Sprint Kills Unlimited Data Plan, Will Not Affect iPhone

By , Oct 23, 2011

As our very own Sebastien correctly predicted, Sprint has announced that it is discontinuing its unlimited data plan. The only catch is that smartphones, including the iPhone, will still be able to take advantage of an all-you-can-eat data plan on Sprint’s network.

Sprint will begin imposing data caps on each customer’s next bill cycle, but iPhone users won’t be affected by the policy change. This move indicates that Sprint doesn’t plan on keeping its unlimited plan around in any form for very long.

Every other US carrier caps data usage, and T-Mobile throttles users that exceed a limit of 2GB each bill cycle.

Sprint’s new data policy applies to all of its “tablets, laptops, netbooks, USB and PC Card modems, and mobile hotspot devices.”

Macworld reports:

“While capping data use on its 3G network to 3GB, 5GB or 10GB per month, Sprint has continued to offer unlimited 4G service. Now, the cap for each of these plans will cover the subscriber’s combined monthly data use on both 3G and 4G. All data use above the cap will cost $0.05 per megabyte.

The monthly allowance for data use while roaming on non-Sprint networks will be 100MB for the 3GB plan and 300MB for the other two plans, with each megabyte over those caps charged at $0.25.”

The iPhone cannot take advantage of Sprint’s 4G network, and the carrier touts itself as having the best 4G coverage in the US.

Oddly enough, many customers have been complaining about slow data speeds on the Sprint iPhone. We’ve compared all three major US carriers’ data speeds on the iPhone 4S — Sprint was the slowest.

Due to the fact that the iPhone hasn’t been on Sprint’s network for even half a month, it’s obvious that the head honchos at Sprint wouldn’t be stupid enough to kill off unlimited data for new iPhone customers.. yet.

Sprint is still differentiating itself from AT&T and Verizon by offering the only remaining unlimited data plan in the US. We’ll see how long that lasts.

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  • Kikaida

    Wow, they’re not even grandfathering existing users? Are they TRYING to chase away their existing users?

    Dumb move Sprint… Their unlimited everything plan is what differentiated them from the competition, and would be the only reason I would consider moving to them. I would have moved if I wasn’t stuck in my contract because of a second phone that was recently added to my account.

    Now that it is going away, they are not even worth a consideration.

    I think this move may be the beginning of the end for Sprint…

    • Kikaida

      I would like to add that I hope AT&T and Verizon don’t decide to take away the unlimited plans that existing users have away because of this move…

  • http://none The Verizon Dude

    Sprint thought it would be saved by the iPhone when they’re making their own doom and the iPhone’s not gonna help them if no one want them

  • http://none The Verizon Dude

    Sprint thought it would be saved by the iPhone when not even the iPhone will make up for their lousy coverage and slow data speeds, the iPhone’s not gonna help them if no one wants to go with sprint

  • Kevin Hintzman

    Go ahead Sprint, I DARE you to take my unlimited iPhone plan. You haven’t yet but when you do, BAM! I’m out and I’m paying a big phat $0.00 because you will have substantially changed my contract. Then I can sell this iPhone for a profit, upgrade to a larger one on a better network (hey, anyone hear AT&Ts 4s is 4G somehow? Cough bs cough) and buy an obnoxious iphone case off of eBay that has a picture of Dan Hesse and a goat (and guess what they’ll be doing??).

    • MrA

      “(hey, anyone hear AT&Ts 4s is 4G somehow? Cough bs cough)”

      Made me laugh.

  • Bill

    I think its a good idea to take Unlimited data away from grandfathered subscribers, as they should! Hopefully the other carriers follow suit on this.

    • Bill

      lol Haters will hate, I still think its a good idea. : )

    • Bill

      Actually I do have a grandfathered plan, still think its a good idea.

      • SoCoMagNuM

        im glad you think its a good idea bill…i dont. what now? should we lose sleep?

    • Eric bartoszak

      Bill please explain how it’s a good idea to limit data on smart phones

      • Tomb198269

        KILL BILL!!!

      • Bill

        My point is even tho I’ve been grandfathered into my plan with my carrier for 11 years its preferable for me to keep it, but I can also see the other side of things for the ones who are not as lucky as you or I and are not grandfathered in. Lets say somebody has to leave their company for either bad service or their company ceases to exist now they will not have their awesome grandfathered plan that we have. Is it fair to them that they join say our company and not have the same benefits? I just look at it as leveling the playing field for everyone.

        Now yes I do love my grandfathered plan and really wouldn’t want to see it go away BUT I don’t see how its fair for somebody else who may have had a grandfathered plan at their other company, was a good customer but not on the same level as us. I know it may sound nuts but thats why I was saying what I was saying.

      • Kikaida

        Bill,

        Thank you for explaining your position. It doesn’t make alot of sense, but at least we know where you are coming from.

