Sprint Raising Data Rates By $10 Per Month For New Activations

Starting January 30, Sprint is raising data rates by $10 a month for new phone activations. The rate increase will not apply to existing customer unless they upgrade or activate another smartphone.

Previously the fee only applied to Epic 4G, HTC EVO 4G, and EVO Shift 4G phones accessing the Sprint WiMax network. Now it will apply to all smartphones. Supposedly the fee will allow the network to keep offering unlimited data for WiMax subscribers.

Smartphones Drive Wireless Data Explosion [Press Release] (Thanks to Shawn!)
Sprint Expands $10 ‘Because We Can’ Fee [DSL Reports] (Thanks to David!)

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  1. Mecharine says:

    So its 40 dollars for data now? Last I check it was 30 a month, plus 60 dollars for single line plan.

  2. HippieLawChick says:

    Shenanigans!

  3. dragonfire81 says:

    Sprint Expands $10 ‘Because We Can’ Fee – I think the title of this linked article tells you everything you need to know about this garbage fee. I have an EVO and I have to pay it and I am nowhere close to a 4G/Wimax area.

    • BuddyL says:

      PLUS…. this phone can act as a mobile hotspot – BUT – you can only use that feature if you pay an EXTRA $30 per month! By default this feature is turned off. Why can’t they ‘turn off’ 4G on my phone and let me activate it for the extra $10 per month when 4G comes to our city! :( I don’t get it….

      • jason in boston says:

        Well, you can always root and not worry about that silly $30 fee.

        • BuddyL says:

          I understand you can ‘hack’ these phones to make stuff work – Rooting won’t change the fact that they don’t give you the option for the 4G fees.. 4G is not in my area – why should I pay for it?

        • Cosmo_Kramer says:

          Using a service that you haven’t paid for strikes me as… unethical.

          Your inevitable response: “But I paid for the data, I can use it however I want.”

          My preemptive response: No, you can’t. First, that price was based on the assumption that the data would be used only for your phone, with smartphone usage patterns which are less data-heavy than computers. Second, read your TOS. You paid for what you agreed to pay for, that doesn’t entitle you to more than you agreed to pay for.

          • Spellchk says:

            I did pay for the data and no, it wasn’t assumed it would be less than what it is. My data is caped like all other plans. They charge for the use of their program. A rooted phone doesn’t use their program. It simply allows me to use someone else’s program. Btw you can still hook your phone up to multiple connections just not over wifi.

            As for the TOS that is a non-issue. Rooting you phone is perfectly legal and any stipulation in a TOS to the contrary is unenforceable. Rooting your phone simply voids your warranty. Much like you would if you upgraded a computer you bought from Dell.

  4. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    Way to not be competitive when Verizon is about to smoke you.

  5. sp00nix says:

    I ALMOST switched to sprint to open 2 lines for the Evo 4G, when i hit the part where it wanted that fee, i stopped. At first i was going to break even with ATTs bill, but this set it way over.

    • howie_in_az says:

      My current employer has discounts through Sprint that negate the stupid $10/EVO fee, but I still call to complain about it every billing cycle.

    • quail says:

      Always check for what discounts are available to you no matter what the carrier or what companies you work for. Because of my part-time gig at Kohl’s I got my plan with 20% off. If I’d gone with my AAA membership it would have been less, and there were other routes I could have taken to get some sort of discount. People who pay full price just never asked about discounts.

    • Geekybiker says:

      What you can get at ATT for less is in no way comparable to what you get at Sprint. If you get a super bare bones smartphone plan at ATT it can cheaper, but you when you compare comparable packages, sprint comes out on top.

  6. jason in boston says:

    Even with the $10 tax, still cheaper than my iPhone plan was.

  7. Raanne says:

    Eh… I have an Evo, I pay the fee. My husband has an Optimus S, he doesn’t pay the fee. I can’t complain though, because we have unlimited data on 3 phones for around 150. Its still waaaaaaay cheaper than any of the competitive plans elsewhere, plus we have 4G in Cleveland.

  8. Blueskylaw says:

    I wish I could be able to go to my boss and just say, hey, due to adverse economic conditions I am raising my salary by ten dollars an hour. By some false reasoning, corporations think that “normal” people make millions of dollars a year like they do and that a price increase should be insignificant for them.

    • Raanne says:

      They aren’t raising it. This only applies to new contracts.

      • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

        Until you upgrade to a new phone. Which most of us do every 2-3 years. Sometimes not by choice, as phones die quickly.

        So really 95% of everyone on that network will be paying the higher rates within 5 years. And the majority of them within 2.

        • leprechaunshawn says:

          Upgrading to a new phone doesn’t automatically trigger the extra $10, it has to be a Smartphone. If you currently use a dumb phone or downgrade to a dumb phone, the fee does not apply.

