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Sprint: Still Unlimited on 4G LTE SmartphonesSprint: Still Unlimited on 4G LTE Smartphones

Hesse & Co. want to keep their unlimited edge on 4G as long as they can

Dan Jones

April 13, 2012

2 Min Read
Sprint: Still Unlimited on 4G LTE Smartphones

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) says it wants to keep its unlimited data plans for smartphones as it moves to 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) in the coming years.

The carrier hopes to launch its first LTE markets on 1900MHz PCS spectrum by the middle of this year. Then it will offer the faster mobile downloads over the 800MHz spectrum it currently uses for the Nextel network in 2014. (See Sprint Sets Due Date for iDEN's LTE Rebirth .)

One thing that probably won't change, however, is Sprint's allegiance to unlimited data on smartphones. The third-ranked CDMA carrier is the last of the big four U.S. operators not to cap or throttle its smartphone data plans, although it does charge $10 for the "premium" service. (See Time for a 4G Price War Already?)

"We would like to maintain unlimited indefinitely," said Sprint Chief Sales Officer Paget Alves at the company's Network Vision event Friday. "It's a serious differentiator for consumers." (See Photos: Inside Sprint's Network Vision .)

This means the operator will launch LTE devices with the same rate plans as it has on 3G. Sprint has to make sure that unlimited remains "economically practical," Alves added, by educating comsumers, off-loading data and managing "outliers" who abuse the system by Sprint's standards. [Ed note: Alves said that "video-based home systems" over the network would be an example of that.]

"Needless to say, we're walking a fine line," Alves noted.

Nonetheless, for now, Sprint's smartphone plans will remain unlimited, even as it caps tablet and mobile hotspot plans at 5GB. (See Sprint's Move to Advance Its Network Vision.)

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Dan Jones

Mobile Editor

Dan is to hats what Will.I.Am is to ridiculous eyewear. Fedora, trilby, tam-o-shanter -- all have graced the Jones pate during his career as the go-to purveyor of mobile essentials.

But hey, Dan is so much more than 4G maps and state-of-the-art headgear. Before joining the Light Reading team in 2002 he was an award-winning cult hit on Broadway (with four 'Toni' awards, two 'Emma' gongs and a 'Brian' to his name) with his one-man show, "Dan Sings the Show Tunes."

His perfectly crafted blogs, falling under the "Jonestown" banner, have been compared to the works of Chekhov. But only by Dan.

He lives in Brooklyn with cats.

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