When the HTC EVO 4G was announced last summer (and later with the Epic 4G and Shift 4G), along with it came an extra $10 fee that Sprint swore up and down wasn't a 4G tax. It wasn't, and it still isn't, and starting Jan. 30, everyone with a smartphone will be subject to the "$10 per month Premium Data add-on charge."

Note that if you're not currently using the EVO 4G, Epic 4G or Shift, but are using another smartphone (defined as "devices with robust operating systems bringing the full function of mobile applications and programs to life including Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, and the Instinct family of devices"), you're not going to be paying the extra $10 until you upgrade or activate another smartphone. In other words, you're grandfathered in.

In the press release announcing the change, Sprint says that its smartphone customers use, on average, 10 times more data than users of feature phones. (As well they should.)  [Sprint, 2]

Smartphones Drive Wireless Data Explosion

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), January 18, 2011 - Today’s ability to do more things on the go – such as watching videos, sharing pictures or checking directions – is not only changing the way we live; it is driving exponential growth of mobile data traffic.

Sprint (NYSE: S) is committed to providing its customers a great wireless experience now and in the future. From its packed portfolio of innovative phones and devices to its leadership in introducing 4G services, to its consumer-friendly Everything Data plans, featuring unlimited text, Web and calling to any mobile phone, Sprint offers the best value in wireless.

Sprint will increase its postpaid rates by applying a $10 per month Premium Data add-on charge to activations of smartphones beginning Jan. 30. The charge will assist Sprint in offering simple and affordable unlimited plans for its customers while maintaining a wireless network able to meet the growing appetite for a richer mobile experience. Subscribers with smartphones will still receive the best value in wireless, including the Any Mobile, Anytime feature offered nationwide only by Sprint.

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. Existing Sprint smartphone customers are not affected unless they upgrade to or activate another smartphone.

“Sprint wants its customers to experience the range of entertainment and productivity possibilities available with today’s wireless technology,” said Bob H. Johnson, president of Sprint’s consumer business. “While some of our competitors impose overage charges and complex plans, Sprint continues to provide a worry-free, unlimited data experience while on the Sprint network. This is responsible, sustainable and reflects our commitment to simplicity and value.”

“Sprint’s decision to apply the Premium Data add-on charge to activations of smartphones going forward recognizes the enhanced user experience that today’s smartphones deliver, which, in turn, drives substantially higher data usage and cost,” said Roger Entner, analyst and founder of Recon Analytics.

“Building, maintaining and expanding wireless data networks isn’t free – there are real costs involved. In effect, Sprint has chosen to increase the price of its unlimited Everything Data plans, which is still below that of its major competitors, for the segment of customers – smartphone users – who are using wireless data the most and are driving up costs. Consumers have many choices. They can choose unlimited, worry-free data plans on the Sprint network or they can have tiered, metered plans and overage charges with other wireless carriers.”

Smartphone customers use, on average, 10 times more data than users of traditional feature phones. Smartphone users have access to more data capabilities, applications and other functionality than traditional feature phones. Examples include access to thousands of applications and games through online marketplaces and full HTML Web browsing with Adobe Flash technology that allows users to browse the Internet on their devices just like they can at home or in the office.

Sprint defines smartphones as devices with robust operating systems that deliver a rich wireless experience by bringing the full function of mobile applications and programs to life, including Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, and the Instinct family of devices. The Premium Data add-on charge previously applied to HTC EVO 4G, HTC EVO Shift 4G and Samsung Epic 4G devices.

“Sprint continues to be the carrier for people who want to do more than just talk with their wireless devices,” said Johnson. “Customer growth on our 3G and 4G networks, exponential increases in the use of mobile data applications, and the growing use of smartphones is proof that consumers are getting the message.

“Sprint’s unlimited data plans, with or without the $10 charge, continue to beat the offerings of our top national 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 carrier.”


Reader comments

Sprint notices you're using data, is adding $10/month fee to all smartphones


They couldn't get an additional $10 per smartphone on the plan then. My family plan has 5 smartphones between myself, wife, and 3 kids. I'm already paying with with my Evo, and now it'll be an additional $40 per month, on top of the already almost $200 we pay overall.

If you read the article again you'll notice that it say if you have an existing data plan you'll be grandfathered in(meaning you won't have to pay), and will not be charged the additional money per phone until you either upgrade or add a line.

Plenty of people don't, a good bit of people keep their existing phones cause they work as intended, and have no need to upgrade, then there are the one's that need to have the latest and greatest that of course will upgrade cause we have to one up our friends!

I've got an EVO and have no intention of upgrading until my two year contract ends. I don't upgrade based on what anyone else is doing. I simply don't care and am not trying to keep up with anyone. I pay the data premium because I have to but I'd probably be upset for getting hit with it down the road if I didn't already have to pay it. Nice way to make more money from your subscriber base. I'd have expected something like this out of AT&T, but not Sprint.

C'mon people...please read more than just the headline!

Do you see all those little letters underneath the fancy Sprint logo? They form words, and those words make sentences & paragraphs that pass along information about the headline. Reading all those words, sentences, & paragraphs will explain many of the questions you guys are asking in the comments.


I'm in the exact same situation as you. Instead of upgrading my contract, I will let it run out and leave since they are just about the same price as competitors now for what I have, but with inferior service. Its too bad, I liked Sprint til now.

I know its a complete bummer, but even at $240 for 5 lines, you're paying QUITE a bit less than you would with AT&T or Verizon for the same services and 5 lines

very true I currently pay $237 for five phones on a 1500min family plan. all with insurance and two of which are Evos, I'm grandfathered in for my son's LG Optimus (thank God) but even still it would be only $10 more. Apples to Apples with Verizon would cost me roughly $390 per month.

