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HTC Evo 4G   (Source: Sprint)
Sprint is watching 4G data use

Over the last year here has been a lot of publicity over the changing of the mobile carriers around the country from unlimited data plans to tiered pricing. The carriers say that the increased data usage costs them more and the change to tiered is inevitable if the usage is extreme. The catch for consumers is that what wireless carriers feel is a reasonable amount is often not enough to stream a movie or two per month without going over the limit.

Sprint is one of the major carriers left offering an unlimited plan. Sprint's CEO Dan Hesse has stated that if the data usage of users on its 4G network gets too high, it might consider upping the monthly fee for the service. Currently Sprint charges 4G users $10 more per month than users of its 3G network. Hesse says that the extra $10 is because they expect users that embrace devices like the Evo 4G and the Samsung Epic 4G to consume more data thanks to the devices' larger screens.

Hesse said, "We know that users will use a lot more data [on Epic and Evo], so we charge $10 more. If we have to, if the average usage gets too high, we might have to increase the price." Hesse made these statements after his keynote Wednesday at the EmTech@MIT 2010 conference reports 
Computer World.

Hesse also took time to flaunt the Galaxy Tab on the stage during his keynote, stating the device would be coming to Sprint in a few weeks. Hesse did state that he doesn’t expect Sprint to move to metered pricing on its 4G services, but that the data usage will be watched closely. The clear indication is that if the data use goes over what Sprint thinks is reasonably, metered pricing will come.

Hesse said, "If heavy users flock to us [from tiered plans on AT&T or Verizon], we'll watch that." He continued stating, "We can offer unlimited [usage] as long as the usage is reasonable. If you run an all-you-can-eat buffet, but you have the New England Patriots come in and the whole team spends a whole day there, I can't afford to do that anymore."





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