Sprint® to levy $10 data plan surcharge for smartphones

Sprint recently announced that data plan charges for smartphones will be increased by $10. It is extending the premium data surcharge that it currently charges for data services for 4G enabled smartphones. Thus the price of its plan comprising of unlimited data download and unlimited texting has been increased to 39.99 dollars. According to a press release by Sprint, this would help them to offer its customers a simple and affordable unlimited plan in order to get a rich mobile experience. This would avoid them capping their data limits like other carriers. Current users of phones that are not smartphones will not have to pay the extra amount unless they shift to a new smartphone. The press release stated that Sprint also offers a full range of traditional feature phones, including popular eco-friendly or touch-screen handsets that do not require the Premium Data add-on charge, but still have a great range of capabilities with voice, text and data access. The existing Sprint smartphone customers would not be affected unless they upgrade to or activate another amartphone.

According to analysts comparing the services offered various carriers, Sprint actually comes out cheaper than Verizon or AT&T. The comparison is based on the offer of a bundle of 450 minutes of talk time unlimited data usage and unlimited free messages.This could however prove to be an advantage for T-Mobile which has cheaper plans. This increase in fee is a direct result of the changing economy and the high usage of data by consumers. Sprint claims its smartphone users use approximately 10 times more data services than other phone owners. Smartphones users now actually use a lot of data services to exploit the full potential of their phones which pushes up the cost to company and hence Sprint has increased the charges by 10 dollars in order to face the economy changes and to not suffer a loss. AT&T had recently withdrawn its unlimited data plan due to similar concerns and had shifted to a tiered approach. However, according to Dan Hesse, Sprint Nextel’s chief, Sprint has maintained it has no such plans of making a move similar to AT&T.

The Sprints press release says that the company’s current unlimited data plans being offered, with or without the $10 charge, continue to beat the offerings of their top competitors, who cap users’ data, charge data overages, and do not offer the unique functionality of Any Mobile, Anytime, which gives subscribers on the Sprint network unlimited calling to any other wireless user in America regardless of the carrier.

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