Sprint To Cap"Unlimited" 3G Data Service at 5GB

A leaked internal Sprint memo says that the company will be placing limits on the previously unlimited EV-DO mobile broadband data service. If you go over 5GB per month total or 300MB/month while off-network roaming you will be subject to extra fees. Two Sprint employees writing on Sprint user forums vouched for the leak’s authenticity. Now Sprint will no longer be the only carrier to offer actually unlimited 3G service. Somehow I don’t see CEO Dan Hesse bragging about this move while strolling through black and white cobblestone streets.

Sprint is NOW LIMITING DATA USAGE – 5GB – just like the rest… [Sprint Users] (Thanks to everyone who sent this in!)


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  1. ChipMcDougal says:

    Ugh, that just figures…after watching that commercial I almost thought he seemed genuine

  2. Wormfather says:

    And the stockholders rejoice and dance in that black & white street.

  3. cosby says:

    Yea you have to love have they are pushing the new unlimited plans for phones and yet they are removing the unlimited plan for data.

    This really bothers me. I went with a sprint data card because of this. While I don’t sit there and download movies or anything over it I can hit 5 gigs easy just surfing the net and watching online videos off cnn, youtube, abc etc. I use mine for work use and for surfing the internet between class at school. Thats it.

  4. cosby says:

    I should ad that considering how many customers they lost last quater how many do you all think they will loose if they make this offical?

  5. DeafChick says:

    I’m guessing this effect those who have Blackberry.

    I used my phone as a modem at home. My contract is up in February 09. I will be looking elsewhere.

  6. DeafChick says:

    @DeafChick: According the post:

    They also mentioned in another e-mail that they will be enforcing the 800min per month roaming rule; and termination letters are being sent out. You can leave ETF free!

    And they are changing the Terms of Service which will be affective July 13th. So that is another way to easily get out of contract. It seems as though this is only applying to PAM and Data Card plans – and not to Vision/PowerVision Pacakges (that is how it seems…). From the memos we got – but we could be interpreting it incorrectly.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news…

    BUT! – Terms of Service effective on July 31st – so you should have the normal 30 day window to cancel without paying the ETF fee if you choose. Just beware AT&T and Verizon also have data caps (the same or less usage than Sprint).

  7. stre says:

    i’m still stuck in the stone age of cell phones that don’t have full on web browsers, so my question is this: is 5 gigs enough for the average joe? i think it’s crap that they call it “unlimited” but there’s a limit, but if 5 gigs is enough aren’t we making a big deal out of nothing? then again, maybe 5 gigs is peanuts and we should all march on the cell providers with torches and pitchforks. i’m so confused!

  8. dragonfire81 says:


    5 Gigs is more than enough for the average joe. When I was a Sprint CSR, I seldom saw monthly usage exceeding 100MB, never mind a Gig or two. This new cap will affect fewer people than you might think.

    That having been said, it’s still a stupid thing to do by Sprint. Why erase one of the few advantages they have on their competitors.

  9. Alger says:

    I use a data card, and this limit bothers me. It especially bothers me since I have no way of seeing my current or historical usage.

    When I’m traveling, the data card is my only link to the Internet, and to my corporate network. Occasionally I have to download very large software packages, and it’s entirely possible I’d go over the limit in a month.

    I have co-workers who use the data card all the time — they use it instead of a wired broadband connection. They’re much more at risk of hitting the limit.

  10. thewriteguy says:

    Doesn’t T-Mobile offer unlimited bandwidth for mobile Internet? Or is their service not 3G? (And if it’s not 3G, then what is it?)

  11. thewriteguy says:

    @ Alger:

    Google and download a free bandwidth reading program called “NetMeter”. It will give you the total bandwidth you are using. Run the program whenever you go online and it will tally up how much bandwidth you are using.

  12. ByeBye says:

    How can you do 170 MB PER DAY.
    You would have to do 170 MB PER DAY TO EXCEED 5 GB!!!

    I will repeat it again, 170 MB per day for 30 days is 5 GB.

  13. skadoo323 says:

    could this be a new clause allowing those to get out of contract without having to pay any ETF?

  14. capstinence says:

    Guess it’s time to switch to broadband. I loved going everywhere with my laptop and being able to connect to the Internet. But I use it for work and semi-regularly download a brand new branch of the site… which is about 500mb. That combined with just normal usage (YouTube, WoW) would surely push me far past 5GB in a month.

    You’ve lost another customer, Sprint.

