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If you use over 5GB of data per month, you're likely part of the top 5% of data hogs

If you’re a current Sprint customer and heavily use the company’s unlimited data service, you may be in for a rude awakening some next month. According to Fierce Wireless, Sprint will start targeting customers that are within the top 5 percent of data users during a billing cycle.

So how do you know if you’re in the “elite” group of data hogs? Sprint says those that typically use over 5GB of data per month will be the most likely targets. In a FAQ posted on its website, Sprint explains:
To more fairly allocate network resources in times of congestion, customers falling within the top 5% of data users may be prioritized below other customers attempting to access network resources, resulting in a reduction of throughput or speed as compared to performance on non-congested sites.
And this change doesn’t just affect Sprint customers; it also affects Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA subsidiaries, as witnessed by this text sent to Virgin Mobile USA customers this month:
Beginning 6/1/14, to provide more customers with a high quality data experience during heavy usage times, Virgin Mobile USA may manage prioritization of access to network resources in congested areas for customers within the top 5 percent of data users.

[Image Source: Zoe Cloke/Flickr]
Wireless subscribers who are singled out as belonging to the top 5 percent will see speed reductions beginning with the next billing period. For those that continue to remain in the top 5 percent even after be throttled “will continue to be subject to prioritization” according to Sprint.
Sprint isn’t exactly known for blazing fast data speeds to start with, so throttling is only going to make the situation even more unbearable for the customers that heavily use its network.

Sources: Fierce Wireless, Sprint

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Sprint is so bad
By aurareturn on 5/8/2014 2:41:42 PM , Rating: 5
This is really funny to me. When I had sprint last year, I had 56k speeds or it didn't work at all. I wish I could have approached 5GB/month.

I live in San Francisco.

RE: Sprint is so bad
By coburn_c on 5/8/2014 2:59:54 PM , Rating: 2
OH come on, when I used Sprint a couple years ago I was getting solid ISDN speeds.

RE: Sprint is so bad
By aurareturn on 5/8/2014 3:18:35 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's different from city to city. But in San Francisco, Sprint didn't give a damn about quality of data speed. They oversold the crap out of their networks and they were a lot slower to deploy LTE than AT&T, Verizon, or TMobile.

I switched to TMobile and now I get 10-20mbps speeds everywhere I go.

It's night and day.

RE: Sprint is so bad
By Schadenfroh on 5/8/2014 8:13:43 PM , Rating: 2
My father (Sprint customer in a suburban area of Mississippi) is pulling LTE speeds similar to Verizon where I live (DC). I was a T-Mobile customer before 2009, and had coverage issues in Orlando, FL of all places.

Sad that no single provider is consistent, at least in my experience.

RE: Sprint is so bad
By Souka on 5/9/2014 12:12:37 AM , Rating: 2
How can that be?

Jack Bauer uses Sprint!

RE: Sprint is so bad
By Schadenfroh on 5/10/2014 10:36:04 AM , Rating: 2
Bah, Jack Bauer is overhyped.

We need to do a little, enhancing to see which carrier Trent Hauser uses.

RE: Sprint is so bad
By Fresh One on 5/8/2014 3:37:30 PM , Rating: 2
So they are going to throttle Sprint users from 56K modem speed to 9600 baud modem speed ????

Awesome !

I had Sprint 2 years ago in major suburb of Atlanta. Speed was terrible all the time no matter where you went.

RE: Sprint is so bad
By chick0n on 5/13/2014 7:04:38 AM , Rating: 2
Wtf loooool! I havent seen the term "baud" for god damn years!

Dang those were the days ...

There was a time when 2400 baud modem was considered as fucking awesome! ... for accessing bbs at least lmao

RE: Sprint is so bad
By blafrisch on 5/8/2014 4:20:43 PM , Rating: 2
I dropped Sprint in December 2013 for the same reason. Their data speeds and coverage were atrocious. 2.5 years ago I renewed my contract with them only because it was cheaper than others and because their 3G speeds were reasonable and I could sometimes get on the 4G WiMax network which was also reasonable. Over those 2 years the 3G speeds dropped from ~1Mbps to ~0.1Mbps and the WiMax coverage dropped from ~6Mbps to ~0.9Mbps. I couldn't wait to leave and I'm so glad I did. Better battery life and much faster speeds are now something I'm used to and I actually pay a lot less.

I live in Raleigh, NC and switched to Straight Talk with an AT&T LTE SIM.

RE: Sprint is so bad
By Jeffk464 on 5/8/2014 5:28:44 PM , Rating: 4
Yet another reason sprint and tmobile shouldn't merge.

