Sprint Hits 3G Subscribers with $10 "Premium Data" Fee

Ruh roh Shaggy, get ready to fork over an extra $10/month to Sprint to cover the wireless service provider's "Premium Data add-on charge to activations of smartphones." But don't worry, the additional funds coming out of your pocket is how Sprint shows it's "committed to providing its customers a great wireless experience now and in the future." Does that help ease the sting?

Probably not, but the increase in its postpaid rates is going to happen anyway. The $10 charge will take effect beginning January 30, 2010 and "will assist Sprint in offering simple and affordable unlimited plans for its customers while maintaining a wireless network able to meet the growing appetite for a richer mobile experience. Subscribers with smartphones will still receive the best value in wireless, including the Any Mobile, Anytime feature offered nationwide only by Sprint," the wireless carrier announced.

The $10 fee previously only applied to Sprint's 4G handsets -- all three of them -- but will soon apply to all smartphone activations. For those who already own a non-4G device, you won't see any change in your billing until you upgrade your phone or add a new line of smartphone service.

"Sprint’s unlimited data plans, with or without the $10 charge, continue to beat the offerings of our top national competitors, who cap users’ data, charge data overages, and do not offer the unique functionality of Any Mobile, Anytime, which gives subscribers on the Sprint network unlimited calling to any other wireless user in America regardless of carrier," Sprint said.

How do you feel about the policy change?