Sprint’s CEO reaffirms plans to keep unlimited data, for now

With recent moves by both AT&T and Verizon to nudge their remaining customers off of unlimited data and onto their new share plans, the spotlight has turned to Sprint.

Sprint is the last remaining major carrier in the US to still offer an unlimited data plan for smartphone subscribers, and everyone wants to know how long that’s going to last…

Through spokespeople, Sprint has confirmed on a number of occasions that it plans to continue offering unlimited data — even as it transitions its network over to LTE.

Today, the carrier’s CEO Dan Hesse spoke with The New York Times about the subject. And in response to a question regarding AT&T and Verizon’s new shared data plans, Hesse said:

“We currently have no plans to change. We’re not saying we won’t but right now we don’t have any plans to change our rate plan structure or our price levels. If anything, the changes that AT&T and Verizon have done have put our rate plans in very stark contrast to theirs —not only the fact that ours are unlimited but also very simple. Our plan is to stay with that very significantly differentiated value proposition, but we’ll watch how the market moves, if you will, in terms of what customers are attracted to over the next few months.”

While it’s good to hear straight from the horse’s mouth that the carrier plans to keep its unlimited data around, he does leave the door open for a possible future change.

Hesse’s “we’re not saying we won’t change” comment comes as a bit of a surprise actually, given the fact that Sprint’s unlimited offering is one of the only things keeping it competitive right now. Both Verizon and AT&T are far ahead of the carrier in terms of subscribers, as well as LTE speed and availability.

As it sits right now, our money is on Sprint keeping its unlimited data plans around through the fall — at least through the next iPhone launch — and then abandoning them down the road due to network constraints or for more money. At least, that seems to be how the “market is moving” these days.

What do you think?