Sprint is ending unlimited 4G on broadband plans, will cuts continue?

Summary:Carriers are cutting back on the unlimited data allowances and they are becoming a rarity in the mobile space. Sprint still offers unlimited smartphone data, but with 4G cutbacks how much longer will they hold back here too?

One of the only reasons to get a Sprint iPhone over an AT&T or Verizon iPhone is the lure of the unlimited data plan, but with news that Sprint is cutting back on its unlimited 4G data offerings for broadband devices like tablets, hotspots, and notebooks you might want to get in on this deal before it ends. Sprint stated their smartphone unlimited offering will continue, but you can never tell for sure as a company starts cutting back in one area.

US carriers are all moving to metered data and thankfully I am still grandfathered into an unlimited plan on Verizon. I also have unlimited on T-Mobile, but that has the potential of getting throttled after 5GB of consumption (which has NEVER happened to me even with heavy data usage). The promise of devices like the OverDrive I looked at last year was unlimited 4G data and for those who travel and use such hotspots and broadband devices this is a major reason they went with Sprint. Verizon has better LTE coverage and if Sprint is going to meter this WiMAX data now I can see people moving to Verizon for this type of mobile broadband coverage.

Unlike smartphones where the carriers have traditionally grandfathered you into keeping your unlimited data unless you change your contract, there is no grandfathering being offered here. Sprint stated that customers subscribed to these services will continue to pay the same for their existng plans, but will be on a 3GB, 5GB, or 10GB plan that counts both the 3G and 4G data usage.

The Mobile Hotspot feature found on smartphones will also be limited to 5GB and is no longer going to be an unlimited offering.

Topics: Mobility, Broadband, Hardware, Networking, Telcos, Verizon, Wi-Fi

About

Matthew Miller started using a mobile devices in 1997 and has been writing news, reviews, and opinion pieces ever since. He is a co-host with GigaOM's Kevin Tofel on the MobileTechRoundup podcast and an author of three Wiley Companion series books. Matthew started using mobile devices with a US Robotics Pilot 1000 and has owned over 200 d... Full Bio

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