When I think of Sprint, the first thought that comes to mind is CEO Dan Hesse standing on a pier talking about being truly unlimited. I'm sure that he really does like the idea of being truly unlimited... but only when phones are concerned. You see, Sprint is reportedly going to take a different stance when it comes to data connection cards and embedded devices, such as tablets and netbooks.

According to BriefMobile, new data packages are rumored to be put in place on May 8th, the same day that the Nexus S 4G is set to land on the Now Network. The new, tiered data plan looks like it has been extracted directly from the Verizon Wireless playbook, as the pricing is identical:


  • 3GB Data Plan - Available on Sierra Pro Overdrive, Novatel MiFi, and Samsung Galaxy Tab - $34.99
  • 5GB Data Plan - Available on Sierra Pro Overdrive, Novatel MiFi, Samsung Galaxy Tab, and Netbook/Notebook - $49.99
  • 10GB Data Plan - Available on the same devices as the 5GB - $79.99

Those prices are assuming that you already have phone service with Sprint, otherwise it will set you back an additional $10.00. An added bonus, however, is that the Everything Data 450 minute plan now includes 300 "bonus" minutes, effectively making it a 750 minute plan.

So what do you think? Is this the beginning of the end for "truly unlimited" or is it the struggle of a desperate provider trying to stay in the game?

Source: BriefMobile via Engadget Mobile

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

    That would be quite a blow to the unlimited claim. I know plenty of people who rely on Sprint's data cards for their primary service while on the go or at home, and this would be the last blow to that strategy.

    I kind of understand why Sprint is doing it, and I doubt they'll do it to phones (they better not), but it'll be a sad day if this is indeed true.

  • http://www.ericcamil.com Eric

    Solution: Wirless tethering of your 3g/WiMax phone to the device.

    While I am not excited to hear Sprint may be moving in the direction, it does make sense from a bandwidth and business standpoint. Overall they've kept their word in regards to cellular phones, though as I consider moving into the realm of owning a tablet. More and more do I think, tethering or using wifi but staying off the data plans. It gets too expensive. 80 dollars a month for 10gb's of data expensive. I would recommend they consider a "rollover" plan for data.

    On average i use around 400-500mb of data on my phone a month. (Admittedly that's because it seems WIFI is everywhere and we don't have WiMax here yet.) If I owned a tablet and could pay 80 dollars for 10gb of data 3g/WiMax and I wouldn't have to pay the 80 again until I used it up, I would be ok with that.

    A "pay as you go/play" plan.

  • shane

    Terrible, terrible idea. The Only thing keeping me on the Now Network (Sprint) is the unlimited data.
    It goes, I go.

    • Sprinter

      +1 on that. Longtime sprint/nextel customer (contract). If they make a dumb move and/or don't stay true to their word, and start including cell/smart phone data plans to tiered, i'm switching or going prepaid in a heart-beat.

  • fins71

    Imo I think Sprint needs to keep unlimited the way it is. I read a lot of forums, and more and more people are starting to see Sprint as the last, and affordable option. With the "merger" on the horizon, and all the recent talk about tethering and Google market making tether apps for the other carriers impossible to install, Sprint should stand apart as the lone last carrier for choice. I love having an unlimited plan that has no hidden charges. My bill is my bill. If they go to tiered plans on phones too, they will cease to be different. Sprint just needs a little more time, and I believe the tide will turn. If a consumer uses data at all on their phone, I don't see how they could not see Sprint as a great option the way the current carrier climate seems to be in favor of over charging for every little gig or text or mins used.

  • John

    The ONLY way Sprint can survive is to remain cheaper than competitors. If they do this, they will essentially begin the process of lowering their casket into their grave.

  • caseycour

    This headline is very misleading.

    Sprint already had a 5gb cap on broadband cards. This only indicates they are lowering the price on that plan and adding the 3gb and 10gb plans, placing their services in line with those of AT&T and Verizon.

    • Simon Belmont

      A big +1 on that here. It's basically just giving customers more options.

      For broadband cards and netbooks, it was never truly unlimited. With handsets, it technically is.

    • Fwald

      The cap for mobile hotspots was for 3G data only. There was no cap on 4G. If they cap 4G, that would be a big game changer.

      • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

        That is correct.

  • Matt

    I don't understand this...their data cards already have a 5gb cap. They have only offered a 5gb plan, so this is just them adding a smaller, cheaper plan for people that don't use it.

    Phones have no cap.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      The data cap is only for 3g.

      • TheCentauress

        Effectively, it's for card data period. Since 4g is almost impossible to get inside a building, it's a joke to say there's a way to get 'unlimited' data from a wireless card unless you can take it outside.

  • Gimmethecash

    As Sprint moves towards more phones that don't give you the 4g option on your phone but hop to a lower 3g setting most of the time with their application. You have to wonder when roaming in Los Angeles who's towers there using VERIZONS. So to see a new tablet data price guide resembling Verizon doesn't surprise this Nextel customer of over 15 tears. What have you done for us lately NEW SPRINT!