Im in the exact same boat. I cant do another $40 a month. I have 3 kids and wife on mine, we all have smartphones...my Evo, wife and daughter have a Pre, one Hero and one Blackberry. Im just over $200/mo now. That will be a deal breaker with Sprint and I. Been a customer for 12 years plus. IM CALLING B.S. SPRINT!!!!!!!!!

You do realize the increase doesn't affect you, right? That is for new customers/upgrades only. Reading is fundamental.

lets put this into perspective. if you go to vzw and get a droid x youre going to run $59.99 for the base plan (450 talk, unlimited text) plus $30 for data which gets you to $90, which is $10 more expensive than sprint with the new $10 charge. if you want to add vcast (sprint users get sprint tv) its another $10 and if youre a blackberry/palm/winmo/win7 user youll need an extra $10 to get navigation, which sprint also includes. visual vm (free on sprint) is $3. their insurance is also $8 to sprints $7. so for android users to get the same features youre saving $24/month still, for all other smartphone users youre saving $34. oh, and your nights start two hours later AND you can only call other vzw customers for free, not any cell phone.

lets flip to a 2 line family plan. with sprint youre paying $149.99, plus $14 if you add tep. with vzw your base plan (again, talk and text) is $129.99 but add all that stuff i talked about above, then double it, and youre looking at $242/month ($222 if you dont add vz nav.) for each additional sprint line add $37 for plan and insurance ($20 add on, $10 premium data, $7 tep,) for each additional vzw line add $48-58 depending on nav ($30 data, $10 vcast, $10 nav, $8 insurance.) again, 9pm n/w, no any mobile, anytime and youre only getting 1400 minutes to sprints 1500.

complain all you want, because yes it does suck when companies raise their prices, but dont pretend like youre still not getting a hell of a deal comparatively even with the $10.

well said bro....in turn, i dont wanna pay an extra 10 buks per smarphone, somewher downthe road, but im very happy with sprint.....great coverage everywhere i go.....i aint going no where

I just set up a 2 line family plan on Verizon for $149 a month with unlimited data and unlimited mobile to mobile +500 messages (might as well if everyone you know has Verizon, or better yet just use Google voice.) for both phones. I think you went a little one sided with your argument getting the most expensive plans on Verizon and then adding features that most people don't even use. You're crazy if you think the cheapest family plan you can get with data and texting is anywhere near $242 a month. Let's not forget they waive the add a line fee if you add a smartphone this month.

I didn't choose the most expensive plan and then add on a ton of features people don't use. I chose comparable plans on both networks (you actually get a bit less with VZW because of the lack of any mobile, 7 pm n/w, 1400 vs 1500 mins.) I also took into account the add a line fee being waived, did you actually read my post? Just for fun let's compare without all the addons that you get on sprint for free. Sprint is $150, Verizon $190

A large portion of people that use texting, use well over 500 messages a month. Let alone on a 2 line plan. I use 500 messages in 2 days

This post should end all discussion and debate...good job. Sprint, in my opinion, still offers the best value without sacrificing service...awesome devices too...PEACE!!!!

My Epic and my wife's Evo get horrible 3G coverage and no 4G here in Tucson so don't think that Sprint is giving something great for the extra 10 dollars. Sprint has subpar 3G everywhere I have gone. As far as your pricing comparision who the hell actually watches Sprint TV and who actually uses Sprint nav when google maps does a better job? That alone put Verizon on pr with Sprint and don't forget Verizon get's all of the cool phones. It is okay to be a critical consumer that is how you make Sprint, Verizon and the rest keep competitive pay plans.

I don't know what part of Tucson you live in, but my Evo's 3G works just fine out here. I'm getting 3G in places that some of my friends on other providers don't get. As far as I know, no service provider is offering 4G in Tucson right now... "as far as I know". Not really a con or negative if no one has it... when VZW or "those other 2 guys" get it and Sprint doesn't, then I'll have something to say. But it's only a matter of time because it will trickle down to Tucson after Phoenix. Same as it did when PHX got 3G...

Sprint TV is about as "free" as China. You get like five channels and have to pay for every premium or name brand channel suite (ESPN, etc. all cost a monthly fee of ~$5 per).

Not to mention that I with this "Totally not for 4g just for data" $10 fee I already pay a month, I cant watch Sprint TV or use any Sprint service while it is enabled (4g modems don't register to your Sprint account), nor can I use WiFi. So this "free" service I get over Verizon is actually just advertising for paid services at horrendous transfer rates because the 4g I pay for on a 4g device is worthless for whats included.

As for including navigation fees for winmo/win7/palm/blackberry users I'd say you're pretty much nullified on that point because you're posting on an Android forum, speaking to users that were smart enough to buy open source devices.

So I am a 10 year Sprint customer and have a Evo. So I love Sprint and am not going anywhere. This is what I came up with after looking at Sprint and verzion plans.

5 droids on 1400 talk/text: 149.96/month
TEC on all phones: 39.95/month
unlimited email/web on all phones (had to pick one) 149.95/month
VVM on all phones: 14.95/month
Nav on al phones: 49.95/month
Total: 399.76

5 evos on 1500 talk unlimited text/data: 189.96/month
TEP (same as TEP): 35/month
Premium Data: 50/month
Total: 274.96

So there it is 125 less for sprint and you get 100 extra minutes a month that you wont use unless you are calling landlines.

Now if you are a family of 5 and want unlimited everything I got the following numbers

Verzion: everything extra included as above: 554.76
Sprint: everything extra included as above: 544.95

So it is 10 less. Not much different. So if you need unlimited (some people do) then it does not really matter who you go with. Even though Verzion's data is not really unlimited.

Really no surprise here. Look at all the changes Verizon and the other carriers are making to data plans. Sprint is still cheaper but I think this fee is a stupid way of going about this it just upsets people. They should just add $10 to the plan price and drop the fee, people would be happier.

