Jan 18 AT 2:56 PM Taylor Wimberly 83 Comments

New Sprint customers will pay $10 premium data fee for smartphones

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.

Source: Sprint

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • http://Website james

    I’m on orange uk. For £35($62.50) I get unlimited texts unlimited data 900 min to any network and the desire HD for free.

    I think you guys might be paying a bit much..

    • http://adomanico01.blogspot.com/ Anthony Domanico

      don’t you pay full price for handsets?

      • http://Website james

        I have NEVER paid for a handset. Not once.

      • http://Website Jon

        I’m going to guess it’s quite a bit cheaper for UK Orange to build out a robust network in a country smaller than Michigan.

        • Galen20K

          Oh SNap!! you’re so right tho. ha

          • http://Website james

            That may be true although orange does currently span the whole of Europe and I believe most of Russia. However from what I can tell your networks treat you pretty bad. I mean I can get a 25 pound a month contract and only pay 50 for the galaxy tab..

            And of course we have the problem of not getting exchange rate prices. You pay 500 dollars for an ipad. (350 pounds) we pay 500 pounds.(750 dollars) Same will happen with the xoom.

    • http://Website Messiah El Jobso himself


      • http://Website Fake Taylor Wimberly·

        Apple>Orange is correct.
        Apple is worth 300 billion dollars. Its the dominating company of 2010+, Apple will buy Google and facebook just with ease and kill Microsoft. Killing Microsoft is easy now after their megadesaster windows phone 7 was. Oh Mickeysoft!

  • http://Website jeff

    Going back to tmo.

    • http://Website nate

      I just signed up for tmobile and there’s no price difference. I pay 80 bucks for 500 mins, unlimited text and data. Maybe I missing something or I’m getting ripped off.

      • http://Website Technostig

        The even more plus plan is 59.99, so that’s the difference. No contract and cheaper monthly payments.

        • http://Website Nelly

          Who the hell wants to pay 500+ for a phone? Not me!

          • http://Website TechnoSTIG

            Craigslist my friend….

      • http://Website koukis14

        There’s a huge difference in service though, for that same $80 Sprint gives you unlimited cell to cell calls to any carrier, you get truly unlimited data (no throttling) and arguably a better coverage area.

      • http://Website watbetch

        If you just signed up you should’ve gotten the new promo plan with more minutes.

    • http://Website Clever & Smartphone

      *Comment exploded into a million tiny pieces of glittery magic*

  • gamefreak1218

    I’m grandfathered in…I’m not happy with the increase, but sprint does have excellent prices compared to other carriers. As long as my unlimited stays unlimited…and they don’t charge much more than they already are, im still a happy customer.

    • geniusdog254

      Exactly how I feel. I’m not happy with the increase, but I think it’s worth it to keep unlimited. In my area it’s either AT&T’s shitty plans & network, US Cellulars stellar network and decent plans, but capped at 5GBs, or Sprint’s decent network, great plans, and unlimited data.

      I think I’ll stick with Sprint.

  • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

    So assuming Verizon announces a $40 discount for users on 4G they’ll be right in line with Sprint’s pricing? I’ll go ahead and start holding my breath right now.

    • Galen20K

      Verizon’s LTE prices are Outrageous, I cant believe people are going to pay for that.

      • jjl84

        You have insight into Verizon’s LTE prices? Because as of now, no prices have been released for Verizon’s 4G pricing for smartphones. Oh, that’s right, you’re referring to the prices for Verizon’s data cards that always cost more than the smartphone rates. Maybe check your facts before repeating utter nonsense. They all rip you off, they are all in the business for your money; check out their profit margins, not just how much they charge you. There’s a reason you pay more for a Ferrari than a Honda.

  • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

    As a side note if you just use http://www.sprint.com/sero you can drop the price back down to $69.99

    • gamefreak1218

      Don’t you need a sprint employee id number and email?

    • http://Website Anonymous

      Or, you could earn 25% discount by being connected to IBM.
      Or, you could earn 10% discount by being connected to AOL.

      • http://Website Anonymous

        And seriously, Sprint is comparing themselves to unlimited plans of the other 3 national leading cellular providers. I’m sorry, but not everyone in America can be reached by cellular phones.

        Realistically, Sprints Unlimited Everything is $99.99 per month for Unlimited minutes, texts, & data + $10. (for that “First Class Seating on the plane”) = $109.99 per month. THAT’S that they are hiding by masking it with their 450 Minute plan.

        $109.99 compared to T-Mobile’s $99.99 plan (or even $79.99 on T-Mobile’s EM+ plan) is already more expensive, and they are now within $5. to $10. of AT&T and Verizon respectively.

