With other carriers (such as Verizon and AT&T) cutting their unlimited data plans, rumblings have understandably emerged that Sprint may be planning to follow suit.
That, fortunately, is not the case according to Stephen Bye, Sprint's Chief Technology Officer. Bye addressed this topic while speaking to those attending the GigaOm Mobilize Conference in San Francisco yesterday.
Bye indicated that Sprint sees its dedication to unlimited data as a differentiator from other carriers (except when it comes to mobile hotspot, evidently), explaining that not all unlimited subscribers use the same amount of data, as well as the fact that tiered data plans carry hidden costs related to customer care and support.
While Bye seemed to adamantly affirm that Sprint would be sticking to its guns when it came to unlimited data plans, he acknowledged industry pressure to do otherwise, emphasizing that "there's a challenge for all engineers to work on how to get the cost structure down."
Some may raise the valid point of the fiscal strain of deploying a 4G network. As cnet reports, Sprint's partnership with LightSquared (an LTE wholesaler) provides a basic roadmap for deployment of a network that can compete with Verizon and AT&T. That being said, Sprint's network still has more catching up to do in terms of modernization, the effect of which is yet to be seen.
No one can say for sure whether Sprint will continue this line of thinking indefinitely, but subscribers (and prospective customers) can rest assured that unlimited data will stick around for the foreseeable future.