I agree...I am ok with the increase, but labeling it "premium data fee" will make customers feel like they are having something added that they didn't ask for or see...so my advice to Sprint customers...get ya money's worth

Plus, if you have a discount applied to your account, it only gets applied to your plan, not add-ons. Meaning it does not apply to the premium data fee. They really need to make it part of a plan.

I was trying to hint at this on that "Sprint/Industry First" article that came out sometime last week. Glad it finally got outed.

Well then I suppose my new internet plan at home will be "Wireless Tether for Root Users", since I'm paying more for the data now, apparently.

Well, unless this is for new contracts only I think my days with sprint are numbered now! I've been kicking around leaving sprint for a prepaid carrier as that are much less expensive already! And as each day passes new and better phones are getting added to prepaid plans!

No crap sprint. DUH. You are already making a killing. Why do these companies keep raising their prices. Customer retention should be an important factor in business...

Now sprint will be as expensive as Verizon

:( It's too bad that Sprint is driving up the cost. It sounds like the fee kicks in once a new phone is activated, even in the middle of a contract.

yea yea Sprint if you need help buying out clearwire you should jus say so.....like dude said above just change the plan calling something a fee is a NO NO when the unemployment rate is 9.4% but than again Sprint has never been good at marketing

This is complete crap.

When I went from my "dumb phone" to the HERO a year ago,
they made me upgrade from old grandfathered in plan to a
smartphone plan then to account for the extra data... so my
monthly went up $25 and dropped from 2000 minutes to just 1500
on the family plan for this.

Now they want to jack my rates up again $10 per phone and offer
nothing more in return? This is complete crap...

Makes since, you cant have a dumb phone plan with a smartphone, of course it would cost you extra, cause your truely upgrading from can't surf the net with a real browser to holy crap this is a awesome browser, duh.

All I can say is that this is really unbelievable that Sprint now wants to add on an extra $10 for all their "Smartphones." I didn't like the fact that I have to pay an extra $10 per month when I already have an unlimited data plan. How can I use "extra" data beyond unlimited? Sprint seems to assume that every customer with a Smartphone is going to sit down and watch videos on the phone all day. How about having a data plan dedicated to those customers that desire to watch videos all day or watch Sprint TV or even use the "data intesive" apps like video chat? I take it that the $10 fee was a trial for the Evo and Epic and Sprint saw that it was successful. With all the talk of lawsuits over the $10 fee, is Sprint seriously expanding this fee?

That's a good point. I didn't think about that. What did they expect if I am on an unlimited plan, that I would limit myself??? You bring up a good point, that until now, I didn't consider. Makes it seem a whole lot sneakier and suspect now....better off just raising the rate $10, than this "add on fee"...

When I was sold this EVO, I was told by the sales girl at Best Buy that the $10 data premium was due to me buying a 4G phone. Had I opted for a phone that wasn't 4G, I wouldn't have to pay the Data premium, she said. Now we have the data premium spreading out for new customers and at upgrade time for existing customers of Smartphones? What if Sprint plans for their entire Smartphone line to be 4G at some point? Don't Blackberry users pay some kind of Premium for BES connectivity already?

So much for the 'simply everything' plan. Now it's the "Uh, yeah! Everything...kinda..." plan.

Still, $10 for 4G, $10 for (more than unlimited?) data, still beats verizon's $30 smartphone fee.

Notice the epic wasn't mentioned as part of this plan...is it therefore safe to assume that we epic users won't be seeing this rate hike till our upgrades?

Great post. All Epic users should already be seeing this fee on their bills. The fee started when Sprint released the EVO, then also for the Epic and EVO Shift.

Just another way for them to screw their customers. I've been paying the fee since buying my Epic in August, but my government discount basically cancels out the fee. Unless Sprint coughs out an amazing phone between now and August, I'm ditching them. Paying the ETF will be worth it to get better hardware with more up-to-date software. The fact that Epic users are still waiting for Froyo is complete BS, considering we were basically promised an update soon after Epic's release.

It was your choice to buy the Epic. Lack of updates is a Samsung issue and has affected their models on other carriers too.

Had you chosen the Evo, or waited for the Shift, your experience could have been much different.

I've been paying the $10 since I got my Evo 6 months ago. It didn't exactly put me in the poor house considering what id pay on att or Verizon for these service. BUT, like most huge companies they always want more....

TMo's 4G is fake too....

And I guess there goes me using my upgrade rebate if I decide I don't want a 4G phone. Since I wouldn't be signing a new contract they can't tack the $10 fee on based on the wording (loophole).

You might call it "FAKE" based on the original guidelines for 4G, but those have been changed.

Regardless whether one considers it fake or not, TMO's HSPA + is still faster then WiMax on Sprint.

Testing both, I find WiMax to have a lot higher potential hitting 9 mbps in a good signal area with typically 6 mbps. I'm thinking TMO averages around 3 mbps peaking around 4 or 5 after testing my friends MyTouch 4g versus my Epic 4G.

With this change does this open an ETF back-door for those that want out of their contract, like with other TOS changes?

Doubt it. Technically, it isn't a change to their TOS until you upgrade. So, your terms are changing when you upgrade. The only gray area might be if you get a new phone and activate it without a contract upgrade.

You really can't GET a new phone and activate it without a contract change/upgrade... unless you are purchasing a phone with no subsidy, which almost nobody does.

4g networks ain't cheap. Everybody will eventually raise there data packages. Stop whining and pay it. Im on vzw and don't complain.