          That being said, I cannot imagine life without my Blackberry so I will not be able to avoid this fee when I get my annual upgrade in August. My wife will also be upgrading her Blackberry in July so we’ve just accepted the fact that our Sprint bill is going up $20. For what we get though, it’s still cheaper than Verizon, AT&T or T-Mobile.

          • Blueskylaw says:

            “Upgrading to a new phone doesn’t automatically trigger the extra $10, it has to be a Smartphone. If you currently use a dumb phone or downgrade to a dumb phone, the fee does not apply.”

            Don’t worry, I’m sure that the next target of a “price point” change will be dumb phone users. Somehow, someway, in some kind of twisted legal language it will happen.

          • absherlock says:

            “Upgrading to a new phone doesn’t automatically trigger the extra $10, it has to be a Smartphone. If you currently use a dumb phone or downgrade to a dumb phone, the fee does not apply.”

            No, but the way I read it, having a smartphone under contract and then replacing that smartphone with another DOES trigger it. You’re only grandfathered into your original contract for the life of the current phone. That’s bogus.

            • leprechaunshawn says:

              You did read it correctly. If you choose to upgrade your current smart phone to a newer smart phone you will be entering into new contract under this new pricing.

              I’m not overly concerned with the increase in price. The price of my plan hasn’t gone up in probably 4 years, it’s about time for a price increase. At least the price doesn’t go up until I choose to let it go up.

      • common_sense84 says:

        Cute. They are raising it. Because if your phone stops working or you want to upgrade, they will raise the price.

        So everyone will be paying the fee eventually.

      • Blueskylaw says:

        If I can’t get the price that most people are currently paying, then I would consider that a price hike in my book.
        Just like when companies say: You get the product FREE!!!! Just pay shipping and handling. If money is coming out of my wallet then it’s not free.

  9. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    I think Sprint shot itself in the foot when it made people who owned 4G phones pay for 4G service even if they couldn’t get 4G service. That was the first step, and this could make people leave Sprint, especially if they weren’t getting 4G and weren’t going to for quite some time.

  10. common_sense84 says:

    So a network that is already built and paid for requires them to charge 10 dollars a month to every customer to cover data costs which are much less than 1 cent a GB?

    Government regulation is needed. This crap has to stop.

    • Hi_Hello says:

      government don’t need to do anything. government would probably mess it up.

      If the majority of people think this is whack, cancel their service with sprint or cancel the data plan. The will force the sprint to re-think their their cost.

      the fact is, people don’t care enough to do something about it other than complain.

    • nybiker says:

      Every time I drive over a bridge here in NYC I keep thinking the same thing (about why I am charged such an obscene amount of money to go over it when it’s been bought and paid for already). But I am told that we have to pay for maintenance and what-not (I’m telling you, that what-not stuff is very expensive). Of course, the biggest part of the fee is so they (the mta folks) generate a surplus to fund public transportation.
      I don’t know about government regulation being the answer here, but I agree that something doesn’t make sense for the high fee. But then I don’t buy the sprint/nextel stuff due to them playing the naming rights game (the cup thing with the auto racing).

    • Cosmo_Kramer says:

      “network that is already built and paid for”

      With a name like common_sense84 you don’t realize that the cellular companies NEVER stop building their network? It’s never done. It’s never done. They need to continually add towers between existing towers as demand increases, they need to continually upgrade equipment.

      Network that is already bought and paid for… hah!

  11. colorisnteverything says:

    That’s ridiculous!

    I have a smartphone on Sprint an already pay enough ($100/month). I was lucky to get in before the rate raise, though. I also get a discount through work, so that is helpful. It ends up being cheaper than Verizon before the fee, but same as Verizon with the fee. Now that Verizon is getting the iPhone, Sprint is going to be in trouble!

  12. MrConsumer says:

    while i agree, some sort of regulation needs to be unleashed upon the cell carriers in the US, sprints plans are still by far the most aggressive when comparing to the other carriers. compared to an equal plan on verizon, sprint ends up roughly $20 cheaper per month, roughly the same compared to ATT as well. T-mobile wins out based purely on price, but in most places the service is spotty at best.

  13. ElleAnn says:

    According to a Nielsen study from November, only 28% of US wireless customers have smart phones. Increasing the cost of data plans is not going to improve market saturation. I’m holding out until the extra cost for a data plan is marginal compared to my overall cell phone bill.

    • Firethorn says:

      28% and rising. Plus, remember saturation – if the cell phone companies were smart, they’d be working to increase bandwidth availability by an order of magnitude.

      Not only are more and more people getting smartphones, they’re also using more data on them.

      And increasing the bandwidth available costs money, great big bundles of it. By the sounds of others – Sprint was the cheapest, and often still is. That’s probably why they were raising the price.

  14. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    You’re the guys with the money to buy smartphones, you’re the guys that use the most data, you’re the guys that get the price increase. What part of this am I not understanding?

