Analyst: unlimited data will end when Sprint moves to LTE

It looks like we have more analysts suggesting the end of Sprint’s unlimited data flat rate plan for smartphones is on the way. Several analyst who cover The Now Network believe when it deploys its LTE network next year, Sprint will drop its one true advantage because of spectrum availability.

Sprint is terribly behind in spectrum, with the company assigning just 10 megahertz of spectrum for the launch compared with its rivals’ 20 megahertz, according to analysts. In order to fully expand to LTE, the company will have to reassign airwaves being used for other services. The concern is that Sprint is launching LTE with little resources, as an analyst by the name of Phil Marshall told Reuters:

“It’s a very bare-bones implementation of LTE.” He continued saying “The risk is, if you don’t have headroom as your LTE subscriber base grows, then the speeds will go down. Unlimited is going to kill them. I think they’re going to have to back off from the all-you-can-eat plan.”

This can’t be ignored because the fact of the matter is Sprint is playing a dangerous game with its limited spectrum. Basically, if customers were to flock over to them in huge numbers its unlimited data plan could cripple the network or slow down speeds to the point of the network being unusable. In my opinion, the only way service quality could drop so dramatically is if Sprint somehow gained millions of subscribers all of a sudden, which is something I just can’t see happening.

[via Reuters]

  • Red777

    Marshall is an idiot. on day one, there are no customers on day 1.  he also doesn’t do teh math that Sprint has less then half the customer base of the Big 2 and about half their spectrum (not counting the indirect spectrum owned through CLWR). He is correct the speed/capacity via a 10Mhz implementation is lower then the 20mhz LTE implementation contemplated by Verizon and AT&T, but again those other carriers have more then twice the post-paid customer base that Sprint currently has.

    You said it right, unless Sprint all of a sudden picks up market share to add another 33 million postpaid subs to approach VZW’s and T’s customer base, well before that point, even at 5 million additional subs, that’s another $4.2 BILLION in annual service revenues — will pay for alot of spectrum alternatives.

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