Tiered data plans are taking over our nightmares. While these can offer some good price options (depending on how the carrier goes about it), owning a smartphone is definitely an easy way to run up some Gigabytes on your monthly usage. Some carriers choose to go for tiered capped data plans, while others choose to throttle your data speeds after a certain cap. No one likes to be limited or slowed down, but 550,000 activations a day are sure to take a toll on carrier networks.
Smartphone users are becoming more prominent every day. Other carriers are already adopting tiered & throttled data solutions, but good ol’ Sprint is still giving its customers their share of unlimited data. Not to be a pessimist, but this is what keeps most of Sprint’s smartphone users happy. Other carriers are getting rid of unlimited plans, while Sprint keeps its uncapped plan for smartphones. It seems these data plans aren’t going to last forever, though.
Every few months we take a look, we take a look at tonnage, and we take a look at all the things we're doing to offload tonnage ... We'll just continue to monitor it.
Nothing is forever ... but we think it's a terrific opportunity to differentiate ourselves in the market.Dan HesseSprint CEO
It was also mentioned that Sprint will not follow the steps of its little brother, Virgin Mobile USA, who has chosen to throttle data speeds after reaching a certain cap. Hesse says this is simply due to the nature of the customers in each carrier. Virgin Mobile claims only 3% of its users go above the 2.5 GB per month threshold, while the majority of Sprint’s customers use more. Throttles will simply not be an option when/if Sprint chooses to limit data plans.
This basically means Sprint is currently “playing it by ear.” They’ll keep offering unlimited data plans to their customers as long as the demand is not overwhelming for their network. This may seem like a very fair statement, but we will always have our doubts. Most of us believe no company is that charitable and will do what they can get away with.
While Sprint seems to be making the right choice by simply saying “maybe,” they could also have a few tricks in mind. Being the only carrier with an unlimited data plan will surely bring some customers aboard. This could lead to a huge profit if they switch to tiered data plans afterwards. Let’s just hope this isn’t a money-making technique and they’ll actually let us keep our unlimited data as long as possible. After all, that $10 premium data charge was meant to allow Sprint to keep its unlimited data plans. Smartphone users definitely do suck up all that data, and part of this was probably utilized for improving their spectrum.
What do you guys say? Are you sticking with Sprint even after tiered data plans come into the picture?