    • teke367 says:

      Well, “the money to buy smartphones” part of it. You could get an LG Optimus S for free with an upgrade. It’s a “special price” that has been pretty consistent since November. Smartphones are not the upfront costs they used to be.

      But generally, I agree with you. Heck, Sprint should at least get a little credit for at least giving some advanced warning. Usually, you just get a rate hike, and cancel if you want, and people generally don’t. Depending on when you upgraded last, you may have up to two years before this rate hits you.

      • INsano says:

        From my understanding of the press release, it won’t hit anyone with a smartphone before d-day, 1/30, just those new subscribers after that date, and the 2 year contract renewal shouldn’t matter, people will be grandfathered in from what it said.

        • GLaDOS says:

          Customers will be grandfathered in *until* they replace their phone out of warranty or without total equipment protection. Then they pay $10 extra month!

  15. kathygnome says:

    It’s fine with me. What’s not fine with me is forcing me to take an expensive voice plan that will only be used three minutes a month.

  16. neilb says:

    Ready to see how these fees REALLY work out in a Sprint bill??
    We have 3 EVOs, 2 3G-only Android smartphones, and a (free) femtocell. This = $216 after all taxes and surcharges.
    Surcharges= $12 (6%)
    Taxes=$9.50 (4%)
    Premium data = $30 (14%; we will keep our current phones to avoid this going to $50).

    With 3 premium data fees, 24% of the bill is presently from taxes/fees/surcharges.
    With 5 premium data fees, 30% of the bill would be from taxes/fees/surcharges (21% of would be from premium data fees alone).

    Seriously, at some point the fees are such a high percentage of the bill that you cannot take the company’s advertised pricing seriously at all!

    Our plan (Everything Plus Family 1600 referral plan) includes functionally unlimited minutes, unlimited data, unlimited texts and nothing to worry about at all other than Sprint’s usually incompetent customer service. The radio service works well, so they have that in their favor (something AT&T failed miserably at). Still, I wish Tmobile serviced our new house (or had offered UMA at the time we signed the contract)–they were the best company all-around!

  17. Scuba Steve says:

    I’m paying 65 with taxes and fees for my AT&T line, 450 minutes, 200 texts, and unlimted internet.

    Unfortunately its a 2G plan and I can’t upgrade without getting charged a ton more.

  18. JeremieNX says:

    As per a previous comment, only 28% of the US has smart phones. I can see why. I specifically avoid smart phones just because of the bullsh** fees on top of expensive data plans. I would love to have the internet at my fingertips as I travel, but I still cannot justify the price.

  19. ShruggingGalt says:

    Wow, makes it easier to switch now. I needed to replace my phone but not now.

  20. teke367 says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the “Its not a 4G fee” thing kind of backfired. If they couldn’t convince people it wasn’t for 4G, and were charging people who had no access, that may have caused legal problems. And instead of dropping the fee, they charged everybody, thus “proving” this isn’t a 4G fee.

    I said somewhere else, you may have up to two years before this fee hits. A lot of times carriers will just raise rates, and call your bluff about cancelling. It sucks, but I don’t think Spring was especially prickish about it.

    • INsano says:

      Oh yeah, there will be legal problems. Just think how much the FCC beat down the carriers’ lobbiests with the complete lack of stipulations for data neutrality on mobile devices. If you’re counting on the government’s toothless regulators to stymie corporate greed, you don’t have an ace up your sleeve, you have a 3 of diamonds.

  21. rambo76098 says:

    This seems a bit foolish, I have VZW, 1 smartphone, 1 dumbphone, total is $109/mo with fees.

    Just priced the cheapest SERO plan and got $119 base for the same features. Given, there is more minutes, but I used the lowest plan offered as I never use more than 100 minutes a month, and it’s my only phone.

  22. davidsco says:

    So, lousy network, worse customer service and the SAME rates??? Oh YEA, I’m switching to SprinT!

  23. Blooberriz says:

    I work for Sprint.

    Previously, we were told NOT to refer to the extra $10 on the 4G phones as a 4G fee.. Sprint told us it was simply a premium data fee because users of those types of phones were more than likely to use the data network more than a regular 3G phone…

    Plus, 4G is not available everywhere, so they wouldnt be able to call it a 4G fee if they want all users to pay for it.

    Now, all smart phones are required to have the $10 add-on, so I guess they really got away from calling it a 4G fee..

    It kinda sucks having to explain this crap to customers, but we are still generally cheaper than the competition. ..

    —–I didnt read the other comments, so this may already be mentioned above—–

  24. chargernj says:

    Was planning on upgrading next week, just under the wire. Whew. Anyone have any tips on the best phone for sprint that IS NOT 4G?

  25. eyecon82 says:

    Time to start taking a closer look at Verizon. I don’t mind paying a little bit more for better coverage