Sprint Changes Tune, Will Start Throttling Data For Heavy Users

After years of openly mocking its competition for enacting data caps and throttling heavy users, Sprint has had a change of heart. Starting next month, it will begin slowing the data speeds of its most demanding smartphone users.

Starting next month the carrier will reduce the speeds of the top 5% of data users in areas dealing with network congestion, The Verge reports.

According to a FAQ on Sprint’s website the new prioritization will fairly allocate network resources in times of congestion.

The goal of congestion management is to enable the majority of users to have access to a fair share of the network at peak times, when congestion occasionally occurs. Most customers will notice an improved wireless data experience due to Sprint’s congestion management. Customers subject to prioritization may experience reduced throughput or speed compared to their normal experience on non-congested sites.

While it’s unclear how slow the data speed will be, Sprint says consumers can expect “slower-than-normal data speeds until congestion has passed.”

There is no clear marker to indicate what will land a consumer in the top 5% since it will be determined on a monthly basis. However, consumers using 5GB or more will likely be affected. The plan will also affect prepaid customers with Boost and Virgin Mobile USA.

Sprint doesn’t appear to appreciate its heavy data users. The company states in the FAQ that data-hungry users “consume a disproportionate share of network resources and cause a negative user experience for the rest.”

Sprint will slow down speeds for its data users starting next month [The Verge]

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  1. StevenPierce says:

    If they are only doing this during periods of congestion, the network is already slow any ways.

  2. webalias says:

    Does this mean I can immediately cancel my Sprint contract without an Early Termination Fee? It seems to me that it should. The only reason I selected Sprint over its competitors is because of its widely promoted policy of unlimited data with no caps or throttling. This would appear to be a material change, no?