The Tech News Blog

July 13, 2013

New Sprint Plans Guarantee Unlimited Service for Life

Sprint Unlimited Guarantee

Sprint today unveiled a new "Unlimited Guarantee" plan, which - as the name might suggest - guarantees unlimited talk, text, and data for as long as you are a Sprint customer.

The guarantee is for new and existing customers who sign up for Sprint's Unlimited My Way or My All-in plans, which are available today and start at $80 per month. Existing customers can switch without re-upping their contracts.

With the MyWay plan, a person with one phone line will be charged $50 per month for unlimited talk and text, plus $30 for unlimited smartphone data for a total of $80 per month. There's the option to add more phone lines or opt for 1GB of data; check out the chart below for more details.

The My All-in plan adds 5GB of mobile hotspot usage to unlimited talk, text, and data, all for $110 per month.

"The Sprint Unlimited Guarantee allows our customers to lock-in unlimited talk, text and data not for just the next two years, but for life," Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in a statement. "Sprint customers won't have to worry about their wireless bill or managing their family's wireless usage. While other wireless providers are moving away from unlimited service, Sprint champions it."

August 22, 2012

T-Mobile, MetroPCS Bring Unlimited Data Back

Cell Carriers

Hate counting your bytes? T-Mobile and MetroPCS introduced new unlimited mobile data plans over the past two days, joining Sprint to make three carriers that don't require you to count your megabytes.

T-Mobile has always had "unlimited" data, where you don't get charged overages but your speed gets docked if you go above your plan limit. Now it is taking away the quotes and making true unlimited 4G HSPA+ cost $20 on its unsubsidized "value plans" and $30 on plans that provide subsidized phones. That means truly unlimited talk, text, and data will cost $69.99 without a subsidized phone, or $89.99 with one.

MetroPCS can undercut that - but MetroPCS is only in 14 cities. The carrier's new $55 unlimited plan offers unlimited talk, text, and 4G LTE data with no throttling for $55 including taxes. It's a promotional plan, though, so it could go away at any time.

Notably, neither of the new unlimited plans includes mobile hotspot mode. They don't want you using gigabytes of data as a home connection without you paying a bit extra.

Sprint's Simply Unlimited plan is the third unlimited option; it's been around for years now. But it's significantly more expensive than the other two options: $109.99 per month plus tax for a smartphone plan.

AT&T and Verizon, meanwhile, have moved away from unlimited data and towards shared data plans where you pay for a bucket of gigabytes for all your devices.

May 16, 2012

Upgrading Your Verizon Device? Say Goodbye to Unlimited Data

Verizon 4G LTE map

Verizon Wireless said today that users grandfathered into unlimited data plans will soon have to switch to tiered pricing if they upgrade their devices.

"As you come through an upgrade cycle and you upgrade in the future, you will have to go onto the data-share plan and mov[e] away from, if you will, the unlimited world," Verizon Communications CFO Fran Shammo said during an appearance at a J.P. Morgan technology conference.

Over the summer, Verizon plans to introduce data share plans, which will allow for multiple devices to be connected to the same account - whether that be families or small businesses. Pricing details have not been released, but when that happens, those upgrading to a newer gadget will have to bid adieu to unlimited data consumption.

"A lot of our [90 million] 3G base is unlimited," Shammo said. "As they start to migrate into 4G, they will have to come off unlimited and go onto the data share plan. And that's beneficial for us for many reasons."

The news was first reported by Fierce Wireless.

Verizon dropped unlimited smartphone data plans for new customers in July 2011 in favor of several tiered options. Existing unlimited data customers could keep their plans, but earlier that year, Verizon had already started throttling those who consumed an "extraordinary" amount of data. Other carriers, with the exception of Sprint, have also moved to a tiered pricing/throttling combination to offset the influx of data customers.

January 6, 2012

Sprint’s Data Plans Not Quite ‘Truly Unlimited’

Sprint touts itself as the only true option for unlimited mobile data, but CEO Dan Hesse said yesterday that even on the Sprint network, data hogs can be penalized.

"We can manage them and we do that quite aggressively," Hesse said at Citigroup Entertainment, Media and Telecommunications Conference.

For 98 to 99 percent of Sprint data users, "it's an unlimited experience," Hesse said. "[But] for people that want to abuse it and really run up the big data charges, we can knock them off."

Hesse didn't specify how much data use would be considered abuse. But he pointed to someone whose device was roaming while in their house in "rural Montana." So it's not completely unreasonable to think that Sprint might penalize you for using a huge amount of data while roaming on Verizon's network, for example.

Sprint still remains the only major U.S. wireless carrier that allows users to sign up for unlimited data plans. T-Mobile, Verizon, and AT&T all have tiered data plans, with the exception of those customers who are grandfathered in to older, unlimited options, but even those users are subjected to throttling.

May 24, 2011

T-Mobile Kills Unlimited Data, Leaves Sprint the Lone Hope

With an acquisition by AT&T, Inc seemingly impending, many customers of Deutsche Telekom AG's T-Mobile USA phone carrier are already jumping ship.  T-Mobile USA yesterday announced new pricing that may give some a bit of extra incentive to stay, while giving others all the more reason to jump ship.

I. The Cap

The bad news is that T-Mobile has officially killed its "unlimited" data plan.  In that regard T-Mobile is following in the footsteps of AT&T, who ditched unlimited data plans last June.

Verizon Communications, Inc.'s, the nation's largest carrier (before the T-Mobile merger closes, at least) with 104+ million subscribers will also phase out its unlimited data plan this summer, and has already started capping data usage on its 4G LTE network.  Like T-Mobile, Verizon will pad this blow with new family options.

T-Mobile's new tiered data plan offers 200 MB for $15 USD/month or 2 GB for $20 USD/month -- both $5 USD less expensive than AT&T's plans with identical allowances (Verizon has not announced pricing for its upcoming tiered plan).  T-Mobile's tier extends higher, though with a 5 GB per month allowance for $30 USD/month, or a 10 GB allowance for $60 USD/month.

May 24, 2011

Verizon Preps for the End of Unlimited Data, Adds Usage Monitoring

By Mark Hachman

What does a wireless carrier do when it expects to cancel its unlimited data plan? Offer a data management service.

Verizon, which said in March that it plans to do away with its unlimited data plans by this summer, launched a Verizon Wireless Usage Controls service on Monday, with the ability to set usage allowances, place restrictions on when kids and other members can use their phones, and even block numbers.

Usage Controls is available for $4.99/month per line, which is added to a customer's monthly service plan, Verizon said.

"Summer vacation means more time for the youngest customers who use Verizon Wireless phones to send and receive messages, download and use apps and games, surf the Web, and make calls on their cell phones," Verizon said. "But, with a few tools from Verizon Wireless, summertime doesn't have to mean unexpected high wireless bills."

January 18, 2011

Sprint to Jack Up Rates on Smartphone Data Plans by $10

By Peter Pachal

sprint logo

If you're planning to get a new smartphone on Sprint, you should probably do so in the next couple of weeks. After Jan. 30, data plans for smartphones activated on the carrier will go up in price by $10 a month, the company announced today.

Called "Premium Data," the mandatory charge is added to the Sprint's existing unlimited $70 Everything Data plan, pumping it up to $80 a month. Sprint says the increase is to address its users' "growing appetite for a richer mobile experience." The charge affects only smartphones activated Jan. 30 or later—existing customers will not experience the increase until they upgrade.