        As far as a “level playing field” I don’t agree with your statement. If the issue is with your employer, then it is up to your employer to compensate the employee if they feel it is necessary. They still have the option of offering your co-worker an “unlimited” plan by just paying for all charges the phone incurs.

        Another example is that where I work, my company recently switched from a Pension retirement plan to a 401K system. All existing employees were grandfathered in to the old plan, but any new employees would now need to use the new plan.

        That is not to say that my grandfathered pension plan could get taken away in the future, as is the case with my AT&T plan.

      • Kikaida

        Correction:
        “That is not to say that my grandfathered pension plan could not get taken away in the future, as is the case with my AT&T plan.”

    • Chris

      I agree with Bill that is actually a good idea.

  • aaron

    NThey’re only taking unlimited data away from data cards and netbook plans, not cell phones. Chill out ya’ll.

    • Kevin Hintzman

      Oh, thank goodness we have someone as bright as you to keep us under control and free from this hysteria Aaron!

      Just a side note to just you Aaron: notice the message that permeates the article–>the worry is that Sprint is moving in that direction. No one here is saying that they’ve already done this. But thank you for reminding me and the rest of the proverbial “y’all” to chill out. I am going to go do that now.

  • aaron

    The very first comment in this thread suggests that the unlimited data portion of the unlimited everything plan is “going away”. SOME people in this forum are confused. I stand by my comment Kevin. Troll.

    • Kikaida

      Aaron, I am not confused. I know exactly what the article said.

      If you think you are safe with your unlimited plan because you have a smartphone, you have a bad surprise waiting for you in the future.

      I can guarantee you that way more traffic is generated on their data network by smartphones than laptops. This is only their first step in getting rid of unlimited data.

      The fact that Sprint is taking away the unlimited feature without grandfathering means that when they do decide to take away unlimited from smartphones, they will probably not grandfather them as well.

      I just hope that AT&T and Verizon doesn’t look at this move, and decide to get rid of their existing grandfathered unlimited plans as well.

      I have a grandfathered AT&T unlimited plan, and use way less than 2GB per month (usually less than 1GB), but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t in the future, especially with new technologies like iCloud and Siri and any other future technology on the horizon. I do not want my unlimited plan to go away.

      And Bill, you are a dumbass. Either you make stupid comments just to get people riled up to reply to you, or you are ignorant. If you think you have a valid point, explain it so it can be discussed openly. You might change other peoples minds on the subject, or you yourself might change your mind.

  • http://www.TerranHosting.com WaterTrooper

    I don’t feel sorry for Sprint at all. Companies that can’t run their business right are doom to failure.

  • The Wizard’s Baker

    Just offer 2, 5 or 10 gb plans! $10 for 2, $20 for 5 and $40 for 10! Carriers make more money people don’t go over everyone wins! I was grandfathered into unlimited data but extensive use of mywi caused them to switch it to 4 gb tether plan. I go over 6 gobs and pay an extra $60. That’s just disrespect and an insult to AT&T customers. Like my extra 6 gbs of data is somehow causing them to have to it in overtime or actually cost THEM anything. Fuck all these carriers. We need something truly unlimited. Built right and strong enough to handle the traffic. Just merge all the companies how it was 10 years ago.

  • Bob

    I don’t get this level the playing field business to make this fair. How is it fair if sprint keeps changing plans and forcing everyone to pay more for less? This has happened multiple times with sprint. I used to pay $10 for unlimited data then came unlimited plans for new smartphones (reason why I stayed on winmo so long). Another upgrade cycle rolls around and they started to tack on an extra $10 for “premium data” on top tier phones. I will not be surprised if sprint axes unlimited altogether in the near future. I’m glad I sold my phone for a hefty amount and paid ETF and switched carriers. Even though their coverage was consistent for me (albeit slow data), unlimited data plans are the only they edge have (plus slightly cheaper plans).

  • Sprint user

    This is old news. This info was already put out before the iPhone launched at sprint. Stop trying to bash sprint, they just got the iPhone.

  • Kikaida

    Bill, you should change your plan to the 2GB plan. That way you will save $5 and you will have leveled the playing field by one.

  • SteveMobbs

    Tmobile just bumped my prepaid android plan to 5GB of full speed data for the same price. AT&T better not buy them! The carriers are acting like a cartel now

  • Mark Smith

    I started out with a brand new Treo 300- Sprint was trying to interest customers in a $500 smartphone w/internet, so they offered me $10/mo unlimited data. I then went to a Treo 600 a few years later, then a 650, then a Treo 755 and my last phone was an HTC Touchpro2- activated in June-2010. When I tried to do a premier upgrade, I discovered my legacy $10/data could not be used on any new smartphone activation- even a like replacement phone! Basically, when this phone died, my plan was dead , too. Four reps later, I discovered they axed my plan for business reasons- I then immediately cancelled my Sprint service – I explained I was making a business decision , too— to never, ever own another Sprint phone- and my family axed them , too. We have an ATT iphone family plan now.