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Sprint Capping Phone as a Modem to 5GB Starting October 2nd

Posted In Featured, News - By Mark Hearn On Wednesday, September 21st, 2011 2:34pm PDT With 45 Comments

And the cutbacks continue! We’ve seen ETFs increase, Sprint Premier go away, upgrade fees raised, what next? We can now add Phone as a Modem to the list. Our beloved Super Spies have been bringing the pain lately and today is no exception! Starting on October 2nd the Now Network will be switching up their mobile hotspot plans by placing a 5GB cap on them. This rule doesn’t apply to your phone’s normal data plan and tablets are exempt as well, but just about everything else is up for grabs! We must warn that if you’re one of the bold few that plans on going over your limit, we must warn you that the new setup will charge you at a rate of five cents per MB. Of course if you’re one of those sneaks that tethers below the radar, this doesn’t apply to you, but watch out, you might be next in line for a change! We really have to ask, is all of this really worth whatever might be on the way?

About - Mark is the founding father of SprintFeed. He is a nerd's nerd if ever such a thing existed. His love affair with the Now Network started with the release of the Treo 600 back in 2004 and has been going strong ever since. Highly opinionated and somewhat eccentric he shares his ramblings about his network of choice here at SprintFeed.

Displaying 45 Comments
Have Your Say

  1. R DEREMER says:

    Guess it’s time to go to Verizon, similar plans now and way better network and data speed. The What are they thinking? It doesn’t matter if AT&T gets T-Mobile, Sprint will die and we will be left with AT&T and Verizon as the only nationwide carriers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    R.I.P. Sprint. This time next year they will either be like T-Mobile by capping all internet usage at a certain limit or Like Verizon & AT&T by limiting usage to 2GB. My contract ends next year and I will be leaving.

  3. Erik Drakon says:

    The Only thing that has kept me on Sprint for these years has been the unlimited data plans, and it seems that we are about one step away from losing that, and i may consider switching to someone with a more stable network, since 3g and 4g are spotty at best here in Tampa, Fl

  4. Genjinaro says:

    Probably for the iPhone arrival, it did it to Verizon & AT&T. POS phone should be sold unlocked only.

  5. I am telling Mom!!! I wonder if Dan posted about the new data caps from his new iPhone? :)

  6. Tino Q says:

    Seems like soon many of us will be looking for greener pastures. Maybe Verizon for best speed and coverage. :(

  7. SprintFan says:

    My contract ends on June of next year, and I will not upgrade phones. I think is clear that they will eliminate the unlimited data plan,and when they do it I am out. I won’t be paying the same prize that I would pay on Verizon for an inferior service.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What are the numbers? How many people actually use the Hotspot feature? How many actually exceed 5GB of Hotspot usage? While it sucks a cap it being put in place, for most I doubt it will make a bit of difference. Even if they have a better data network, do you think it would really be any cheaper with Verizon or ATT?

    It certainly appears that Sprint is getting all their ducks lined up for something big. Is it Jesus Phone/Tab related, or Network Vision?

  9. Brent says:

    Everyone says they’ll be leaving. To where? The next phone company that says they won’t cap and then do? SEE YOU AT METRO PCS (that’s sarcasm, tards).

  10. Brent says:

    Man, I accidently “liked” this — I don’t. It’s the same-old, same-old complaint.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Dude that makes a whole lot of sense man. Wow.
    anonymity.au.tc

  12. Stephen says:

    Prediction – four to six months after Sprint introduces/offers the I phone to customers, the company goes to tiered data charges and does away with unlimited for all cell phone plans. Sprint will allow customers to keep unlimited data on their current plan, however, when the customer upgrades to an new phone or changes phones, the customer will no longer have unlimited data and be forced into a tiered data plan.

  13. Sprinter12 says:

    Not good. I use the hotspot and I have actually made hardware purchase decisions (i.e. buying computers and tablets with just WiFi) based on the unlimited data access. Today I don’t think 4G is metered so I can only see my 3G usage, which typically is 1.5-2 GB per month. I have no idea what will happen once they cap and start metering 4G.

    The fact is that I have been very frustrated with Sprint’s signal quality for 3G and 4G. I used to have Verizon, which worked everywhere… Sprint simply doesn’t. But the unlimited data access meant that I put up with it and adapted the best that I could to the signal inadequacies.

    If Sprint’s goes through with this, I’ll almost certainly switch back for better 4G (LTE pentrates walls, WIMAX doesn’t) and more reliable network – the very moment that VZ releases an Android worldphone with LTE.

    Smart financial move in the short term – likely to cost high value customers in the long term.

  14. Anonymous says:

    QQ

  15. Anonymous says:

    Apparently your name is misleading.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Soooo, where are you going to go then? Who else has unlimited tethering?

