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

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?

SHARE:

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

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

13 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • RE: Sprint is ending unlimited 4G on broadband plans, will cuts continue?

    It would be a very unwise move for Sprint to end its unlimited data plan(s). Especially if what I read in your article says that current unlimited plan users will not be grandfathered and will be changed to limited data for the same plan price? That does not make sense. Does not that breach the contract and users can quit without penalty fee?
    I am not sure if you are shorting the stock or not but I have not heard from Sprint at all on this info.
    infobits
    • RE: Sprint is ending unlimited 4G on broadband plans, will cuts continue?

      @infobits digging into the linked article, there is this link back to Sprint's website: http://support.sprint.com/support/article/Mobile_Broadband_Plan_and_Mobile_Hotspot_Addon_Changes_starting_November_2011/case-uh277325-20110927-142416/?ECID=vanity:servicechange
      grayknight-22253692004129760887070084760051
  • RE: Sprint is ending unlimited 4G on broadband plans, will cuts continue?

    So glad I left sprint. It was one thing after another. First i had to pay a $10 4g fee even though they never brought 4g to my area (hampton roads area, VA). I bought the Evo4g knowing i would be able to upgrade in 1 years time with the sprint premier rewards which they ousted about 3 months before I was eligible. And lastly their 3g service in areas with the best reception barely hit 1Mbps. I hear its even slower now that they picked up the iphone. Moved to Tmobile, getting 7-8Mbps, and so glad they didnt get the iphone to bog down their network.
    ltgisabeachbum
    • RE: Sprint is ending unlimited 4G on broadband plans, will cuts continue?

      @ltgisabeachbum
      T-Mobile won't last. They'll either go out of business or one of the big two will eventually gobble them up.

      Enjoy it while it lasts. ;)
      ScorpioBlue
  • RE: Sprint is ending unlimited 4G on broadband plans, will cuts continue?

    I'd have to actually be able to GET a 4G connection before I would miss it; I haven't seen one yet on my Evo 3D in the Dallas-Fort Worth-Denton area. I barely get 3G at work in Denton, so 4G is a pipe dream. And to think we pay that $10/month surcharge for... nothing?
    cestrauss
  • RE: Sprint is ending unlimited 4G on broadband plans, will cuts continue?

    I've been paying the stupid surcharge on my evo4g and never seen 4g. Sucks doesn't it?
    bobfortner
  • RE: Sprint is ending unlimited 4G on broadband plans, will cuts continue?

    Your headline might better be phrased "Sprint announced it is capping 4G Hotspot users", NOT "...ending unlimited broadband...". CNET carrying your article as written is ... likely getting a lot of traffic for the "misleading" head line.<br>Sure, anyone can write an article prognosticating something. Let's see, "laptops are going the way of the whip & buggy". What exactly is the difference between a "laptop" and a tablet, when the o/s & UI of both incorporate a touch screen ... and then what is the likelihood of the "death" of the laptop as opposed to stating it as the "convergence" of the laptop & the tablet?<br>Sure, as someone recently wrote, Sprint may have a network performance problem if it attracts a number of new users all actively using their device internet capabilities...
    it would be helpful were you to actually provide some "quantitative" information, rather than subjective hyperbole ... like say what Sprint network capacity (rollout plans) are (this is a function of current cap ex that can be found in any carriers sec quarterly filings) or any number of industry reports versus subs and the nominal mix of voice versus data bearer traffic .... OBTW, this sounds a lot like those articles a couple years ago complaining and winning lawsuits against the so "wonderful" Verizon & ATT for their actual versus marketed network performance and end user "closed" device efforts ... remember all the complaints about tethering limitations .... what's the difference? Try putting a financial equation together which characterizes BHCA, sub avg data DL / UL, avg cell tower "sector" availability, avg cell tower "sector" capacity, avg cost of cell tower "sector" [remember that some towers are rented or leased at a contract rate as opposed to owned by a carrier & that "sector" has to match the tech being used - 4G is overtly different than 3G, as is different from 2G, ...]<br>Yes, as is often the case, relevant facts take the attention span of longer than misused buzzword(s) to make a headline
    life's-too-short
  • Whiners!

    Does anybody ever do anything but whine in the talkback?? I love data caps. I barely ever go above 5GB, and I only want to pay for what I use. The $10 charge is not for 4G. I never see 4G, because I never turn it on. You whiners don't need it, because if you did, you'd get something that works (cable internet, satellite internet, etc.). The only time I watch youtube on my phone, or on my phone's hotspot, is to see if Sprint can handle it. Because that aspect has been so Over Hyped by the media. Get a grip, people :)
    evansomd
  • RE: Sprint is ending unlimited 4G on broadband plans, will cuts continue?

    Actually, it does worry me that, between this rollback and the dissolution of the Premier program, Sprint is in danger of losing the uniqueness of their offerings. That will make them less distinguishable from Verizon and AT&T, which means that they will lose customers in the process, and maybe my family as well. Coverage here is marginal outside the larger cities, and without the annual upgrades and unlimited data, I have little reason to remain on the network. If the limits continue, I can definitely make the case for leaving Sprint for better coverage and living with the more costly plans.
    always-a-geek2
  • RE: Sprint is ending unlimited 4G on broadband plans, will cuts continue?

    Looking at their statement that would mean $50/gb overage charge! WOW and extra $100 if you watch an extra movie on your device...
    dmead001
  • RE: Sprint is ending unlimited 4G on broadband plans, will cuts continue?

    shrug. If they can't provide it for 1/10c and sell it for $10 it's not profitable enough
    redking44
  • iizjqnb 00 pgg

    iynugz,csvkvfqg94, bosxm.
    chomeioy82-24379044486164939789241882904494
  • RE: Sprint is ending unlimited 4G on broadband plans, will cuts continue?

    Thank you for sharing!
    i know some great Apple iPhone Bag, The website is <a href="http://www.esaledeal.com/Supply-apple-iphone-bag_c1706">http://www.esaledeal.com/Supply-apple-iphone-bag_c1706</a>
    esaledeal