        I like Sprint, and T-Mobile, but their rates are climbing too close to the big guys with the better networks.

      • http://Website Anon

        Home Depot is 25% off too

  • SprintStrikesSwimmingly

    Their service is still amazing, and cheap compared to all the other carriers. Why the fuss?

    • http://Website 5656565656

      wimax and no 4G

    • http://houseofhammer.blogspot.com/ Jack

      Service is amazing? It usually takes me an hour to calm down every time I’m forced to call them. I get people who are ill-trained, misinformed, underachieves with poor listening skills.

      • http://Website Anonymous


        I know exactly how you feel.

        The last time I had Sprint, they over charged me a couple of times. I would call in to have them fix it, after an hour each time being transfered to several different people, they would correct their error.
        After the 2nd time, the supervisor told me “This is the last time we will be issuing credit to your account”! I was like “what?!” They overcharge me, and I complain, they fix it, but now I’m the problem.

        A month later was the same they changed their policy to charge a $4.99 fee to accounts with spending limits, and it was against my contract terms, so they had to allow me out of my contract early w/o the ETF. So, I quickly pulled out of Sprint.

        Theres your good customer service from Sprint.

      • http://Website snowbdr89

        thats the same how i felt everytime i called sprints customer, took me an hour to calm down : | so i ditched sprint for tmo and couldnt be happier!!

  • SprintStrikesSwimmingly

    Scratch that last comment…

    • gamefreak1218

      why scratch that last comment? I find it to be true!

  • http://Website My Galaxy

    In the uk you get a free phone when you renew or start a new contract, I’m due a free phone I can choose any one in the T-mobile shop, but I think I’d ask them to hold out on the phone until I can pick a nice dual core one :)

  • http://Website ivan

    T mobile and verizon booth throttle you after 5 GB. So yeah Sprint is still the only carrier to offer unlimited data.

    • http://Website Noriega713

      I wonder what will you say next…


  • http://Website Steffen

    “Sprint wants its customers to experience the range of entertainment and productivity possibilities available with today’s wireless technology,” said Bob H. Johnson

    I believe what he meant to say was, “Sprint wants to charge it’s customers $10 extra each month, and now we have an excuse to do it”.

    • http://Website jack

      and be happy it’s not 20!!

  • http://Website Scott R.

    No i am not OK with this. Unlike other US wireless companies sprint does not have any options. they only have unlimited plans. I wanted a smart phone but because I was on a family plan I had to pay an extra 10 per line even though no other members on my plan had smart phones and here sprint is again. now that everyone has upgrade to smart phones because we already paid for it in the plan we here there is going to be yet another $10 hike. I really hope that sprint announces a 2gb or even a 1gb plan that dose not have the $10 fee Sprint…every time I get done justify liking you as my cell phone carrier you make me do it over again.

  • http://Website Dan Hesse


    Gotta love t-mo…

    • http://Website ↨↨↨↨↨↨↨↨↨↨↨↨↨↨↨↨

      T-Mobile is going to pick this up in one of their next commercials with the T-Mo chick.

      • http://Website hnn

        man, i love her.

        anyway, why compare Sprint’s 450 minute plan price with unlimited voice plans on the other 3 major carriers? shady.

    • http://Website Allen Z
  • http://Website Ryan

    So now its cheaper to have an Android phone on Verizon than it is on Sprint for me? Craziness. $40 voice + $30 data + Google Voice for texting = $70. $80/mo for Sprint? I can see if you need more voice minutes, but for me, I use like 200/mo.

  • AvantGuard

    My girlfriend and I have a Sprint family plan with her Blackberry and my new (swoon!) Optimus S. We pay $135/month with taxes and fees. Unlimited data, mobile2mobile, messaging. 450 minutes we NEVER use. Even with an extra $20 (which we won’t have to pay for about, oh, two years), is there another carrier that can beat that?

    Also, we have the greatest customer service guy. So great, I called him (I’m in TN, he’s in OR) and he got my new phone for me on Black Friday on HIS DAY OFF. So yeah, if you live around Beaverton, OR let me know and I’ll hook you up with my guy.

    • http://t-mobilecanbeatthat eamon

      I have 5 lines on T-Mobile family plan with 700 minutes, unlimited family text, myfavs on all lines, mobile2mobile, 3 unlimited data plans on one android and 2 BB for 180 plus 15% school discount.

    • http://Website watbetch

      Yeah there is….

      T-Mobile’s Even More 3000 minute plan with Unlimited Text and Data for $149.99 and two FREE G2′s which completely bitch slap the Optimus S (ESPECIALLY the Optimus S with that garbage called Sprint I.D.)..

