Sprint cans unlimited 4G data from mobile hotspots, are smartphones next?

Sprint just killed unlimited 4G data from its mobile hotspot plans, which means the few reasons to go with Sprint in the first place are becoming smaller. It also means that if you’re looking to sign up for new service for a mobile hotspot, there really is no reason to choose Sprint over Verizon, whose 4G LTE mobile hotspots destroy WiMax any day. Oh, and guess what? If you think your antiquated plans are going to be grandfathered, think again. You’ll be capped, too.

Gizmodo reports:

Sprint’s plans now cost $45 for 3GB, $60 for 5GB, and $90 for 10GB of combined 3G/4G data. Each additional MB will cost 5 cents. (They used to run at 3GB, 5GB and 10GB of 3G data, with unlimited 4G for all of the plans.) That cuts your value exponentially, if you were using the 4G liberally. (Oh, and it’s pretty crummy Sprint’s changing the game on people who’ve already signed up for service with the expectation of unlimited data.)

If you’re on a contract, this material change might be an escape for you, so you can head to greener pastures. On Verizon, you can get 5GB/month for $50, or 10GB/month for $80. Not only are Verizon’s plans cheaper than Sprint’s options, but speeds are often double or triple what you’d find on Sprint’s aging and possibly-soon-to-be-abandoned WiMax network. Sprint says that WiMax will still be around, but for how long? Just take a look at iDen.

Does this mean smartphones are next? Kyle Wagner at Gizmodo makes a good point in questioning Sprint’s reason for doing this. Is its network becoming too congested? Are unlimited data plans, for whatever reason, unsustainable?

I’m thinking that perhaps its upcoming LTE network might have something to do with this, but in what way, I’m not sure yet. Either way, Sprint might’ve just lost a good chunk of mobile hotspot users.

  • Austin Bair

    I was waiting for this.  I’m not surprised.  It’s the way things usually go.  Too much of a good thing have to come to an end.  If Sprint doesn’t notice, they are the least desirable network.  They have the worst 4G coverage in the US market.  Now they are limiting data on their crappy slow coverage.  I mean “C’Mon Man” I’ve had my EVO since release and have never had even 3G coverage in my market.  I want to upgrade in 163 days and just added my whole family to my plan.  FIVE LINES SPRINT!  Shame on you! I would have to say by the end of 2012, Sprints’ unlimited data cell plans will be a thing of the past.  AT&T&T will be completed, and Verizon will swallow up Sprint!  At least that’s my prediction……

    • To be honest, my T-Mobile data blows the socks off Sprint. Even in my neighborhood and house where T-Mobile has “4G” coverage but the speed is 100-300kbps, its still faster than the 50kbps-200kbps Im getting on Sprint. 

      Not only that, but when I go somewhere and turn on 4G in my Sprint phone, 99.999% of the time it doesnt work, but my T-Mobile has 3G or 4G (it doesnt really distinguish) and is pulling in speeds 10x faster than Sprint 3G. Even in full coverage 4G T-Mobile and full coverage 4G Sprint areas, T-Mobiles HSPA+ network STILL kicks Sprint’s butt. It has a lower latency, 1.5x higher speed on average (like I said, in full coverage areas) and its QoS is so much better. 

      Let that be a suggestion to use T-Mobile or even AT&T over Sprint. Oh, and since the iPhone launch, Verizon’s EVDO network has gone from EVDO Rev. A to EVDO Rev. 0 speeds. 

      • Jamescal2002

        The worst thing a company can do is lure you in on a teaser, then change the deal. Sprint has done just that. I changed from verizon specifically and only because sprint offered unlimtied 4g. Now they chanced it. Sprint is now my enemy. Spread the word, sprint is dishonest

      • Mario

        I received a “courtesy” call from Sprint letting me know that I went over my data usage. I called and was told about the new “cap”. I work from home and use two laptops for at least 11 hours a day (business) and 1 hour for personal browsing. I switched my two smart phones because Sprint offered to lower the monthly rate on my hot spot by $10.00. By the way, I owe Sprint $700.00 for going over my data usage. Is T-Mobile the best option?

  • Sprint has signed its death warrant.  To remove the one key issue to maintain brand loyalty for those of us who have been enjoying 4G unlimited, many of us don’t go hog wild, they have told us all, go to hell.  Well, given the materiality of the change, I was able to cancel without any fees today – you have 30 days to do so per your contract, otherwise, if you choose to quit later, you’ll be subject to the early termination fees… I would rather have two phones with both verizon and att that did grandfather loyalty, then to stick with a company like sprint.  Your demise can’t be soon enough…

  • The issue here is that Sprint KNOWS WiMAX sucks, and I know why they arent continuing with Unlimited 4G data…. Ready? Its cause when they launch their LTE network, they cant sustain unlimited data or bandwidth in order to best compete with AT&T and Verizon and their speed.

    So, to get ready for LTE, much like Sprint got ready for iPhone by raising the ETF and killing the 30 Day Guarantee, Sprint is cutting any way that people could be grandfathered in and bog down the new network.

    Unfortunately, they now are going to lose at LEAST 1/2 a million who realize that other networks, T-Mobile included have a bigger, better, faster and CHEAPER OVERAGE option for 4G data. Sprint will have to waive ETFs and lose more money on the equipment people throw away once they switch to Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile. Considering WiMAX is dead, whos gonna keep a WiMAX 4G modem of any sort? Even if it has 3G in it, its useless off Sprint.

    Sprint would be smart to keep 4G unlimited at least until they have a REAL running LTE network in place. Why? Because WiMAX is so small anyway, one can barely get a signal to even connect to use said 4G data. Not only that, the speed is so slow, people HAVE to remain on it, in those shoddy areas just to use any portion of their unlimited data.

    It should be of note that I use 4G on my mobile phone, when I can, since 3G pretty much doesnt work at all anymore. And I still use LESS than 5GB. Just because I use LESS THAN 5GB doesnt mean Sprint should introduce a plan with less data, it simply means I enjoy having a plan where I can use 1GB 3GB or 5GB or hell even 9GB’s in a month without worry.

    Its nice that Sprint produces commercials touting unlimited data, but after January 2012 they have ZERO plans to keep it. Mark my words.

  • Anonymous

    Big middle finger salute to Sprint!

  • AlaskanRose

    Protest all forms of data unless it’s unlimited.  It’s time to show these big companies who pays their check!

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