their unlimited data plans and T-Mobile
throttling users, customers desperate for data have been moving to Sprint or one of several small, contract-free carriers, like Virgin Mobile. However, Sprint announced last week that they would start throttling Virgin Mobile data users that went over a limit of 2.5GB.
Many users are now questioning if this is a sign of things to come
; while Sprint ads admonish T-Mobile for its "unlimited data" plans which are not truly unlimited, the company is now doing the same to its own pre-paid branch, and some customers think this may soon be the end of unlimited data as they knew it.
There are others suggesting that this may be a move for exclusivity on Sprint's part; while Virgin Mobile is a subsidiary of Sprint, users that wanted truly unlimited data could pay the cost of a new Android smartphone up front and then get 300 talk minutes, texting, and data for $25 a month, no contract required. They even have a web page
for customers to compare pricing versus other carriers (Sprint being conspicuously absent from said comparison).
Meanwhile, Sprint charges much more for unlimited data: $79 per month on top of a required two-year talk and text contract. If potential customers had been weighing Sprint against Virgin Mobile, and Sprint was losing, then perhaps Sprint decided to put an end to the competition.
With Sprint's flagship Evo 4G
doing well and new heavy-hitters on the way in, the company may have decided that now is the time to make themselves stand out as the last top-tier company offering unlimited data. Regardless of the reason behind the decision, it seems that customers will be the ones stuck with the tough decisions in the future.