Update: Dow Jones Newswires apparently left out a key piece of information from Hesse's statement on throttling, in an example of truly stellar journalism and attention to detail (unfortunately, we have no audio or video record to verify Hesse's statements). Hesse was discussing throttling of those who are on networks that Sprint has roaming agreements with (which, admittedly, Sprint has a lot of - including with Verizon). While this still makes Sprint's ads technically misleading, the throttling really only applies to those who live in areas where Sprint's data network relies chiefly on roaming - not to those using primarily Sprint towers.
When we first heard about Republic Wireless, it sounded too good to be true. $19 per month for unlimited talk, text, and data? No way. Then we got into the fine print and realized that unlimited had a different meaning in this scenario (much like with other carriers), as RW actually intended on you using your cell more over Wi-Fi and reserved the right to eject you from its network (which runs on Sprint's 3G backbone) if you used too much 3G data.
Here's the beautiful part about RW in its current state: it's still beta, so changes can be made on the fly.
When Sprint confirmed that the iPhone 4S was headed to the US's Alamo of unlimited data, current Sprint subscribers feared that a tidal wave of iDevices could finally force the company to surrender to tiered data pricing.
Speaking to Forbes, CEO Dan Hesse said the iPhone was actually having the opposite effect, and that Apple's smartphone would actually reduce the rate of growth of smartphone data consumption because it uses Sprint's network more efficiently. Hesse claims the iPhone uses significantly less mobile data, and hits the network less often, than Android devices. Apple's strict guidelines about app network efficiency mean the iPhone, on average, is less data-hungry than its competitors.
In what can only be described as a real sphincter-clencher for Sprint customers, the nation's last true unlimited smartphone data provider has made a move that may signal the eventual end of that philosophy.
Yesterday, Sprint announced that customers on its Virgin-branded pre-paid arm, Virgin Mobile, will now be subjected to data throttling after 2.5GB of usage in a month. Sprint claims this will only affect 3% of all Virgin mobile data subscribers. The throttling will limit data hogs to a paltry 256Kbits/s once they've capped out at the 2.5GB mark in a single month - which is actually a little better than what T-Mobile does (dropping people to EDGE speeds).
Earlier this month we told you that T-Mobile was working to revamp a couple of its pre-paid plans to include unlimited data, and that is finally official as of today.
(Note from David: Except, that data isn't really, truly unlimited. I mean, if you count 2G EDGE [which is what you get when you exceed your cap] as "data," then yes - you can have all the EDGE you can eat. But that's like eating sand. And not beach sand, either - it's dirty playground sand. That is T-Mobile's definition of "unlimited data," and it's nothing but marketing department spew, plain and simple.
T-Mobile has seen better days. First, it looks as though T-Mobile will be acquired soon by AT&T and to pour salt in their wounds apparently the subscriber results for Q1 2011 have been atrocious. However, T-Mobile is still doing all it can to win back its customers by revamping its prepaid plans to allow for unlimited data, launching cutting edge handsets, and now allowing unlimited calling over wireless networks.
TmoNews has gotten hold of a screenshot that shows that calls over wireless networks will be completely free from tomorrow (May 11th).
Right now you can make calls over a wireless network, which is useful where your data coverage is poor, but on the flipside, it cuts into your in-plan minutes.
On May 22, T-Mobile will be lifting the figurative data gate on its web70 and web50 plans, offering users unlimited data to go along with the unlimited talk and text that is already a part of the deal. As it stands right now, the web70 plan has a 2GB data cap, while the web50 plan only allows for a measly 100MB of data usage. While the latter will get the benefit of unlimited data, there will still be one restriction: the speed will be throttled after 100MB. Fortunately for web70 users, that plan will not suffer the same effect, so you'll be able to surf and download at 3G/4G speeds to your heart's content.
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.
Shazam, the music tagging service that listens to a song and tells you what it is, has announced today that the free version of their app will support unlimited tagging until January 1st, 2012. While this is pretty cool if you're a Shazam user who doesn't want to pay $5 for Shazam Encore (or didn't grab it what it was Amazon's app of the day), it's still pretty laughable for people who have been using Soundhound the whole time. While I can appreciate what Shazam is doing here with the help eBay, who is sponsoring this unlimited tag-fest, I can't help but feel that Shazam should've done this on its own a long time ago.
There's been a lot of talk about AT&T's crusade against rogue tethering lately, and it all comes back to this AT&T text message sent to some poor iPhone customer(s):
AT&T Free Msg: We’ve noticed you’re continuing to enjoy the tethering feature with your smartphone service. Remember, you need a tethering plan ($45/mo, incl. 4GB) to use this feature, so we’re planning to update your line with the required plan soon.
Yes, the carrier everyone loves to hate is cracking down on unauthorized tethering - and they are automatically switching violators onto AT&T's 4GB data plan with tethering access, at a steep $45 a month.