RE: Sprint is so bad
By Motoman on 5/9/2014 2:27:01 PM , Rating: 2
What difference does it make? T-Mo has *always* throttled...and it's extremely painful. I frequently got speeds of 10-20k when throttled.

RE: Sprint is so bad
By Riusaki on 5/9/2014 3:32:46 PM , Rating: 2
T-Mo doesn't throttle on their current plans. I average about 25-40GB a month for the past year and a half and I pay just under $70 (all taxes and fees included).

RE: Sprint is so bad
By Motoman on 5/9/2014 5:28:45 PM , Rating: 2
Actually they do...there's a clause in their Ts & Cs about "network management" where they give themselves the ability to do that...even for "unlimited" plans.

Also, if you get the "unlimited" plan, you can only use 5Gb for use with your PC/tablet/whatever. Then you get shuttled to "2g" speeds...which is to say, frequently around 10 or 20k.

RE: Sprint is so bad
By quiksilvr on 5/12/2014 4:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
NO. This USED to be the way it was done. That is not how it is anymore. Stop spreading outdated information.

RE: Sprint is so bad
By Samus on 5/9/2014 1:22:40 AM , Rating: 3
I live in San Francisco.

That's always been the joke of Sprint. Coverage in every major city in the United States, except San Francisco.

Every time I visit my friends there, I remember I have Sprint. Anywhere else, it's a good working phone.

RE: Sprint is so bad
By synapse46 on 5/9/2014 10:54:36 AM , Rating: 2
My GF is on sprint, occasionally her connection is fast enough to stream audio.. yeah its sad. I told her to try to move to a cheaper plan that was not unlimited because it was barely useable. After multiple phone calls we were told she had the cheapest plan available.

That Doesn't Seem Like A Lot of Data To Me
By rasmith260 on 5/8/2014 3:44:38 PM , Rating: 1
Wow that just doesn’t seem like a lot of data to me. I could see 5gb a day, but per month, that’s nothing. If you listen to internet radio on the way to and from work everyday for a total of two hours, along with typical surfing and watching the news, and maybe a movie, primetime tv program or a sports program on ESPN that would put you over the limit in no time; but Sprint can’t figure out why their the only company losing subscribers.

RE: That Doesn't Seem Like A Lot of Data To Me
By Murloc on 5/8/2014 4:25:59 PM , Rating: 2
who does even stream movies on their phone?

RE: That Doesn't Seem Like A Lot of Data To Me
By mackx on 5/8/2014 5:12:04 PM , Rating: 2
netflix users? same with tv shows.

an hours train ride each day to work and back needs the time killing somehow.

RE: That Doesn't Seem Like A Lot of Data To Me
By Cypherdude1 on 5/8/14, Rating: 0
By Jedi2155 on 5/11/2014 4:51:19 PM , Rating: 2
Thats the REALLY old fashion way. Do it like I did in the early 2000s. Preload your damn shows/movies on the device.

Thats why I demand microSD on my phones because I usually keep a few movies + tv shows for on the go watching if I got nothing to do. Although that's rare nowadays.

By SuperFly03 on 5/9/2014 1:11:14 PM , Rating: 2
I routinely hit 12-14GB/Month on Verizon and upwards of 20GB/Month during football season. Why? NFL Mobile + streaming music all day at work.

It's not hard.

By Jeffk464 on 5/8/2014 5:30:10 PM , Rating: 2
It should also depend if you are using the data during peak hours or not.

RE: That Doesn't Seem Like A Lot of Data To Me
By name99 on 5/8/14, Rating: 0
RE: That Doesn't Seem Like A Lot of Data To Me
By Camikazi on 5/9/2014 2:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
If it's a limited resource then the geniuses of the companies should have NEVER offered unlimited data. Marketing or not you offer unlimited then you should give unlimited or you should be punished for outright lies. The consumer should not be punished for using EXACTLY what the company has sold them. Your analogy is off, it is like a company offering as much oil as you want for 5c a gallon then getting upset when someone takes them up on it and uses as much as they can. Don't offer what you can provide and then punish the ones who just use what they were offered and are paying for.

By Monkey's Uncle on 5/10/2014 3:35:30 PM , Rating: 2
That's just it. You can use all the data you want on sprint. Nobody is saying you can't and with that they are delivering on their agreement with you. You get the unlimited data you are paying for.

But unlimited data does not mean it ALL has to be provided to you fast. That's the gotcha. You want to have unlimited data and for that data to be delivered fast, find another wireless provided cause Sprint, as they readily admit, will suck turds delivering that unlimited data to you.

By Monkey's Uncle on 5/10/2014 3:38:12 PM , Rating: 2
That's just it. You can use all the data you want on sprint. Nobody is saying you can't and with that they are delivering on their agreement with you. You get the unlimited data you are paying for.

