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Print 15 comment(s) - last by Wererat.. on Jan 20 at 4:07 PM

Mobile data continues to get more expensive

It looks like there is more bad news coming in for smartphone customers this morning. We first reported that Verizon is ending its customer-friendly "New Every Two" and Early Upgrade programs. The new policy will be in effect for new customers and will expire for current customers at the end of their current contract.

Now we've gotten word that Sprint will be tacking on an extra $10 fee for new subscribers of its Everything Data plan reports Business Insider. This changes applies to all smartphones including ones based on Android, BlackBerry OS, Windows Mobile, and webOS.

Users of WiMAX-enabled devices like the Epic 4G, EVO 4G, and EVO Shift 4G won't have to worry about paying the extra $10 fee -- they are already being charged an additional $10 to have access to 4G/WiMAX data.

For current customers that think they have dodged a bullet with the new fees, don't celebrate so quickly -- Sprint will get its hooks into you eventually. According to the report, current customers who attempt to purchase a new smartphone at the subsidized rate will be hit with the $10 price hike.

As more customers flock to smartphones, wireless carriers are looking for more ways to cover the costs of providing bandwidth. In Sprint’s own words:

The charge will assist Sprint in offering simple and affordable unlimited plans for its customers while maintaining a wireless network able to meet the growing appetite for a richer mobile experience. Subscribers with smartphones will still receive the best value in wireless, including the Any Mobile, Anytime feature offered nationwide only by Sprint. 

AT&T made the move over the summer to kill its unlimited data plans for smartphones and instead introduced a 200MB/2GB, two-tier arrangement. Likewise, Verizon is also contemplating tiered pricing for its smartphone data plans.



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well $h!t
By VoodooChicken on 1/18/2011 11:05:10 AM , Rating: 2
Fortunately we joined sprint very recently, overall service better for me than AT&T had been, but 4G has pretty much been nonexistent even though we're in the armpit of Dallas. This new hike will only affect my Dad who has a blackberry if/when he throws it off a roof or something.
But the fact I'm getting this from DT instead of Sprint first is typical, but lame.




RE: well $h!t
By TheRequiem on 1/18/2011 11:18:39 AM , Rating: 2
They need to do it if they are going to continue to grow and expand their customer base and network.


RE: well $h!t
By joshuasims1981 on 1/18/2011 1:13:04 PM , Rating: 1
That's really a load of crap, you know. It's the same as everything else. Increase price, decrease service, high profit margin, lower cost. One of these days, consumers WILL have enough...oh yeah, that happened a little while ago didn't it? In mid '08 when everything CRASHED TO THE GROUND.


RE: well $h!t
By TheRequiem on 1/18/2011 2:04:26 PM , Rating: 2
No really, their data usage has SKYROCKETED since their introduction of 4G devices and more powerful smartphones. However, unlike AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, they are keeping their unlimited plans, which, to be quite frank... is a far better choice. I don't care about $10, what i care about is $200 in overages after surpassing a measily 5gb cap. This is not a big deal and people who use less data don't have to opt for the unlimited plans...


RE: well $h!t
By mcnabney on 1/18/2011 3:10:59 PM , Rating: 2
Sprint doesn't have a profit margin.

They have lost money every quarter for almost 5 years. How long the shareholders/bondholders can stomach the loss of ~$2B a year, I don't know.


RE: well $h!t
By bah12 on 1/18/2011 11:35:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But the fact I'm getting this from DT instead of Sprint first is typical, but lame.
You are an existing customer so nothing is changing for you, so why would they need to contact you about it? At renewal sure, but now this information does not impact you at all.
quote:
The new policy will be in effect for new customers and will expire for current customers at the end of their current contract.


RE: well $h!t
By therealnickdanger on 1/18/2011 12:12:05 PM , Rating: 1
The whole reason I went with a 3G phone instead of a new 4G phone was to avoid Sprint's $10/mo phone tax. Now they're just going to kick me in the nuts anyway (eventually). Wow. So does this mean new 4G phones will have $10+$10/mo? God, why can't they just stick with one plan for more than 12 months?

I can guarantee that even if you don't buy a subsidized phone (full price or used on Craigslist), they will still charge the $10/mo.

I really wish someone would sue Sprint over the use of "unlimited" and "everything". It's BS. "Unlimited" Internet has a 5GB/mo cap, and "unlimited" calling is restricted to mobile-mobile only. "Everything"? Domestic only, no international.

/rant


RE: well $h!t
By Gamingphreek on 1/18/2011 12:23:17 PM , Rating: 4
For goodness sake - please exercise some reading comprehension.

quote:

Users of WiMAX-enabled devices like the Epic 4G, EVO 4G, and EVO Shift 4G won't have to worry about paying the extra $10 fee -- they are already being charged an additional $10 to have access to 4G/WiMAX data.


RE: well $h!t
By Wererat on 1/20/2011 4:07:55 PM , Rating: 2
"But the fact I'm getting this from DT instead of Sprint first is typical, but lame. "

You only got it from DT first because you chose to; I got a tweet simultaneously with the press release.

Nonetheless, I'm annoyed by the change; if I choose to take advantage of upgrade pricing I'd have to pay this extra. I'm reasonably sure this constitutes a change in contract and am exploring the option of cancelling without the ETF.


So I must ask.
By EasyC on 1/18/2011 11:37:25 AM , Rating: 2
Why would anyone in their right mind buy a new smartphone at the subsidized rate with this? They can avoid the fee indefinitely if they don't use the promotions.




RE: So I must ask.
By djc208 on 1/18/2011 12:02:28 PM , Rating: 2
Because then you pay the fee in the cost of the phone. So you save $120/year by not renewing but you have to spend $an extra $300-500 or more for the phone. How many years do you have to have it to pay that back?

Plus if you want a newer 4G phone you would probably end up having to pay the extra $10/month anyway.

Yes you could do unlocked phones but then you're usually looking at unknown deals and older phones without any backing by the company.


RE: So I must ask.
By rudy on 1/18/2011 6:34:50 PM , Rating: 2
Also I have sprint and this may be someone found out on my plan the hard way there is basically no way to avoid a contract. They out right paid for a black berry because they were waiting for a evo 4g. Later when they went to buy the evo they were told they were still in contract and could not get it. Finally they left for verizon because sprint had placed them on a contract even though they paid for the phone and I was told that was because they paid the internet price for the phone whatever that is.


This doesn't sound right
By bug77 on 1/18/2011 11:47:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
The charge will assist Sprint in offering simple and affordable unlimited plans


Are they saying: we just made them more expensive so that we can provide affordable/inexpensive plans?




RE: This doesn't sound right
By Mr Perfect on 1/18/2011 11:57:41 AM , Rating: 2
Well, compared to other carriers. Verizon and AT&T cap you at what? 5GB a month and something outrageous like $1 a MB over that? Unlimited data for $10 more could still be a huge deal if you're moving a lot of it.


Let the war continue!
By ezinner on 1/19/2011 3:09:42 PM , Rating: 2
We need to fight these greedy carriers! First, they took away one year contracts. Then they made text messaging not part of your data subscription. Next, they took away unlimited data. Limited 4G access? You pay $10 more even if you are not in a 4G area. Now Sprint is hiking their data rate. AT&T and Verizon will both probably charge the same rates for iPhone. I am sick of paying $80 a month per smart phone (if you factor in the price of the phone and taxes).




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