Oct 21 AT 3:15 PM Edgar Cervantes 43 Comments

Sprint 4G broadband unlimited no more; smartphones next? (Update)


Things are not looking good for unlimited data fans. People who don’t like data tiers currently have a safe place to go to: Sprint. It seems like America’s first 4G network is going to start setting some limits, though. At least for 4G broadband users.

Sprint has announced that 4G mobile broadband users will no longer be able to enjoy their unlimited data plans. By the way, there will be no grandfathering for current unlimited mobile broadband users. (Does this mean people can cancel their contract without an ETF?) Before you start freaking out, this does not include smartphones… yet. Only mobile broadband users will be affected for now.

Sprint’s new tiered data plans go into effect in November.  They will offer the following plans: $45 for 3 GB, $60 for 5 GB and $90 for 10 GB. All these data limits include combined data (3G and 4G); before, only 3G data was limited. If you happen to go over your data limit, you’ll have to shell out 5 cents per extra MB.

While Sprint has taken pride in the fact that they offer true unlimited data, they have mentioned that tiered data plans are not out of the question. With their first move towards tiered data plans, current Sprint smartphone users should start considering future plans. It would not surprise us if Sprint starts limiting 4G smartphones sometime next year.

We knew this was inevitable. Smartphone users really suck up data from that network. At some point, those towers are not going to be able to handle all the data transfer. It looks like those data caps are finally taking over for all major carriers. What do you guys think? Are smartphones soon to be limited, as well? Would you still stay with Sprint if they start limiting our smartphone data usage?


The user KB has reported in the comments section that he was able to cancel his/her Sprint contract without an ETF (Early Termination Fee). This seems reasonable, as Sprint is not grandfathering current unlimited 4G broadband users. If they are willing to change the contract terms that customers signed under, it should be expected that some users will opt out.

Those who are not happy with these changes can also go ahead and try this method. If you happen to try it, hit us up in the comments and let us know how it goes.

Via: Gigaom

Hello, I am Edgar Cervantes. I am an avid Android fan, and keeping myself updated on the topic is part of my daily life. I will always work hard to give the best of me to our community of Android enthusiasts, and I am very honored to be part of this ship. Hopefully we can all enjoy sharing our knowledge and opinions!

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  • FireFrost

    If this goes through, I hope that they still undercut Verizon and AT&T. I barely crest 1 GB on my phone, but there is only so much my HTC Hero can do. With everything now 4G and easier (and faster) access to more data-hungry apps, it’s probably inevitable. I’d still stick with Sprint though. They’ve been fantastic.

    • UMA Fan

      Considering you can get a 10GB overage free plan with 42mbps supported HSPA+ data stick on T-Mobile for $60 (less if you are a current subscriber) I officially declare Sprint’s 10GB 500kpbs internet plan for $90 and data overages a colossal rip off.

      and before anyone says you won’t see close to 42mbps on Tmo that’s true but you will see close to 20mbps if you have a device that supports 42mbps hspa+ which is amazing for mobile broadband.

  • Mustin

    If I lose my unlimited plan, there’s no reason for me to stay at Sprint and I hope they know that. The signal is terrible. I will go to Verizon. I spend most of my time roaming on their network anyway.

    • Lets go Rangers….

      Betting $20 billion on iphone 4 alone and now this. Not cool…..

    • http://sprint Jennifer

      I agree 100%. I too would opt out and go with Verizon.

  • http://tekdout.com derpenstein

    I am currently employed at Best Buy Mobile, and the elimination of unlimited data plans isn’t just pissing off customers but sales reps too. I for one am sick of working for the phone companies and trying to keep up with their constant changes and infuriated customers. Looks like I’ll be looking for a new job now…

    • Melanie Howard

      Come to Target, its much safer than Best Buy…You know BB and their strange poor neighborhoods, lots of rapes, riots and crime around.

      Target is safe, however.

      • BeatBlaster

        Wow, rapes, riots and crime? You really took it that far?

  • spintrex

    Just bought the Epic Touch 4G and despite loving the phone the only reason I’m still with Sprint is how much bang I am getting for my buck. Unlimited data, text, and any mobile any time, plus a 23% discount… that’s hard to beat. Now thing is if they put a cap on that I am going to start checking out my options…primarily Verizon..faster speeds, better coverage… but that all depends how this is going to go through. With Sprint acquiring the iPhone this was bound to happen. I think they will roll the cap around the time they implement their 4G LTE service. Either way this is all good and drives both competition and innovation, hopefully.

    • Pax

      Which part of it is innovation?

      • spintrex

        The implementation of 4G LTE on the Sprint network. Once LTE becomes the norm for all carriers there’s bound to be something new around the corner to draw in new customers.

  • KB

    Just FYI, I called to close my account as the unlimited broadband was the only reason I went with Sprint to begin with. They allowed me to cancel without the ETF fee and I’ve only used 3 months of my 2 year commitment. They were very polite and I had no issues at all. I only have the Overdrive Pro hotspot broadband. I don’t have phone service with Sprint.