4G may not be cheap to install, but once up and running, it's cheaper to maintain with more users. Plus most of what Sprint uses is still their 3G EVDO network, which I never hear of expanding and it only costs $5/mo per 4G capable phone because that's what Sprint pays Clearwire. Remember, Sprint's is reselling 4G WiMax. It's not their network. Charging $10 extra per smartphone is all profit now, if it's not a 4G capable phone.

while verizon might be a little behind in the 4g department I have to say the plans are so much better! 450 min and unlimited text/data for $69. wouldnt hurt that bad it I got SLAPPED with $10. But come on sprint, your not that good in the first place!

Worse than that, it is $10 per smartphone. So a family plan of four phones goes up $40. But it is not like all four phones use extra data equally. So the 4G tax is now a family plan extreme gouging tax.

No you can't use this to get out of contract etf free because it only effects you if you upgrade or add a line, which require new contracts.

Also sprint still has unlimited data, not throttled data like tmobile.and the plans are atoll cheaper than verizon.

So, I'm the type of guy, unfortunately, that just goes "yeah yeah gimme neato flashy gadget" when signing phone contracts, so I have no knowledge in this area.

Doesn't this increase invalidate all contracts? I mean, I have a signed contract between me and them saying that they're going to charge me so much a month, including the "Premium Data Plan" for smartphones (whatever the hell that means). I'm sure there's a liner note in very small print somewhere in there that says that they can do this at their free will, but shouldn't that be a cause to invalidate contracts?

It was only a matter of time, but it was nice that sprint special in this area. In a time when they really need to compete with Verizon, I don't think this was a good idea.

I was paying this anyway.. so changes nothing for me.. I am not gonna cry about 10 bucks anyway... I have compared my EXACT plan to Verizon and it is still 100 bucks CHEAPER when you compare EVERY feature... People need to stop whining... If you can't afford Sprint then you def can't afford Verizon anyway so no one is gonna switch anywhere..

Exactely! This ain't bugging me one bit. Us 4G users are paying this anyway. I laugh when people complain. This is still cheaper than Verizon. Do people really want to switch to more expensive plans?

I'm sitting here, not believing what I am reading. People would complain if they were hung with a new rope. Sprint is by far cheaper than Verizon or At&t, and has unlimited data. Call mobile to mobile, doesnt matter on the carrier, and not get charged minutes. Just landlines. At&t doesnt have this. Not sure about Verizon. But if you hate Sprint so bad and think they are so terrible, pay the early term fee and go somewhere else. If you think the others are SO much better, see ya. I have tried to switch to AT&T, but they couldnt touch the plan I have with Sprint. I have the EVO and pay the $10 fee. My wife has the Epic and pays the $10 fee. We dont have 4g in our area. Not hearing me complain. Even with the fees, Sprint is STILL cheaper the the others.

damn i was thinking of coming back to sprint after February 7, but this is crap bs on their part, i never saw them giving customer money back because they only used 300 minutes out of their 1500 minutes plans, sprint just do not get it, they need to compete not screw their customers, that is why they will always lose customers.

Why don't you try reading the article. There is no additional fee. They are expanding the smart phone fee from 4G phones to all smart phones. But only at time of new contract.

Maybe Sprint's idea of robust is different than mine. I can understand the fee on the Evo and the Epic but I had a Hero and my wife had a Moment. They werent very "robust". A friend of mine has one of the newer non-4g phones sprint put out a while back and its on par with my old Hero. I guess if you need the money though thats the best easiest way to go about it

Maybe.... Just maybe... You didn't read past the first paragraph? If you had you would have seen the following sentence: "you're not going to be paying the extra $10 until you upgrade or activate another smartphone. In other words, you're grandfathered in."

I think the question is are they going to add an extra $10 if you want to get a 4G phone making it an extra $20 a month? People who say its still cheaper than other carrier plans don't understand the percentage change in how this could affect their bills. If you have $69.99 talk/data plan and they charge you an extra $10 bucks that is roughly 14-15% increase in their bill. If they are charged 4G tax and this $10 BS that is roughly 29% increase. I mean $10 may not seem that much but paying it for 2 years will hurt the wallet.

NO! Did you not read the article? Forget about the "4G tax." It is going away. Now, everyone with a smartphone will be charged $10 more for data.

I was considering switching to Sprint from VZW within the next few months, but with this change, my bill would be exactly the same with the same features (minus mobile to any mobile; add better coverage). Guess I'll stay loyal.

You are correct... It seems like many people can NOT read such a large article... Many people just read a few sentences and make crap up...

I'm going to go back to Verizon now too. With the discount I can get on Verizon, with my employer, VZW was now cheaper then Sprint. With the addition $10 Sprint is planning on charging, it's going to be even a bigger savings. Plus, Verizon runs BOGO and steep discounts on their top tier phones. Verizon, here I come. I just need to wait for their new 2011 phones!!

It isn't an "additional" $10 if you are already using their high end phones. In my case, my employer has a steep discount on Sprint and none on Verizon.

It is worth noting that your employee discount here won't play any role in the $10 a month you'll have to pay. I have the same deal with my Epic 4g, and since this is a $10 fee, not part of the plan cost, it is not dropped by their new discount structures.

Its true that Sprint is still cheaper than Verizon and AT&T even with this added charge. I have been waiting until the middle to end of the year to switch to Sprint from Verizon based on the cost savings, over $400 for the year. Now it will not be as much but I was figuring on getting at least 1 maybe all 4 phones with 4g service so I would be paying the extra $10 per month more anyway. What you also have to figure is that most phones in the coming years are going to be 4g phones and you would have to pay that fee anyway.
As far as the unlimited internet, Sprint only allows you 5gb per month so I am curious now with the added fee is it now truly unlimited meaning no cap.

Actually the 5gb cap is not for smartphone use. The smartphone use on data is unlimited...the 5 gb cap is actually for the mobile broadband data plans not phone plans

Just remember people to check if you can get an employee discount. I get 23% off my plan.