  15. redwall_hp says:

    That 5GB will be gone pretty quickly. YouTube, podcasts, online games, the average weight of a web page… Why the %@#$& are they capping at 5GB? And yet they push the unlimited calling plans for phones? I don’t like phones. I like the internet. EV-DO sounds awesome, but listen to this Sprint: I’d never buy it as long as you have a cap that’s under 500GB. Got it?

  16. coold8 says:

    Sick, now I can move all my business to Verizon, since there is no longer a distinction!

  17. SactoKev says:

    Well, I sure am glad now that i just signed up for SERO… is this materially adverse?

  18. howie_in_az says:

    @TheManator: family photos that grandma doesn’t know how to compress so sends them as 7 megapixel files (~4mb/ea iirc), YouTube videos of the nephews, streaming video of the game missed last night… it adds up.

    Nevermind that “unlimited” has a specific definition, and said definition is not “5gb”.

  19. thewriteguy says:

    Okay, I looked up info about T-Mobile’s unlimited mobile Internet plan. It is not 3G, but GPRS, which Wikipedia explains “provides data rates from 56 up to 114 kbit/s.” Ugh.

  20. Coelacanth says:

    @dragonfire81: “5 Gigs is more than enough for the average joe.”

    Yeah, it sounds frightening similar to the “640K [of RAM] ought to be enough for anybody” logic that’s misattributed to Bill Gates.

  21. Sian says:

    Fine is fine.

    but if it’s capped, don’t call it “Unlimited”, period.

  22. Frank_Trapasso says:

    I use eight gigs a month watching Youtube and reading news on my smartphone with Sprint. Let’s see if they start fucking SERO subscribers, too.

  23. viqas says:

    I think i could hit 5 gigs easily. Just have internet radio playing on your phone. Radio stations in charlotte sucks monkey balls.

  24. What you fine ladies and gentlemen are failing to realize is that there is an agreement between you and Sprint when you purchase your data card. You agree that this is NOT your primary internet connection and that you will not use it as such. I don’t feel like looking for the exact verbiage, but you get the point. Stop whining and deal with it.

    Would you rather go to a slower network and still have the same if not a lower GB rate imposed? Or just deal with what you have and use the data card ACCORDING TO THE AGREEMENT which would then make this change fair.

    my 2 cents worth — flame away

  25. girlfromNY says:


    and I was just thinking about switching to SERO…

    When is this going to happen. Will all Sprint subscribers be able to get out of an ETF or only those subscribers who have a data card?

  26. RandomGuy says:

    That bites. I got my Aircard from Sprint in February and THE reason I went with them was because it’s unlimited. Can I use the change in terms of service to cancel without ETF?

  27. gatorjk says:

    Lets see, Treat employees like second rate citizens, lay off loyal employees, treat customers like crap, limit the unlimited data plan to cheat customers you still have…

    Yet another reason why Sprint SUCKS!

    Yes,I’m Bitter!

    Thanks All!

  28. dallasdeb says:

    I called in today to cancel my Sprint datacard. I originally got the card to use with my laptop because Time/Warner Cable took over my internet cable service from Comcast, and it became unstable and unreliable. The first year was okay, then in March of this year I began getting daily fluxuating speeds that were 50KB/s downloads up to the promised 700KB/s. After many attempts and service orders and finally verifying that the card was fine but the service wasn’t…I thought I should try and terminate the contract that had six months left on it. I looked up “cancel Sprint datacard” on Google and for the first time saw the 5MB limit vs. unlimited change. Hurrah! Since they are changing the service agreement, I can legally cancel my service without penalty easier than canceling for poor service.

    Calling Sprint was an experience in itself. I was literally shaking with anger as I tried to control my voice and what I said. Of course, the rep didn’t want me to cancel. She wanted to deny that the contract was changed, or that I could cancel without penalty, but I had already verified I could with a service agent a week prior. The announcement of the change was in this month’s billing statement. I finally said she needed to pass me on to someone who was able to cancel, since I wasn’t willing to answer any more questions regarding “solving the problem of slow data downloads/uploads”. She placed me on hold and came back and said I would be cancelled.
    Now I plan to call back and verify the cancellation is indeed in place and that I won’t be charged a cancellation fee. From all the post I’ve ready on various sites, the most important keys to getting things done is documentation and checking back. An informed consumer is a powerful consumer.

    p.s. DSL is now available in my area and is my next source of frustration, no doubt.

  29. JJ4 says:

    the “ex” sprint CSR who says 5 gb is more than enough based on experience from a few years ago cracks me up.

    years ago I had a 1200 baud modem

    What is great is this allowed me to get out of my ETF on my fie month old account.