Today Sprint announced that on January 30th they will increase their postpaid rates by applying a $10 per month Premium Data add-on charge to activations of smartphones. Sprint defines smartphones as devices with “robust operating systems that deliver a rich wireless experience by bringing the full function of mobile applications and programs to life, including Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, and the Instinct family of devices.”
The $10 Premium Data fee was first introduced with the launch of the EVO 4G and many blogs started calling it the “4G fee”, but now it will apply to all Android phones – both 3G and 4G. Sprint claims that smartphone users consume 10 times more data than normal feature phone users and the extra $10 fee is needed to “ensure customers continue to enjoy unlimited data while on the Sprint Network, without overages.”
Existing Sprint customers will be grandfathered in and keep their current rates until they activate another smartphone or upgrade their plan.
“Sprint wants its customers to experience the range of entertainment and productivity possibilities available with today’s wireless technology,” said Bob H. Johnson, president of Sprint’s consumer business. “While some of our competitors impose overage charges and complex plans, Sprint continues to provide a worry-free, unlimited data experience while on the Sprint network. This is responsible, sustainable and reflects our commitment to simplicity and value.”
Even with the added cost, Sprint still advertises that they have the best smartphone plans in the industry. For only $79 per month, Sprint offers unlimited calling to any mobile number, unlimited texting, and unlimited internet.
If you are on Sprint, we would love to hear what you think about these new changes. Are you ok with an extra $10 fee each month in exchange for unlimited data on the Sprint network?
Key Points from Sprint’s announcement include:
- Smartphone customers on average consume an estimated 10 times more data than customers who use feature phones.
- Worldwide, mobile data traffic is forecast to more than double each year through 2014.
- Instead of limits and overage charges on data plans for wireless phones as competitors have done, Sprint is applying its $10 Premium Data add-on charge to all smartphone activations beginning Jan. 30, 2011.
- Existing Sprint smartphone customers are not affected unless they upgrade to or activate another smartphone.
- Sprint defines smartphones as devices with robust operating systems bringing the full function of mobile applications and programs to life including Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, and the Instinct family of devices.
- While the $10 Premium Data add-on charge previously only applied to 3G/4G devices, it was never simply a charge for 4G. The charge has always been to address the increased costs associated with operating phones that offer a richer data experience on Sprint’s network.
- We’re still one of the best values in Wireless. See the comparison chart.