It was much more than $10/mo discount in my case. But the discount does NOT apply to the $10 fee (which I thought was scummy).

This is going to hurt Sprint big time. As someone already posted above, this will lead to customers using ginormous amounts of data out of spite, just to get their money's worth on the extra fee.

This does not make me mad at all. I already have an EVO, and I did consider not getting it because of the $10 "tax". But I decided to go with it anyway. Apples to Apples the plan for my family with 4 phones including 2 EVO's and 2 non-smart phones is still cheaper than other plans out there. I have had above-average to great service with Sprint, and the same with there customer service. The "royalty" discounts to "premier" customers allowed me to basically get a "buy two get one free EVO. How could I be mad at that.
They could raise the plan price in general, but tick for tat.
I don't live in a 4g area, but travel to them often, and love it.
They paid to lock up the rights to a great phone like the EVO and I respect them for that. Seven months later and this phone is still a top notch phone, I don't believe that any carrier could say that about any one phone in the past few years. Except for maybe ATT with iphone.
I think Sprint is close to a data plan cross roads, but as of now I believe that they are providing me and their customers with great access to their products and services. That may change, but $10 is not a breaking point for me.

I don't mind the plan, for an extra 10.00 that is not bad especially for the data I am using still cheaper than paying for internet through a cable or telephone line, and even cheaper than getting a wireless card through verizon or sprint, but then again I have old technology with my hero and I am usiing on average about 15,000,000 KB a month of data....

No, not really. Because there are still non-smart phones that can use data. Although I agree that it really does water down everything.

I don't mind the plan, for an extra 10.00 that is not bad especially for the data I am using still cheaper than paying for internet through a cable or telephone line, and even cheaper than getting a wireless card through verizon or sprint, but then again I have old technology with my hero and I am using on average about 15,000,000 KB a month of data....

Well, I guess this gets their point across that the 10 dollars for the 4G phones was not for the 4G network. I think I'll be switching to Verizon as soon as a successor to the Droid X drops. There's no point to being on Sprint's network now.

So 10 bucks is gonna make you switch? You do know that Verizon over two years will still cost you almost $1,000 more than Sprint on average (for the same features) still right?

NOT true! With the $10 addition fee, Verizon's 450 voice w/unlimited data and text is only $10 more a month. That's $240 over a 2 year period. The difference is, you can save most of that upfront because Verizon offers steep discounts on their top tier phones (I remember $50 for the Fascinate vs $249 for the Epic and VzW was BOGO on different top tier phones). Plus Verizon's voice and Data network is much larger and more robust. So when you look at things like that, especially if you live in a rural area or travel, VzW is a better deal.

Verizon and Sprint share towers. The coverage for voice (and 1x data) is essentially identical on both networks.

Actually, Sprint now costs almost the EXACT same as Verizon would for me. For Sprint it's $69.99+$10.00+$7 insurance+$10 in taxes with a 15% discount is roughly 85 dollars (what I pay now). Verizon is $59.99+$29.99+$8 insurance+$10 in taxes with a 15% discount is roughly 91 dollars. That's a difference of 6 dollars. So over the course of a 24 month contract I end up paying 150 dollars more. Which is good considering that buys me decent customer service and a better network. Not really that $1000 dollar mark you set either.

Actually.... for me Sprint is much much cheaper... I pay 129+20 (two smartphones) for unlimited everything, unlimited to ANY cellphone/ANY carrier PLUS 1500 minutes for landlines (who calls landlines anyway) .. Something that Verizon DOES NOT DO... IF you factor in Telenav Navigation (10 bucks per line on verizon) (Google maps sucks). On Verizon for the same EXACT SERVICE/FEATURES I would be paying 230 bucks when on sprint I am paying 150 bucks WITH 4G SERVICE !!! That is a difference of 80 bucks per month !!!! For me that is a difference of 1920 bucks over a 2 year period !!.. Trust me I have done the math several times.. Verizon might be cheaper on the cheap plans but for power users Verizon is way way way more expensive !!!

THIS IS A WIN FOR BOOST MOBILE & METRO PCS! BTW METRO PCS is getting 4g so goodbye sprint? So if you don't have a 4g smartphone, y would you want to stay with Sprint?!

So.... If I buy a smartphone on eBay and switch it with my current phone on Sprint (without changing the contract), will I be added $10?

Yes, it says "customers are not affected unless they upgrade to or activate another smartphone."

So even if buying on ebay, as soon as you call sprint to "activate" it you also activate the $10 fee.

Unless you do it before Jan 30th...

Who wants to bet they are going to announce a ton of new great phones in the week or two that follow?

yea what they are trying to do here is stop new customer from coming to sprint, maybe their network is not ready to handle so many customer at once. hahahaha.

As I see it, the events occurred in the following order...

1: Sprint starts charging everyone with a 4G phone a $10 fee for 4G.

2: Customers complained about the fee because Sprint's CEO had previously claimed 4G would not cost extra. In addition to that, many customers were not in 4G areas.

3: After 6 months or so of paying a 4G fee and not getting any 4G service, some customers organized a class action against Sprint.

4: Suddenly Sprint decides to charge everyone else the fee. Now it is no longer a 4G fee, but a smartphone fee.

I have an epic 4g, so does this mean I haved the 10 $ data for the 4g plus this 10$ fee?? Or will I just continue to pay the same amount........

someone already replied to my comment saying that you will only be paying $10 bucks as well as everyone else. besides the point, you already have the epic 4g so nothing will change at all since you are not upgrading or signing new contract. so anyone signing up for any smart phone be it upgrade or new contract, be it 3g or 4g will all be paying the same $10 fee. Which honestly people might as well just sign up for 4g phones now that there is no difference, and then we will see Sprint start charging a new fee because everyone is going to max out 4g bandwidth, YAY!!!