  • ben dover

    I wish it did include smartphones because I could get get out of paying my ETF when leaving sprint for the nexus prime anyway! haha

  • dkototic

    anyway to get out of contract if u dont have a broadband plan

  • Pax

    Come on people…wake up. Where is Dan Hess?

    • Kat

      Dan Hess has sold out to the devil on his shoulder. What’s crappy is just 5 months ago we signed a 2-year contract and purchased 2 Evo phones to use hotspot exclusively for our business and this new change will throw our already $250 p/month bill to easily over $650 due to our data usage. The ONLY reason we signed on with Sprint was it’s unlimited data and now we were just f***ed. So glad they are letting us out of our contract but can we take those phones elsewhere? Can we sell them back? No. The least they could have done was honor their existing contracts until the time ran out.

  • John Thompson

    Sprint has signed its death warrant. To remove the one key issue to maintain brand loyalty for those of us who have been enjoying 4G unlimited, many of us don’t go hog wild, they have told us all, go to hell. Well, given the materiality of the change, I was able to cancel without any fees today – you have 30 days to do so per your contract, otherwise, if you choose to quit later, you’ll be subject to the early termination fees… I would rather have two phones with both verizon and att that did grandfather loyalty, then to stick with a company like sprint. Your demise can’t be soon enough…

  • bjhoppy

    I called a few weeks ago on my Mobile Hotspot. They canceled it with no ETF.

  • Richard Yarrell

    I think the hand writing is on the wall at some point and time they will go to tiered data for smartphones. I have always been respectful of my usage regardless of the fact I had unlimited data with sprint. Plus for me keeping sprint and going to verizon as well for the Galaxy Nexus Launch day and picking the 5gb plan there since my usage monthly is usually between 1.5 and 2.5gb will keep me trained to tiered plans. If they feel that is what they need to do then so be it business is business and at the end of the day it comes down to paying for what you need and want.

    • squiddy20

      “…at the end of the day it comes down to paying for what you need and want”
      Just a thought, but if you truly feel that way, then maybe you should never speak again about Verizon’s “overpriced” phones and plans like you’ve said in the past. Unless you enjoy making yourself out to be a hypocrite?

      • R.S

        You must have missed the posts he made about being willing to switch to Verizon for the Nexus.

        Not that I respected him or his opinion before but at least before, he stuck to his guns as a die hard fanboy of Sprint and HTC. Now, he just seems like a hypocritical blowhard that jumps on the bandwagon in order to toot his own horn.

        • Richard Yarrell

          What a ”TWAT” I never said I would switch to verizon I said I would purchase the Galaxy Nexus on verizon as an additional line to have along with my beloved EVO 3D. You clowns on this site make me laugh so hard what a BORING LIFE YOU FOLKS MUST LEAD..At least I know I will be experiencing the best of both worlds with my EVO 3D and GALAXY NEXUS …How about you guys??? …Nothing of course….And yes HTC SPRINT FANBOY ..That will always be…..

          • squiddy20

            1. There’s no need for such childish, immature name calling like “twat”. Grow up.
            2. By buying the Galaxy Nexus (which for now is a Verizon exclusive), you aren’t “switching” to Verizon per se, but you are being the very hypocrite you say you are not. All your insults in the past about others jumping on the “Verizon bandwagon” and here you are doing exactly that. What a joke.
            3. “…BORING LIFE YOU FOLKS MUST LEAD.” It’s sad that I need to point this out to you, but by commenting on this, you are including yourself in this insult, as you must also lead a “boring life” to be trolling and commenting here. As I’ve said in the past, you can’t even make an insult about others that doesn’t also include yourself. Go back to school kid.

      • Richard Yarrell

        Speaking of TRUTH…It show’s how clueless you have been…Droid Charge, Thunderdud, Lg Revolution, all were OVERPRICED AND UNDERSPECED when they were released in 2011 clearly a RIP OFF…Now with these upcoming devices Droid Razr, Htc Resound, Galaxy Nexus …YES they are worth 300 dollars not some USELESS SINGLECORE DEVICE but I bet you fools got caught out there that sounds like you losers..Eat you heart out I know you wish you can have both the EVO 3D and GALAXY NEXUS…KEEP DREAMING IT MIGHT HAPPEN FOR YOU……

        • squiddy20

          “Droid Charge, Thunderdud, Lg Revolution, all were OVERPRICED AND UNDERSPECED”
          Annnd who cares about this besides you? I haven’t seen anyone make nearly this big a deal about the topic as you, and you aren’t even affected by these “overpriced and underspeced” phones. And you seriously tell us to “get a life”? You’re funny. At least I’m not commenting on crap that has absolutely nothing to do with me.
          “I know you wish you can have both the EVO 3D and GALAXY NEXUS”
          Annnnd wrong again Dick. You only wish you knew me. Good try though. I laugh at your utter stupidity.