But unlimited data does not mean it ALL has to be provided to you fast. That's the gotcha. You want to have unlimited data and for that data to be delivered fast, find another wireless provided cause Sprint, as they readily admit, will suck turds delivering that unlimited data to you.

Sprint needs to read the dictionary
By Ahnilated on 5/8/2014 4:16:42 PM , Rating: 3
and see what the word "Unlimited" means.

By Jeffk464 on 5/8/2014 5:31:06 PM , Rating: 2
Unlimited = limited to 5gb

RE: Sprint needs to read the dictionary
By Camikazi on 5/8/2014 6:05:23 PM , Rating: 2
No company actually means unlimited when they say unlimited they mean unlimited as long as you don't upset us and lower our profit by .001%.

By drycrust3 on 5/9/2014 6:46:22 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly right! Like it or not, every customer should be contributing to the overall profit of the company. When one group of customers are being subsidised by the rest, then you need to ask what is the reason this group has that merits their being subsidised. For example, if they are handicapped in some way, e.g. blind, deaf, missing limbs, paralysed, etc, then most people wouldn't grumble, but if they are addicted to their favourite online gaming service, well then most paying customers would feel that group of people don't need to be subsidised.
To me, Sprint shouldn't call it unlimited because the inference of that name is they don't care how much you use. Anyway, they have used that name and they do care. Not being an American, I hope they include the words "conditions apply" in their advertising. Those that exceed the 5GB limit should at least be given the option to go onto a range of "even more unlimited" plans, with bigger data caps and at prices that are profitable to Sprint.

RE: Sprint needs to read the dictionary
By voicequal on 5/8/2014 11:36:51 PM , Rating: 3
This sounds very reasonable and efficient to me. Heavy users' traffic is reduced in priority but not hard rate limited, so generally there is no impact on bandwidth except during periods of network congestion.

So at 3AM when no one is using data, you aren't constrained. It's actually more fair than T-mobile which throttles you down to almost nothing when you hit 5GB (or your plan limit), even if the network itself isn't congested.

My only surprise is that they're just doing this now. Kudos to Sprint for being open about how they're managing their network.

By bupkus on 5/9/2014 2:06:35 PM , Rating: 2
Sounds similar to using L.A. Fitness. If you need to workout during busy times you can wait in line for some machines or weights. If you go during off hours you have full bandwidth.

Of course, unlike ISPs, if you use excessive off hours you aren't put into the non-carpool lane (metaphorically speaking) in accessing busytime resources. This is the part that may seem unfair to those who can't sleep all night but still need some prime time.
Do you agree?

5GB Is Impossible
By Sekkyo on 5/8/2014 6:48:55 PM , Rating: 2
Due to horrible crap like this:

I took my complaint to the FCC and California PUC, only for Sprint to offer me two measly outs where they take back both of my devices, one of which has already been on contract with them for over two years.

Sprint is a horrible company. Thankfully I don't have to use them all that much. I'm glad FCC is changing the rules where they have to unlock phones after contracts are over. I can't wait to leave Sprint.

By bodar on 5/8/2014 7:55:05 PM , Rating: 2
The complete lack of LTE in Hawaii is doing that pretty well for me already, not to mention their terrible 3G coverage. I rarely clear 200MB per month. They keep promising 4G and it's been pushed back several times. Fingers crossed for Summer 2014, f'real guys...

Since 2001
By eagle470 on 5/9/2014 11:55:29 AM , Rating: 2
I've been a sprint customer since 2001, I've put up with them arbitrarily changing plans and costs without prior notification, I've put up with horrible serve, broken promises and everything else. I understand they are having trouble, but if they do this I'm gone.

Glad I dumped them for Verizon
By Spookster on 5/9/2014 12:33:46 PM , Rating: 2
They consider 5Gb's of data a month a heavy user? That's ridiculous. On my family plan with Verizon we have 4 phones and an iPad with a 6Gb plan and we almost go over that each month and we aren't doing much more than web surfing, email and facebook on 4G.

5GB Limit
By jp23 on 5/9/2014 7:12:43 PM , Rating: 2
My question is. Does the 5% of users come from the unlimited data group only or does it include everybody including the people that only have 1 or 2 GB plans?

If a majority of subscribers are on a fixed 1-2GB/mo plan then yes I could see where 5%(unlimited group)is using more than 5GB/mo and would be considered bandwidth hogs, if you are comparing it to the majority of users.

I have the unlimited plan shared by 2 users and have used 9GB this month between the 2 and still have almost two weeks to go.

Is the 5GB/mo for each user or for the whole plan?

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