With two Evos we have been paying this all along. Although I live in a 4G area, 4G service is not very good in my neighborhood and 3G is even worse. What gripes me is that most of my data use is on my own Wi-Fi and not their crappy data service so I am not even able to use what I am billed for.

You people are acting ridiculous.

"OMG, Sprint added $10 extra charge to their plans! OMG, Verizon changes their prices twice a year(increase) and its ok....it's Verizon"

Sprints plans are still cheaper!!!!

Look at everything else; If you go check out their coverage maps by city, you'll see that they have about 2 to 3 "FUTURE TOWERS" planned for this year PER major city and more.

So thats well over 100 new towers. Increased coverage cost money, and this $10 will most likely uncap the data for those not paying it already on a 4G phone.

Suck it up, and if not, leave Sprint. Guaranteed you'll be paying more elsewhere.

I think people hold an unspoken grudge against Sprint....for........... continuously beating everybody elses prices?


All Im thinking about is Feb 7th. Im ready. :)

I don't think you are seeing some people's perspective. A lot of people are complaining because they were promised unlimited data usage yet there is a fee for that now. $10 dollars may not be much to you but it is for people on a tight budget. Yes I agree Sprint plans are much cheaper, but if you look at it overall that is going to be $240 (2 year contract) a person could have been saving. I am glad that the money is supposedly used to reinforce their service, but I am highly skeptical if Sprint is not making a couple bucks off the fee.

If I owned a company, my ultimate goal would be to make a profit.

People are crazy if they think that every fee/price increase isnt partially for the advancement of the company itself. They have to make money somehow in order to help us, in order to give us these crazy advanced devices we all yearn for.

Maybe they dont take the best approach, but it isn't unreasonable.

I love Sprint and support them in what they do. They just have yet to "screw" me. Hence why I'm still with them.

I wonder, if you upgrade your phone, as in buy one from Ebay or elsewhere without signing a new contract, will you still be charged the extra fee?

No new contract is being signed for an upgrade or new line at that point correct? So, no fee added since you would still be using the original "grandfathered" line/contract.

I did read the full article, but, normally when upgrading via Sprint, Best Buy, etc you have to sign a new contract to get the new upgrade and better price.

If you buy it on Ebay, etc, you do not sign anything, just buying a different device that could be an "upgrade" or not depending on what you buy. Savy?

In this case it is either/or.. However, if you have an evo/epic/shift then you are paying this already anyway and it changes nothing... Personally I think it is wise of Sprint to draw a line and make it simple.. $10 more for any smartphone device.. simple and still keeps them cheaper than Verizon and others for similar services..

You still have to "Activate" the phone. I am going to guess you will be charged once that happens. Not sure if you tell them your phone broke or something though and that is just a replacement. I am sure they will try to add the fee though.

Ya Sprint is getting crazy. I have 5 lines 3 of which are 19.99 a month. All of these were covered under my employee discount at 25% But the 3 extra lines are no longer discounted. Now when I upgrade my kids phones I get to pay an extra 30/month. WTF Sprint? I have been a loyal customer for 12 years. Time to start shopping around.

Maybe not cheaper, but he can get better coverage on Verizon.

BTW, with the increase and the discount through my employer, I can now get service cheaper on Verizon then on Sprint.

As has been pointed out over and over. Sprint and Verizon use each other's towers at no charge to the customers. The coverage of both voice networks is essentially identical and has been for YEARS.

Lame, but it's only fair. I was paying the extra 10$ for my EVO and never seen 4g aside from a brief trip outta town. Just wait a little longer and the pre-paid phones will get much better. Then we can get away from these money hogs.

I agree that this will tax the network, I avoided using wireless tether as much as possible, now, I think I will use it every minor chance I get.

I guess this is why they have David Blaine. He will show you how to make more of your money , Magically disappear~!

There is no point of having a low end phone now. If I can get a Blackberry Bold or an LG Optimus S (for 50 bucks each). Im going to get the Optimus

First of all I would like to ask those of you that are not smart enough to read the press release to not comment. You are the same stupid people that don't read your contract when you sign-up for service and end up getting screwed.

Ok now to the body of my comments - (for those of you that are a bit slow) IF you have a SMARTPHONE you will pay $10.00 per phone doesn't matter if it is a 4G or only 3G phone. You will not pay it twice if you have an EVO or EPIC. And the change only takes affect when YOU renew your contract. Sprint will not force you to upgrade.

I'm a bit optimistic about this because when it was the 4G tax your corporate discount did not apply to the charge. If it is part of the rating plan my discount may apply. Sprint is the ONLY carrier were your discount applies to the entire plan (Except for the case of the 4G tax) Verizon and AT&T only discounted the voice plan and still nailed you for full price on the Data Plan.

It is a simple #'s game. I'd rather have unlimited data and pay the extra $10.00 per month and get all the extra features such as navigation, Sprint TV, Unlimited Data even when I have a corporate e-mail (Verizon wants to charge me an extra $15.00 on top of their inflated data plan per month because I have an exchange server for one of my e-mails) The extra $$$ that Sprint will collect helps in a couple of ways. 1) it will give them extra cash flow to build network 2) it will give them better $$$ to help with future phone development.

IF you are going to complain about the $10.00 you have several choice. You can switch carriers and pay more per month. Swallow your lower lip and realize that overal this should improve Sprints position or finally - stop using your smartphone - you are NOT ENTITLED TO HAVE THE PHONE ANYWAY. People can't seem to get it just because your neighbor has a shinny new phone that does everything but change there socks doesn't mean you are entitled to have one too.