  17. They better not cap 4g hot spot usuage. That will be so lame. My business depends upon unlimited 4g plans. Sprint you are about to screw us all. Very poor move. Why not just become ATT/TMOBILE/VERIZON. I am with sprint because of the unlimited plans. Not grandfathering current customers is as bad as the crap Netflix pulled. VERY POOR MOVE SPRINT!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Everytime I speak with a Sprint rep keep hearing excuses that well that is what Verizon and At&T do…”
    I keep hearing them say that they are only doing what their competitors are doing. Listen Sprint – do’t you realize the reason the long term, informed customers have stuck around with you is because of the things that are unique and DIFFERENT about Sprint!?!?!?! If you lower the bar by dropping Premier benefits and now cap mobile hotspot – then you are making if very easy for customers like me to do an apples to apples comparison and leave Sprint for Verizon. If you make the plans similar to your competitors, then the only thing to weigh in on is the quality of the network and here is where you will simply lose – no question there.

    I bought a WiFi only iPad because I knew I would have a mobile hotspot with me using my phone. I eat about 1GB/day easily. 5GB a month is if you us the internet like it is 1995.

    I spend over $1800 a year for Sprint’s services. How much will Sprint be saving when I take this business to their competitors?

  19. None says:

    Obviously, this is just going to push heavy users in to wi-fi tethering by other means.

  20. Anonymous says:

    $30 for 5GB but $50 for each additional GB? What’s up with that?

    How about $30 for 5GB and $6 for each additional GB. If that’s not profitable, then how about $250 for 5GB and $50 for each additional GB? What, that will leave you with no customers? OK find the “sweet spot” in the middle but do NOT make heavy users pay more per GB for “overage” than for the initial allowance.

    After all, they SHOULD be giving heavy users volume discounts, not penalties.

  21. Sprintfan says:

    I am not talking about unlimited tethering, I am talking about the unlimited phone plan. If you offer 2gbs like Verizon if doesn’t make sense to stick with the inferior carrier.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Oh geez I’m Sorry angry people… Is Sprint the first company to cap data? no.. They are the last post paid carrier to do so. AND they are not even capping regular device usage. they are capping hotspot which is supposed to be used for temp mobile usage.. not to run your whole damn house off wi-fi. You want unlimited internet to watch movies and play game.. call your cable provider. This is a cell phone company. Not your lazy cheap ass connection to the world.
    I say to teach society a lesson in whats important about a cell phone we turn off all 3g/4g/LTE services nationwide, re-establish the old 1998 plans where IF you had texting it was a charge and data services may have well be non-existent. So go dig out your nokia monochrome device and leave it in the glovebox for emergencies.

  23. Alan Crone00 says:

    Man! Yall all acting like they crazy! So they put a cap. 5GB! Could be like the others and pay 10 times more for 1/2GB! Maybe Sprint does have something going on in the future? Hell maybe they still plan on buying tmobile since att got shot down by Feds. They wanted to before att came in and was about to write a check for $39 mil. but now they will have to match that in order to expand there should i say limited 4G services nation wide! If thats what they are doing whats the problem all they are trying to do is stay afloat with the big dogs but are unable to just run up to tmobile and write a check like att., and at the same time improve there services for the people. And those who want to go to verizon! Ha! Go for it now thats a bad move! Just switched to sprint from verizon! My wife and i had a plan that included one gtab, and two poopoo non-smartphones we paid $180 for just that and only got 3GB on the tablet! Then we looked into upgrading both to smartphones! Ha! Estimated price $250!

  24. Brian says:

    I’ll go to Verizon. If I’m going to pay the same price for the same data cap, I might as well get better coverage and better speed out of the deal.

  25. Sprint has been on the decline with customers and the phones that they offer for years, within the past 2 years they seemed to step that game up. It was disbelief when they decided to start the end of the year by killing off the very things that gave customers that advantage over other carriers, 1st blow was the premiere Gold and Silver programs, 2nd is the increasing amount of the ETF now there just trying to piss the loyal customers off by starting to cap-off tethering plans (Hotspot).
    In my opinion, this is Sprint slowly killing the cow that gives it milk.

    Am I mad/Upset/Frustrated? No, not at all.
    I don’t like it and it sucks.
    I have been with sprint for 11yrs, I have a Corporate Liable Acct with them so it doesn’t at “all” affect me,
    but it does to other customers which is bad.

    Sprint had and still has issues with there network “overall” (<<It's quoted for a damn reason"")
    causing customers to jump ship. The hundreds of thousands that stayed and were loyal were given incentives like the Premiere programs. To take that away for something less incentive is not a way to say thanks.
    I'm not here to call anyone out on there comments but, if your happy-that's great, if your with another carrier and have negative responses to Sprint customers dissatisfaction to theses changes, well then-this only shows how jealous you were that we've had that and you'r happy to see people on the top of the totem pole come down a bit….