  • http://Website (Mail) required

    good news for the other carriers

  • http://Website panic

    Sprint is still the best

    • http://Website yxc

      Sprint is still the beast (fixed)

  • http://Website Martin Lesnar

    Hello, customer!
    Check out our brand new 10 bucks markup!
    Ohhhh. Nice! Is this Sprint-exclusive?
    For sure! Ripoff everytime, everywhere.

  • http://Website Eero

    Lol in finland 512kbps unlimited li
    mit cost 2.95€ per month

    • http://www.technogasms.com Sean Riley

      That price is awesome, but those speeds are terrible.

  • http://Website Betty Courville

    I would rather pay the $10 extra and STILL be on the cheapest rate plan than to have them put a cap on how much data you can use. And to have a better phone the extra $10 is worth it.

  • http://Website ¹

    i hate sprint-nextel

  • Tebbe

    It looks like they’re comparing apples and oranges. T-mobile’s unlimited voice plan lets you call any domestic number, any time, as much as you want. The Sprint plan above looks like TMo’s Even More 500 plan, which is also $79.99.

    • Galen20K

      That’s true. *nods

  • http://Website BMW M3

    Do more with Sprint

  • http://Website customers will pay

    *Comment is abusive and has been removed*

  • http://houseofhammer.blogspot.com/ Jack

    The comparison chart above is a complete fraud. It’s beyond misleading, it’s blatant false advertising. All corporations this size have gargantuan marketing departments that are institutionalizing lying.

    So, to all that think sprint is still cheaper, take a closer look at the chart. The are comparing their 450 minute plan to everybody else’s UNLIMITED plan. Search on comparable plans and all three

    Verizon, 450 minute plan is $40, plus 30 for unlimited data and $20 for 500 texts = $90. Not $120

    T-Mobile is 500 minute plan is $80, text and unlimited data included. Not $100.

    [email protected], 450 minutes is $45, data and text is $45 so that’s $90, not $115. (not sure what the “2 GB of data to share between your phone and your laptop or Netbook” means as they also say “Unlimited AT&T Wi-Fi Basic usage! ” )

    This kind of advertising the same kind of “it is so because i say it” used by politicians who think you won’t bother to check them out.

    Source everything.

  • http://Website Paul Ponyboy Atreides

    We’re all being ripped off, so it’s a shouting match of who’s getting ripped off less? lol

  • http://Website Dev1359

    As Jack’s already said, this is just blatant false advertising and is full of bullshit.

    Sprint’s 450 minute plan with unlimited texts and unlimited data: http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/5838/sprintc.jpg

    AT&T’s 450 minute plan with unlimited texts and 2 GB data: http://img190.imageshack.us/img190/3091/attcd.jpg

    Verizon’s 450 minute plan with unlimited texts and unlimited data:

    T-Mobile’s 500 minute plan with unlimited texts and unlimited data:

    T-Mobile’s plan is the same as Sprint’s while AT&T and Verizon are a little more expensive…in fact you could argue it’s even better considering you get an extra 50 minutes out of it. If Sprint wants to do a comparison to the other carriers’ unlimited everything plans, they should at least be honest about it.

    Sprint’s unlimited talk + unlimited texts + unlimited data plan:

    At $99.99, clearly T-Mobile is the cheapest for unlimited everything. You should be ashamed of yourselves, Sprint.

    • http://Website JE

      Wow! I read every single one of these lame posts by you people and Dev1359 is the only one who knows what he/she is talking about and laid out the real facts. Sprint has always been a crappy company which is why they lost millions of customers over the last few years in which they HAD to drop their plans so low so they could try and win back some customers. American’s are cheap and want more for less and they think they are getting that with Sprint. Personally as a VZW sales rep I think T-Mobile is cheaper than all top 4 carriers but the Nationwide coverage is definitely not comparable. The way I look at it non-bias of course, is Verizon is only $10 more than Sprint but is much better all around as far as handset selection,Coverage and Customer service which imo I believe is worth only $10 a month.

      • jjl84

        Lol I love Verizon and I agree that it’s worth $10 more per month, but did you really say you had no bias? You’re a VZW rep, how in the world does that make you objective?

    • http://Website watbetch

      T-Mobile actually has a promo plan that gives you triple or double the anytime minutes for $79.99

  • Prince77

    I am with Sprint and I see nothing wrong with this it is just for all smartphones that just good for people who don’t use them. It’s only $10, if some of you have an issue with that then you shouldn’t have a smartphone. Go on to another provider and see how much you are paying. Sprint has always been good, people just complained because they didn’t pay attention to how their plan was set up. If the other providers don’t pay attention then I feel sorry for you that stay with them.