Very well said! I've only had the Evo since I switched to Sprint. I certainly don't live in a 4G area but I never thought twice about this 10 dollar premium data fee. I'm still saving money over Verizon, and even though I'd get a corporate discount with AT&T....NO WAY. Right now I'm trying to get my sister to switch her service to Sprint when her T-Mobile contract expires next month. With this new fee Sprint will impose on all smartphone users, the cost per month will pretty much be exactly the same as what T-Mobile offers. But I would STILL take Sprint, because their coverage is considerably better than T-Mobile (in my area anyways).

First of all since you all calling people out for not being smart enough, must I remind you that the $10 was never a 4G tax, it was for premium data (which means you would use more data then others)why don't you know what you are talking about before you try and call out others.

i'm completely fine paying the extra $10 for the "richer experience" on the web and the "unlimited data" that is packaged...

this just gives me more justification why i root my phone and run the Wireless Tether app isntead of paying the extra $29.99 for a feature that is built in to the OS in the first place by Google!

seriously. $10? my bill is $82/month compared to the $129 or something that my family pays on Verizon...i'm content with that. screw you Verizon.

Advertising their plan as 69.99 a month then adding fees like this that a lot of people will find out about after they already have the contract mostly filled out is a good way to not gain new subscribers. If I was told about this fee after seeing a commercial for 69.99 and going in there to buy a phone based on the price I would be pretty upset.

Having said that I do have a family plan with two 4G phones but I knew about the fee well in advance of signing up. It isn't obvious though if you don't know about it and the sales reps are not quick to point it out..

crazy how companies dont try to get better. It's like they are competing to be the worse company. Sure they still might be cheaper than other companies, but does that make it right for them to do it? 4G is very spotty even here in LA. Im not sure if technology is going the right way anymore. Is not getting cheaper and it contains lots of hiccups.

Thanks jpeterson for clearing it up for us stupid people :)

That does clarify it a bit for me honestly, I was reading to much on the extra cost coming in for all my lines. So hopefully, all my bill will be is just about $20 or so more a month (still more but less than other carriers).

On our family unlimited plan we have two Epics, one Pixi, one Transform, and a Rumor so it is all good then. I am happy :) for now...

If I remember right, VZW would not disclose any info at CES about what there 4G service would cost the consumer. So hold your tongue when you are complaining about what your 4G is costing on Sprint, when the VZW customers don't even know what they are going to be charged in the future.

Just read this - Existing customers will remain on their current rate plan until they upgrade, perform an ESN swap or activate a new smartphone. (Straight from our notes)

Regardless its cheaper. Cheaper than Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. Its not 29.99$. Its 10$. If you don't like it, then don't upgrade or switch. Easy peasy.

I'm frustrated by this too. I only switched from my old plan to the newer "everything" plan in February when I got my first android. Previously with mine (and my wife's blackberry) we were on a much cheaper plan but paid 2 $30 per month blackberry fees.... however extra lines on my account where only $10 per month... going to the everything plan doubled that to $20 per month and we had 2 BBs and 2 feature phones.

Net effect? About $25 per month out of my pocket.

Then I decided to upgrade to an Epic. Another $10 per month.

My wife is dying to upgrade her phone and she's not elligable until March 1st.... so I have another $10 a month to look forward to then.

Finally, my father-in-law just got a blackberry in November. I'm glad the "grandfather-ing" clause is there, but more than likely he's going to need a new phone in 2012 and I have another $10 per month to look forward to there.

A $45 increase in 12 months is a lot for my budget and I'm still staring at another $10 later on.

I almost hope my mother-in-law stays on her feature phone.

This is going to make me think long and hard about signing another contract... and I may have to start shopping around.

If Sprint's ends up the cheapest... so be it, but it's not nearly as cut and dried for family plans now... that's for sure.

That's the way I see it. It doesnt matter if they are the cheapest at the end of the day. They are still not cheap. Technology is supposed to advance and make things better and cheaper. Not rise they prices and bring up problems. Let that be ANY manufacturer, apples, htc, etc. They all have problems and never seem to get rid of them.

Let's see how long Sprint continues to run those commercials bragging about unlimited data for $69.99/month. Maybe they'll just add a tiny disclaimer on the last few seconds.

I say it's a money grab from Sprint.

If it was based just on data usage, Blackberry's wouldn't have been included. All data the Blackberrys goes through their server so it gets compressed. Data on a Blackberry phone is nothing compared to Android or iPhone.

On the flip side, I can see why Sprint is doing this. They know that the $10 premium fee for 4G phones can't hold water because they've been saying it was for the features on the phone like a wicked fast processor. It doesn't hold water because the customer owns the phone. They also know that they are going to LTE and drop WiMax with Clearwire for mobile, even though they've invested heavily into Clearwire and WiMax. Well it looks like the lost their gamble on WiMax so now they need more cash to try and catch up with the other 3 carriers by going LTE. Sprint going LTE (assuming their future LTE phones will be able to roam on other networks) makes more sense. Sprint could start lighting up towns with LTE, but with roaming agreements, they could cover more of the US and happy customers vs what they now have with WiMax. WiMax coverage just SUX!

Funny, I e-mailed Sprint to ask about this stuff and got this back...

"Thank you for contacting Sprint. I am happy to assist you with your
question today. I am not sure exactly what press release you have read
or are referring to, but there is no additional $10 fee for smart phones with Sprint. The only additional $10 fee that we have is only for the new 4G phones, for their enhanced data speeds and abilities, all other phones we have do not require any other type of rate plan other than what you already have. I do apologize for any confusion or

So there you have it... no new $10 in the works.

Yeah right... even their own staff doesn't know about this yet.