    It's called envy.

  26. Sprint has been on the decline with customers and the phones that they offer for years, within the past 2 years they seemed to step that game up. It was disbelief when they decided to start the end of the year by killing off the very things that gave customers that advantage over other carriers, 1st blow was the premiere Gold and Silver programs, 2nd is the increasing amount of the ETF now there just trying to piss the loyal customers off by starting to cap-off tethering plans (Hotspot).
    In my opinion, this is Sprint slowly killing the cow that gives it milk.

    Am I mad/Upset/Frustrated? No, not at all.
    I don’t like it and it sucks.
    I have been with sprint for 11yrs, I have a Corporate Liable Acct with them so it doesn’t at “all” affect me,
    but it does to other customers which is bad.

    Sprint had and still has issues with there network “overall” (<<it's a="" damn="" for="" quoted="" reason"") causing customers to jump ship. The hundreds of thousands that stayed and were loyal were given incentives like the Premiere programs. To take that away for something less incentive is not a way to say thanks.
    I’m not here to call anyone out on there comments but, if your happy-that’s great, if your with another carrier and have negative responses to Sprint customers dissatisfaction to theses changes, well then-this only shows how jealous you were that we’ve had that and you’r happy to see people on the top of the totem pole come down a bit….

    It’s called envy.

  27. Dreamcasting says:

    This bodes so poorly for the future. It isn’t like I expect any company to remain a consumer ally after it doesn’t suit their interests, but the fact an ally is turning still sucks.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Not everyone can get cable internet. There are people who live in rural areas like myself whose only option is (capped) satellite service or (capped) mobile internet service. I live in the middle of nowhere and am lucky that there is a tower within range at all. I can promise you that nobody (or close to nobody) uses data off of that tower for me, so I am damn well sure that I am not clogging up the network regardless of how much data I use. If some carrier would offer an unlimited mobile data plan (or even one capped at 30-40GB), I’d happily pay a small fortune for it. To be completely honest, I’d probably be willing to pay as much as $150 to $200 a month for it.

    But please, if you’re The Guy That Knows Stuff, understand that not everyone is as privileged as you. I just want fast internet that I can use out here. I don’t have other choices and I’m not hurting anybody. Let me be.

  29. Anonymous says:

    You can still hack it and have no cap. The only ones being punished are the ones paying for it. Reminds me of DRM’d mp3s.

  30. lsutigers says:

    Tell you what, I live in Tampa, FL and had Sprint for work and Verizon for personal service. Back when I signed up for personal cell service, I remember the Verizon rep telling me that anything other than “The Network” was garbage. I have compared both services for 4 years now and recently switched my personal service to Sprint due to the similarity in service between both companies. Now I realize that all that Verizon network propaganda was just good marketing. Dont get me wrong, they are good, but so is Sprint. BTW, this is not just local, I travel frequently throughout the world for my job and have had no issues to speak of with Sprint. Before I switched, I did a comparison of the 4G speeds and Verizon did come slightly ahead in most markets, locally I am getting between 6-12mbps (8mbps average) I even switched my home internet to Sprint 4G as it suits our needs.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I can appreciate that you live in a rural area and theres not many options. there are alot of people like you. however mobile companies cant build plans and policies based on location.
    Imagine the chaos that would follow if Sprint said “ok mr.raines, you are the only one using the tower so you can use 40gb a month for the same price as your family and friends who live 40 miles away that live in an populated area. they are only allowed 3gb..” and then when you move to a city and “forget” to tell sprint.. oh now your using 40 gb of data along with 1000 other people.. that are now complaining about their speeds. but its ok.. cause you USED to live in the country….
    Do you see the point. its a matter of being consistent and courteous to all other customers.

    -And dont get me wrong.. I may know stuff thats only cause I WORK for sprint.. the only priviledge I get is that my shits cheaper.. but i also live in the sticks of TN and my closest tower is almost 10 miles away. and I am not only capped at 5gb, but i’ll be lucky if I can keep a connection long enough to enjoy it.

