Light Reading

Sprint Drops Prices, But Also Speeds?

Sarah Thomas
8/21/2014
50%
50%

Sprint is now offering individuals unlimited data for only $60, lower than T-Mobile's $80 plan, and unlimited unlike AT&T and Verizon's offers. But before you get excited, take a real close look at the fine print.

You'll see that customers who are currently under a one- or two-year service agreement with Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) that move to the new $60 unlimited plan will have a higher monthly rate of up to $25 per month until they reach upgrade eligibility. That's frustrating, but not uncommon -- but read some more, and you'll find out:

"Usage Limitations: Other plans may receive prioritized bandwidth availability. To improve data experience for the majority of users, throughput may be limited, varied or reduced on the network." (See Sprint Unveils $60 Unlimited Plan.)

Similar wriggle room was given on its family plan as well -- noting that, "To improve the data experience for the majority of users, throughput speeds may be limited, varied or reduced on the network." But to actually deprioritize those customers who opt for a cheaper plan seems wrong to me -- even potentially a violation of net neutrality principles, if the Internet companies get their way and mobile traffic is treated the same as fixed. (See Sprint's New Family Plans Double Down on Data and Internet Giants Speak Up for Net Neutrality.)


Get all the latest Sprint news on Light Reading's dedicated mobile channel.


Sprint is promising bold changes to get back in the game, but it seems like it's not going far enough at the moment. I'm not sure who who would want to switch, knowing that Sprint's network is an acknowledged work in progress and they could get slower speeds than their peers on the same network? It doesn't seem like a winning combination. (See Sprint CEO: Price Cuts First, Best Network Next .)

Sprint will have to do more if it wants to take on the big two and fend off T-Mobile US Inc. The self-proclaimed "uncarrier" put out a new promotion today promising to give customers that recruit a customer from Sprint or another carrier a free year of unlimited LTE data, or a $10 per month credit if they already have an unlimited plan. For $60, T-Mobile offers 3GB of "unlimited" 4G data and then throttles the speed; $70 sets the threshold at 5GB, and $80 is fully unlimited. (See T-Mobile Tweaks Sprint Again With New Offer .)

It's clear a price war is imminent, but I hope to see a real one, rather than seemingly good deals that you have to dig deep into to find the real costs associated, monetary or otherwise. (See Sprint, T-Mobile: The Price War's On.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(14)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
KBode
50%
50%
KBode,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/25/2014 | 10:51:14 AM
Re: Nothing new
Absolutely correct. They benefit immensely by making these plans so confusing that direct price comparisons are often impossible. I write about this stuff for a living and I often have to spend a very long time understanding what the consumer is actually getting for the price. Can you imagine how the world's less technical folk see these plans?
Phil_Britt
50%
50%
Phil_Britt,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/25/2014 | 8:55:12 AM
Re: Nothing new
When will they have a simple offer? Never. They are trying to best P.T. Barnum and are attemting to fool all of teh people all of the time. Too many lawyers in developing contracts for simple to ever be a reality.
kq4ym
50%
50%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/23/2014 | 12:03:05 PM
Re: Nothing new
You have that right. When will providers just provide simple, easy to underatand agreement and advertising. The fine print is where the companies take advantage of customers. But, then there's always "you get what you pay for" attitude that there's nothing really free, and if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
8/22/2014 | 10:42:07 AM
Re: Nothing new
True, my as-seen-on-TV hair curler was a disaster.

 

mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/22/2014 | 10:31:39 AM
Re: Nothing new
Well... right. The service pitches are incomplete at best, and misleading or deceptive at worst. Again, less-than-forthright advertising isn't an issue limited to mobile operators.
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
8/22/2014 | 10:26:58 AM
Re: Nothing new
I agree that it is blurry across the board, but I don't think they do or should expect anything different from a $60 unlimited LTE plan or an $160 one if both are advertised as unlimited LTE. Paying less for 3G, yes, but not when it's the same thing, otherwise it stops being a deal.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/22/2014 | 10:22:53 AM
Re: Nothing new
At this point, most reasonable people understand the relationship between price and service levels. But the service provider needs to make the parameters clear, which isn't happening with mobile service plans.
SReedy
100%
0%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
8/22/2014 | 9:26:22 AM
Re: Nothing new
But what is unique about this is it isn't a blanket statement about the right to slow down speeds, it's noting that this particular plan could be deprioritized. That, to me, indicates they are offering this so-called great, cheap plan with unlimited LTE data, but because you chose the cheap one, you aren't going to get the speeds as others. It's penalizing new customers for taking advantage of a deal.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/22/2014 | 8:56:33 AM
Re: Nothing new
The problem continues to be somewhat deceptive wording from the marketeers. Customers understandably see the boldface parts of the sales pitch (HIGH-SPEED NETWORK and UNLIMITED and LOWEST PRICE, etc.) and presume they are all part of the deal. But if truth in advertising were a legal requirement, there would be very little advertising. And without advertising, where would the global economy be?
thebulk
50%
50%
thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/22/2014 | 8:28:22 AM
Re: Nothing new
I will say that I do miss 4g from the US what they call 3G in Thailand is just not up to par.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
One third of nearly 500 voters in Light Reading's recent poll on 5G suggest that upgrading backhaul to support the influx of data traffic coming to 5G will be the toughest challenge.
Light Reading outlines 13 groups that are working to influence the development of 5G, including its standards, spectrum and use cases.
5G won't be a wholesale network changeover, which is a good thing, because 4G does a pretty good job already.
In a new Prime Reading feature on Light Reading, Heavy Reading analyst Gabriel Brown dishes on all things 5G.
It's 5G month at Light Reading, which means we're exploring everything from what 5G entails, what it means for the industry, its challenges, opportunities and progress across the globe.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Ericsson's Hyperscale Datacenter System (HDS) 8000, featuring Intel's Rack Scale Architecture, caused a stir when it was announced at MWC 2015. For more on this revolutionary product, join me on Thursday, April 30 at 12:00 p.m. EST for a Super Webinar event, A New Hardware Paradigm for the Telco Data Center.
LRTV Documentaries
CableLabs' Clarke Updates Cable Virtualization

4|23|15   |   05:41   |   (1) comment


Former BT exec now leading CableLabs' NFV and SDN efforts explains key role of open source and updates efforts to virtualize the home network.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. II

4|23|15   |   08:19   |   (1) comment


In the second installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about cultural change, network slicing and technology advances.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson's CTO Talks Transformation: Pt. I

4|23|15   |   09:27   |   (3) comments


In the first installment of an in-depth two-part interview, Ericsson's CTO Ulf Ewaldsson talks to Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders about the incredible transformation underway in the communications networking industry.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
Upcoming Live Events
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
In its latest survey covering network operators' plans and strategies for ICT transformation, Heavy Reading asked telecom operators worldwide to identify the most important goals and objectives for their ICT transformation initiatives. Heavy Reading also asked operators about the importance of a "digital first" strategy, which enables customers to complete an interaction across different digital channels, such as web and mobile self-service and social media.
Hot Topics
Comcast Formally Ends Its Bid for TWC
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/24/2015
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Google's WiFi-First Mobile Service 'Fi' Is Here
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/22/2015
Adtran Is Developing White Box GPON Tech
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/24/2015
Comcast Merger May Hinge on Hulu
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/22/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Many leading communications companies can claim to have undergone significant periods of reinvention during their histories, but none have been through more major ...
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
Cats with Phones
Learning Curve Click Here
Pierre could never remember how to use Excel.
Latest Comment