Sprint Cripples Its $60 Unlimited Plan And Launches $70 Tier As Carriers Redefine Unlimited Data

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It seems as though wireless carriers are finding new ways to squeeze out profits and in turn hit customers with further restrictions on their cellular plans. We can credit T-Mobile with causing a resurgence in unlimited data plans, but the term "unlimited" has been butchered recently. The latest carrier to muddy the unlimited data waters is Sprint.

The company has announced two new unlimited data plans: Unlimited Plus and Unlimited Basic priced at $70 and $60 per month respectively. Unlimited Plus gives customers unlimited data, talk and text along with 15GB of LTE hotspot. In addition, Unlimited Plus allows you to stream in Full HD and includes free subscriptions to Hulu and TIDAL. Unlimited Basic still gives you unlimited data/talk/text, but you will only receive 500MB of LTE mobile hotspot and DVD-quality (480p) video streaming. You do, however, still get a free basic Hulu streaming subscription.

The new Unlimited Basic plan is far inferior to the existing $60 Unlimited Freedom plan. The Unlimited Freedom plan gave you Full HD video streaming, 10GB of LTE mobile hotspot data and free Hulu. 

sprint Unlimited Basic Plus

The extra $10 for Unlimited Plus (compared to the old Unlimited Freedom plan) only nets you an additional 5GB of LTE hotspot data and a TIDAL subscription.  If there's any consolation to this price shuffling, it's that LTE data throttling when you're connected to a congested cell tower will happen after 50GB instead of 23GB.

For its part, Sprint sees these new options as better choice for customers. "Customers told us that they wanted more from their wireless – more choice, more features and more value," said Dow Draper, Sprint chief commercial officer. "Today we’re introducing Unlimited Plus – a feature-rich option for those customers who want it all. We’re also offering Unlimited Basic for people who may not need all the bells and whistles but still want a high-quality wireless experience. Combined with our new Unlimited Military and 55+ plan we’re providing something for everyone, at the best price."

It was announced earlier this year that T-Mobile and Sprint intend to merge, creating a much stronger third-place carrier to compete with wireless juggernauts Verizon and AT&T. T-Mobile's acquisition of Sprint must past regulatory muscle, but T-Mobile CEO John Legere is confident that the deal will go through citing national security interests for America's 5G wireless revolution.