  • http://Website Sprint Insider

    Sprint is filing for bankcruptcy very soon….its the final nail in the phone tower

  • Prince77

    Everyone is with who they are with for a reason. If you aren’t with Sprint this article really doesn’t pertain to you. Just about everyone on this planet that is allowed to have a cellphone has one, so how do they communicate the most, with their phone. Sprint has unlimited calling to cellphone because just about everybody has one, so what is they problem with that? You have 450 mins to make other calls, you are trying to say that you will use up 450 minutes talking to someone that has a cellphone already??? That $10 fee is nothing, it’s unlimited DATA, I use a whole lot when I am not at home at my computer so I have no complaints. If you already have a smartphone and you are being charged for it already, nothing to complain about. If not then you decide, if you want to pay just $10 a month for unlimited, or 3 times that with a cap.

  • http://Website ███♥♥♥CARLY♥♥♥███


    • http://Website Nina-Justine

      :D lovely

  • http://Website bjhoppy

    Why doesn’t everyone just use the carrier that they prefer and quit complaining.

    • http://Website Marcus Trufarts

      I prefer aircraft carrier, but they dont let me use em!

  • http://Website Schlong

    Bring on the iPhone 4 you lazy Sprint!!!!!!! The best superphone should be available at Sprint!

  • http://Website grah

    That sounds like:
    Here guys, this is our unlimited data plan but wait if you really intend to use it, well give us another $10.

  • http://Website Machika Kara Kuro

    Currently i use an epic 4g on sprint so i am already paying the 10$ plan i have to say its the best plan in USA i tried switching to TMobile but there plans are just not as great. Sprint has everything i need. And to the debat about the wireless in UK, i was up there end of last year and the plans were so great it was cazy even on there prepaid network.

  • http://Website Erik

    I gotta say, I was with tmo for like 6 years and had unlimited loyalty plan. It still wasn’t as good as this sprint plan I switched to last month. I got the evo 4g for 98 from wirefly, 69.99 a month, 25% discount through work, plus 10 data fee comes out to way less than anything anyone else offers… at&t, Verizon, tmo also offer me discounts through work, but not quite 25%…

    So far I’m really happy with the evo 4g, coverage is good here in metro DC area, and overall I’m saving about 30 a month over what I was paying tmo.

    So far I’m happy with sprint.

    • http://Website Ryan

      Yeah about the same as me. I have the Evo 4G and a 25% discount as well, so the 10 fee means nothing. Sprints free mobile to mobile means I rarely ever spend more then 10 or 20 minutes a month. For me, after a LOT of research and comparison, I chose Sprint, and have yet to complain about anything at all. I wish I could get a lower minute plan then the 450, but oh well, its still the cheapest by far for me. Go Sprint!

      I do have a complaint to all you trying to be fan boys for any carrier… I choose Sprint because it is the cheapest for ‘me’. That’s right, for me! For my needs and wants, I can’t get a better service. I get the phone I want, the package I want, and a great price. If you need something different, then do your own research and find the carrier that fits your lifestyle best. But don’t complain about how one other carrier doesn’t work for you please. We don’t care. No one cares.

  • http://Website Kyle

    How can Sprint claim there are no overages when every other plan they’re comparing themselves to has completely unlimited talk and text?! Their plan only allows for 450 non-Sprint minutes and what appears to be no non-Sprint texts? Those overages add up fast. This comparison is crap.

    • http://Website Abe504

      The 450 mins are for calls to landlines, i called sprint about it because that meager amount of mins confused me as well. Most people only use their cell phones to talk anyways so it wouldn’t be an issue

  • http://Website Jimbo

    Virgin Mobile. Pay as you go. $40/mo, taxes and fees included. 1200 minutes, unlimited data and text. Also entirely on Sprint’s network.

    Quite frankly, contract carriers don’t make sense anymore unless you want to pay an extra 800-1200 a year just to have a specific model phone.

    • http://Website waazzupppp

      But Jimbo, you also have no Guarantee of that rate. Virgin can change their pre-paid rates at any point in time and you have no control over that. Sure, it seems like a great deal short-term, but if they decide to raise them $40 a month because pre-paid users start tethering, you’ll be looking else where.

      You also had to spend $250-300 for a phone that Sprint gives to users for free (Samsung Intercept styles.) As far as my bill goes, we are spending $42.50 a person for 4 lines (taxes included) and this will take it to $53.00 a line. That’s much better than the $110 a line I paid on Verizon to get the same service…

      While I would prefer that they would just raise the rates $10 instead of insisting on a “Premium Data Fee” it’s still the cheapest game in town if you have good coverage where you are.