  32. Anonymous says:

    I’m not so much stating that I wish Sprint would cater to my needs as much as I wish any carrier would.
    Surely it would be at least somewhat feasible to market a mobile isp or plan solely for people like me. I might be wrong.
    Like I said, I’d love to pay a ridiculous fee for an at least usable amount of bandwidth. I’m a computer programmer, and I’m not sure I’d be able to do with 5gb over the course of a month even without low quality streaming.
    That said, I’m just dreaming. It isn’t Sprint’s fault that I live in one of the few places in the country without decent wired internet. I’m just getting frustrated with my lack of options. I thank you dearly for understanding and sympathizing with my situation.
    —– Reply message —–

  33. Intocad says:

    You sir are a jackass! Do you not understand the definition of unlimited access? I don’t recall seeing it stated that the service is to only be used as temp mobile usage. The Where did you get that from? And actually it’s not teaching society a lesson when these companies are spewing commercials and ads all over the place about unlimited this and unlimited that. I think from your moronic comment about those previous plans and being charged for everyutton someone pushed they would be charged didn’t fly. It’s the consumer that needs to push these companies to find ways to back what they bring to the table. Also today’s smartphone is more powerful when you compare it next to that desktop you used to charge your nokia monochrome device. The simple fact is today’s smartphone can run the your whole damn house off wi-fi

  34. Intocad says:

    I’ll probably go to verizon. Living in phoenix we were supposed to see 4G from Spring shortly after the release of the EVO 4G. That has not happened and the areas that do have it are actually areas that I prefer to stay out of. I paid the extra 10 for the data plan and also paid 30 for the hotspot. I just turned off the hotspot and am starting to look at what my early cancellation fees will be. I know that own vzn has capped plans but at least I have friends with the service and can definitely say they are fast and everywhere in phx.

  35. Jaz says:

    I feel like an idiot for asking this–but is there still a 5GB limit even when mobile hotspot is turned off?

  36. Fent623 says:

    Tried the rest, Sprint is better by long shot, hope everybody dosent find this out at once.

  37. Guest says:

    Some of us can’t get cable and our only option is to “run your whole damn house off wi-fi”. So they should have unlimited plans for areas where cabeling is unavailable.

  38. Anonymous says:

    Wait.. you expect Sprint to pick up the slack where your local cable/phone/satellite provider leaves off? Do you hear yourself? This is my point. Sprint(all carriers really) are CELL PHONE companies. Not internet providers. You’ve been spoiled too much by what you have been given in the past as a bonus. Whats next you gonna ask you’re towns water board to not charge you per gallon to use your dishwasher cause your sink is too small to do all your dishes in?

  39. Thegratestdane says:

    u my friend are a moron there is more than enough bandwidth to go around its about the money
    fiber optic cable the size of ur hair can carry billions of GB per second if u think we are all fighting for the same small slice of bandwidth ur

  40. Eddie Offermann says:

    Sorry, Guy That Thinks He Knows Stuff, but Sprint, AT&T, Clear, etc. are not ‘cell phone companies’. They are data carriers. They run fiber optic networks to distribute data, they buy bandwidth off of satellites, and erect radio towers to distribute data. The fact that you talk in one tin can and think a string carries your voice to the other tin can isn’t relevant to what they actually do.

    Their future is in supplying data to end users, without wires, with minimal infrastructure maintenance and with minimal downtime. They know this, otherwise they wouldn’t be aggressively trying to generate capital to expand their data infrastructure: people are not going to be making ten times as many phone calls in ten years, but they’re damn sure going to be using ten times as much data – there is otherwise no reason for the ever-widening data pipe that they’re delivering to mobile devices.

  41. Wamsr638 says:

    I just entered into a contract w Sprint this past March 2011 to ad a strand alone mobile Wi-Fi device to my Sprint account along with the 4 phones already on it for 69.99/month plus the cost of the device which was 99.99. This was an UNLIMITED 4G Data plan. Now, this morning I discover via a text message from them that my data usage was up to almost 12 GB, which was 7 GB over my limit. WTF! What limit? This contract was for 2 years and now they want 338.71 for the “extra” data I’ve downloaded through this device on my “UNLIMITED” plan. SHAME on you Sprint. For SHAME! We are immediately switching to another carrier and will NOT be fulfilling the rest of our contract on our phone service with them. They reneged on their end of the deal by attempting to gouge us.

  42. atish says:

    Yay! Thank you HTC! HTC are just brilliant if you ask me, and incorporating dropbox into their phones just shows how innovative they are, they are taking more steps towards the cloud and getting in ahead of others

  43. Matthewlschaus says:

    Cut the small print crap ” Guy that knows nothing ” simply everything, unlimited. What does does that mean to you ? You probably work for Sprint! I’ve been with Nextel / Sprint since 1995 and they just are getting to greedy. Where’s the 4G they’ve been snowing us with, Allentown PA. does’nt have it but Lancaster PA. does, what the heck! They gave us a WI-FI drug and want to regulate ” simply everything, unlimited”.

  44. Matthewlschaus says:

    Where’s my 4G, Spint does’nt seem to know, they say in 6 months. That was years ago! Sevice signal has been poor! I know they are charging more. What does simply everthing and unlimited mean to you ?

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