Sprint to Keep Unlimited Data, At Least for Now

Sprint to Keep Unlimited Data, At Least for Now

Sprint is the only of the U.S. Big 4 wireless carriers to still have and unlimited, unthrottled smartphone data plan, and despite the fact it's widely expected to get access to the iPhone for the first time this year, it's going to continue that. But where have we heard that before (Verizon, before the CDMA iPhone 4) and how long did that last (not long)?

Sprint Chief Technology Officer Stephen Bye confirmed that when addressing attendees of GigaOm's Mobilize conference in San Francisco on Monday.

Tiering and throttling complicates things for end users, but is the path that AT&T, Verizon, and T-Mobile have chosen to use for their new subscribers (older subscribers may have been grandfathered into unlimited plans; T-Mobile advertises unlimited but throttles users, after a certain amount of data is used).

The complexity is made still more confusing by moves such as AT&T's, where it will throttle the heaviest among its unlimited users. AT&T obviously wants grandfathered, unlimited users to move out of those plans and into tiered data plans. The company said that if a user wants unlimited AND unthrottled data, he or she needs to opt into a tiered data plan, because with overage charges, it's still essentially unlimited, but there will be no throttling.

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Of course, if you chose to go "unlimited" with overage charges, you are going to experience "unlimited fees," as well.

Although Bye said that Sprint wants to give users what they want, which is free phones, simple plans, and unlimited data, it's not clear how long Sprint can sustain that. The nation's No. 3 carrier will soon have the iPhone. Remember that although Verizon began iPhone sales with its unlimited data plans firmly in place, it was only a few months before those went the way of the dodo.
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I am going to be kind of pissed if the iPhone coming to Sprint screws up the unlimited data plan I got going. I think overage fees for data is a bunch of crap and throttling is more reasonable. The main thing that upsets me is that the cost of transmitting data is not nearly as high as cell companies and ISPs make it seem.

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Why would getting the Iphone prompt them to change their Data plans. Most of their top phones use tons of data and I'm sure there are quite a few people that abuse the hell out of the unlimited plan. If they are smart then they will keep the unlimited plan long after the get the IPhone cause I can see lots of people jumping ship from AT&T and Verizon to go unlimited. I honestly would take an HTC Evo 4G or a Samsung Galaxy S II over the IPhone any day though lolz.

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Yea... anyone who works in IT on networking equipment realizes how ridiculous the charges are from cell phone companies and ISPs.

Sending a Text message uses less bandwidth than placing a call to say what was said in the text, yet they charge you more for it.

Tethering your device costs you extra... even tho you are using the same network you are already paying to have access to. if you're paying for tethering... you're paying for the right to use a USB cable.

If you are paying for mobile hotspot on top of tethering, that's even MORE ridiculous, because you are paying to use a capability your phone already has and you're STILL using the SAME network you are already paying to have access to!

How do we keep letting them get away with this stuff?!?! It's CRAZY!

It's like if you're ISP came to you and said... oh you're gonna use internet connection sharing on your computer so you're other computer can access the internet too?! That's gonna be an extra $10 a month. Oh you want to set up an Ad Hoc from one laptop to the other to share your internet? That's gonna be an other $10 a month. What's that you say? You're gonna use your own wireless router? Well it's gonna be an extra $10 a month for that too!

Blasphemy I tell you!

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Exactly acartz, though I do remember a time when the Cable company said you could only use your connection for one computer. Some modems still lock down to the MAC address they are plugged into in peoples homes and you have to reboot the thing if you have to hook a different computer in.

That ones nice thing about having a rooted Evo I can do what I want without paying them extra for the services...

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I do respect Sprint for doing the right thing. Hopefully they can continue to offer unlimited although I am not with them its sill good to see.

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