& cplSiteName &

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.
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.
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.
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.
Gabriel Brown
50%
50%
Gabriel Brown,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/22/2014 | 6:39:07 AM
Re: Nothing new
I don't see a problem with this. Presumably you have to add these caveats to the T&Cs in case you want/need to use traffic management technqiues later. It probably doesn't do much to protect Sprint against the sense of entitlement some users (customers!) have to unrealistic (unaffordable from a network technology perpsctive) speeds, but perhaps it helps ward-off spurious legal challenges.

One of the greatest things about 4G is how it can provide mass-market, affordable broadband services. Through that comes information, work, education, democracy, and so on. To achieve mass-market price points there has to be some compromise.
thebulk
50%
50%
thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/22/2014 | 5:33:29 AM
Re: Nothing new
It's true, this is nothing new at all. All the providers having been playing these games for a while, sad but true.
midnightprism
50%
50%
midnightprism,
User Rank: Light Beer
8/21/2014 | 9:38:02 PM
Nothing new
All plans dating back to Unlimited Guarantee for Life have had this same fine print. It's nothing new or concerning. 
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
More Blogs from Que Sera Sarah
Nicole Engelbert, the director of research and analsis for Ovum, will be joining Women in Comms on Wednesday, Aug. 2 at 11:00 a.m. EST to talk all things women in tech.
Consulting firm will build 'inclusion councils' with white men in the mix instead of employee resource groups for women and minorities alone.
How many more women have to come forward and public apologies issued before we can just agree that now is the time to stop being creepy and start being decent human beings?
Over-the-top content company cuts its famous 120-slide deck down to 10 pages to communicate its values and culture to those both inside and outside of its business.
The ride-hailing company said it has let 20 employees go over an investigation into sexual harassment claims and is still investigating almost 100 others.
From The Founder
NFV's promises of automation and virtualization are intriguing, but what really excites service providers is the massive amount of money they could save.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
VMWare VP Brings Women Up With Her

8|16|17   |   6:49   |   (1) comment


It's an art and a science to make mentorship, inclusive leadership, diversity and promotion of high-potential women work, says Honore' LaBourdette, vice president of Global Market Development at VMWare.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Spectrum Wars – The Recap

8|15|17   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Service provider 3 has filed a lawsuit against Ofcom over 5G spectrum auction in the UK.
LRTV Custom TV
Say What? Facebook Unleashes AI Anarchy – The Recap

8|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


A recap of the week's talking points on Light Reading's sister site, telecoms.com. Facebook AI programmers had a bit of a brain-fade as they allowed one of its AI applications to invent its ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu's Women Band Together to Help Girls Do STEM

8|2|17   |   9:35   |   (1) comment


Supporting women both inside and outside of Fujitsu is a top priority of the telecom vendor. Yanbing Li, Fujitsu Network Communication's director of System Software Development & Delivery, shares why it's important, but why there's still a long road ahead.
LRTV Custom TV
If You're Not First, You're Last – The Recap

7|31|17   |   08:18   |   (1) comment


In case you missed it, Amazon's 1% stock increase helped Jeff Bezos dethrone Bill Gates as the richest man in the world. Also, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

7|26|17   |   5:47   |   (10) comments


AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Masergy's NFV Journey

7|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ray Watson, vice president of global technology at Masergy, discusses the advantages and challenges in entering the still-maturing NFV market for the past three years.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Intel CEO Leaves Trump Biz Advisory Board
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/15/2017
Are Cord-Cutting's Days Numbered?
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 8/14/2017
Orchestration Startup UBiqube Pivots Away From NFV
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 8/15/2017
Verizon Video Woes Pile On
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/14/2017
WiCipedia: Dolly Babes, Manifesto Backlash & 'Brotastic' Failures
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 8/18/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Animals with Phones
We Know a Tough Day When We See One Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.