So Sprint is still cheaper than Verizon, but I know for a fact I can drive from Phoenix to Ventura County in CA. multiple times a year, El Paso and listen to Slacker or Pandora without an issue the whole way there with 3G. I even tether a few devices in our van during trips now, my uncle with his EVO can't say that. My brother when he visits us in AZ can't say that about his iPhone, only issue I've ever had is our trips to Vegas from Phoenix with Verizon. Paying $20-$40 more for my 5 lines is well worth it for my family to have great coverage!

I travel all over the US for my job and i have had Verizon, at&t and sprint...they all have places that they dont work. I am with Sprint and i cant say i dont drop calls once in a while...but there isnt a carriers that can say they dont drop a call sometimes...its all a matter of preference and i am happy with my carrier.

As long as this isn't followed by a cap on data, I'm fine with it. (Yes, I already pay it on my EVO)

It seems like this erases most of the cost advantage of going with Sprint.

When I switched to get the Evo, the other carriers didn't actually have a competitive offering and now the market is flooded with excellent android phones.

Finally, in the Flint, Michigan area, according to many, many Speednet tests, Sprint chugs along at a tenth of the 3g speed of my AT&T and Verizon friends. (About 0.2kps average vs. 2-3Mpbs on other carriers.)

Unless the service picks up considerably, I won't be staying with Sprint longer than I have to.

Wow this does suck, but I think it'll be moot soon since Sprint will want to phase out its 3g only devices in favor or 4g capable ones that have had the (let's call a spade a spade) 4g fee all along.

Now they're simply charging everyone so people stop calling it what it really was meant to be. Oh and to make more dough.

Hopefully Sprint will be smart enough to reinvest that fee into its 4g instead of giving it to the suits. I also hope that this means there will NEVER be a data cap. I gladly pay the $10 on that basis.

With the change to Data Plans this would lead me to believe that the annoucement on Feb 7th will be something about a new piece of hardware that is Android based.

Maybe that HTC 3D device.


While Sprint is still cheaper than others, this is still ridiculous! They already charge up to 15% in additional "fees" each month (some of which are disguised to look like a tax). I actually just renewed and added a line for my wife so normally I wouldn't care as who knows what the plans will cost 2yrs from now, but what gets to me is the whole swapping ESN's. I have several different phones and I like to switch fairly often. If I had T-Mobile or AT&T all I have to do is swap the sim card. I don't see how they can charge you just for switching phones, not changing plans (when you already have a smartphone). I have phones with webOS, Android, BlackBerry, etc. The "premium data charge" is especially troubling on my BlackBerry which uses BLACKBERRY SERVERS! Blackberry owners don't affect Sprints' data network at all as far as I know. I call B.S.

Sprint must be crazy. Don't they realize that most people on their network because of the lower price point.


Over the past 20 years, the providers have built new networks. Clearer networks. Manufacturers smaller and smaller phones with more features.

Many people use their phone LESS for voice and MORE for DATA. ALL the carriers are pretty much trying to increase revenue per user.

Something had to give.

That said, most carriers offer business discounts on "voice", but have separated the "features" from bundles to get more and more out of us. Why not sell a smart phone voice and data plan WITH unlimited email,text and data that the discount applies to? :)

ATT VZW, TMobile and Sprint will start charging less for voice and more for data.

Why does everyone say Verizon costs so much more? My family plan with 4 smartphones, 1400 minutes, unlimited text, unlimited data and insurance on all lines runs $189.89 per month before taxes.

I know a lot of people will hate Sprint for this decision but remember ppl, Sprint won't have cap for it. Good luck using the app to keep track of your data usage and be fully aware at 1/2 of the month you just used your data included in your plan.
Yes I know, they should offer a better signal and spend this money on it; but remember too... they will want to see some gains before spending money, that's how company's work.

FWIW I think I've found away to postpone this for some time that might be helpful for some of you:

My wife wasn't elligable for anupgrade until March and definately wanted a new phone. Obviously if she upgraded in march we would be subject to this new policy.

It turns out another line on our family plan was elligable February 1st, which, on the surface, doesn't do us any good. It turns out I was able to speak to someone in Account Services and they informed me they could move a date up to 2 weeks from the actual date.

They've moved the date up to today.

So I will be upgrading my wife's phone at a best buy (using a different line's elligability) to avoid issues with rebates.

This doesn't solve the problem, but it means we can rest easy until my father in law is due for an upgrade in August 2012.

This is the most annoying string of complaining I have read to date. Surprise! Your rates went up... Nobody cares. Get over it. Fees go up. They have to. The other carriers are still more expensive and it is likely that their rates will go up too eventually. 4g haters: get over it.it will improve. Illiterate people: even though you can't actually read this I say it anyway. Read the statement, it is not a 4g fee. It is a premium data fee. PLEASE figure out that most of you are not affected until you upgrade...which you can also learn by READING THE STATEMENT BEFORE POSTING YOUR DUMB COMMENT. Thank you to the supporters. Everybody else go get your damn iphone on verizon, pay too much money and post your complaints in the tipb.com site. thank you. Good night!

I have had sprint for going on 3 years now wife and i just got android devices we are grandfathered in thankfully but even if we were not i would rather use sprint over at&t, t-mobile or Verizon any day i have 2 friends and 2 family members on Verizon and one thing i keep hearing over and over and over is that they can not use there gps with out incurring a extra 10$ a month charge sprint it is free they can only talk to other vzw customers for free sprint you can call any vzw,at&t or t-mobile and its free and if we want better technology and speeds on the network well how else we going to get it by paying 69.99 a month for a family plan no by paying the extra 10$ a month i pay 129.99 for 2 lines with unlimited every thing 1500 land line minutes i don't think that is that bad i have been with the other 3 company's before and i guarantee i paid more for one line on Verizon wich they say you have nation wide coverage then charge you ridiculously roaming charges so i will take sprint hands down any day any time