        • snowbdr89

          Its odd the fatass dick yarrell bags in big red daily but the idiotic morin is going to buy a vzw phone…FAKE BITCH

  • heeheehoo

    If Sprint adopts a tiered data plan and it ends up costing me as much as the other carriers, there is no point in staying with the Sprint. My loyalty is to my wallet and I will go to whichever carrier can keep my wallet full.

  • DownSouthLivin

    For those of you who enjoy using a Sprint 4G wireless card or mobile hotspot why not consider switching over to Clear? They offer unlimited 3G and 4G plans for around 55 a month plus there is no contract to worry with. Something to think about if you are in a solid 4G network area and not wanting to give your business to Big Red or *snicker* ATT.


    Anyone else not surprised?

  • Gone with the Sprint

    Sprint is done, done, daaaaa daaaaa done.

  • Quizzno Bell

    I save tons of money with T-Mumble because of almost no signals whatsoever. No bars, no data!
    Thx T-Mumble.

  • ayocuz

    I was gonna go to sprint pending the AT&T t mobile deal, I love my sensation but I might as well consider metro or boost mobile. Something is very wrong with the whole smartphone data plan growth. its pretty dam sad that we should have to pick a data plan when they should just give all contact holders unlimited data right of the rip

  • por que

    With these prices 45 for 3gb it makes Verizon cheap lol but at least I Get more bang for my Buck 30 for 5gb on T-mobile and I don’t care what u think about the att and T-mobile deal.

  • I left too

    I read about it Friday night and called Sprint on Saturday. I was told that the 5GB cap would go into effect on my mobile broadband plan in the next billing cycle, which was in 3 days, with no notification to me. I was pissed off and straightaway cancelled the plan. I was 9 months from being done with my contract and I was able to get my ETF waived.

  • Shawn with sprint :(

    I feel terrible for the boradband users, you pay for internet… you want internet. This reminds me of the dial up days where you paid by the minute. I rooted my phone and wifi tether… i use upwards of 90-120GB a month, typical for a Netflicks/Hulu user. The era of free Media is comming to a close.. and i feel sick, if i cant use data…. why carry an effin smart phone. what is the point anymore for all this tech without the networks to provide it. Ill move to korea… they dont have network problems we do… come on america they keep charging us more for less, i feel like a used up hooker giving HJ’s for dimes.

  • SherlockHomeboy

    As soon as Sprint drops unlimited data on smartphones I’m dropping Sprint.

  • sheila

    I just wanted to let everyone know that I left Big Red for Sprint and it has been the worst 3 yrs of cell phone service. I had been contemplating switching to another carrier but like so many others unlimited data was holding me back. Now I want to tell you that I am a HEAVY HEAVY data user and my phone roams 75% of the time due to Sprint’s wonderful reception. I recently recieved a letter from Sprint terminating my account for excessive streaming and roaming. What I find really sad is that they are running all these commercials stating there plans are unlimited…..Bullshit!!!!! I loved Big Red and just wanted to save a buck but what’s a buck when you can’t even use your smartphone at home. So for all you heavy streamers be aware and not surprised when they do change their data plans for smartphones.

  • Curiosity

    Hi-I’m curious in regards to how this impacts Smart phones. If you use your smarphone to serf the net and watch shows on your smartphone it sounds like your still unlimited. If you use your phone as a hotspot and tether it to your laptop, is that where the limit comes in? I’m asking based on a comment another user posted where they said they had picked up two EVO’s for their business and it sounded like they were tethering with it to get internet access for PC’s.

  • Michael

    CORRECTION. Just got off the phone with Sprint. 4g is still unlimited on ALL phones. The 4g data caps are only for hotspot devices, tablets ect… So your cell phone browsing should still be unlimited from what i understood.

  • pritams

    I didn’t see it coming..

  • John

    I am on an advantage plan and never recieved a notice that they were switching the rates. First they said one was sent out electronically, checked my inbox at Sprint’s website, nothing waiting inside. Then they said one was mailed out but it wasn’t mailed to me it was mailed to the employees plan I’m under half the country away who also probably has 50 other people connected to him.

    bottom line is I checked my bill and it is $475 when it is normally $30 … No notice, no warning, nothing.

  • Cecilia

    I haven’t noticed this change too. I was 2 weeks out of country in Nov, so Dec bill was normal. But Jan bill was $240 instead of normally $45. I contacted with Sprint, they said the notice was sent electronically with Oct statement. My goodness, I never check my statement as long as the monthly charge was about the same. Their customer service willing to reduce 25% off from overage which is $50. But I will be charged $150 if I terminate the contract. My contract just past 8 months, what should I do now? Anyone can help?

    ** John, any update from your part?

  • Bob

    Just noticed my contract changed (I got my hotspot in September and the terms changed in October), and I’m trying to cancel. Sprint is telling me to pound sand, and pay them $180. I hate Sprint.