In case you missed it late last night, a report from Greg Bensinger of Dow Jones Newswires that stated Sprint is throttling the top 1 percent of its unlimited users was not correct. (Dow Jones has yet to update its post.) Sprint today expanded on what exactly is going on, and that it continues to offer unlimited data with no throttling. It was explained thusly (emphasis ours):

  • Sprint does not throttle any postpaid phone data users for on-network or off-network usage. Sprint is the only national carrier offering smartphone users truly unlimited data with no throttling, metering or overages while on the Sprint network.
  • Sprint does have terms and conditions which prohibit certain types of data use that may impair other customers' usage or harm or interfere with the network. At yesterday’s investor conference, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse was referring to Sprint’s right to terminate service of data abusers who violate Sprint’s terms and conditions. Customers who abuse our network by violating the terms and conditions will be contacted by Sprint in an effort to have the customer change their usage to comply with their subscriber agreement. Customers who do not change their usage and remain in violation of the terms and conditions may be subject to actions reserved by Sprint, including but not limited to termination. Consistent with our advertising, engaging in such uses will not result in throttling for customers on unlimited data-included plans for phones.

So that's that. Everybody put your pitchforks down.

Source: Sprint


Reader comments

Sprint: Reports of throttling are false


Ive always felt throttled roaming, i get about 50kbps when on verizon towers, don't think that's new. i think they are just making it well known that they will terminate you if you break the rules, before now its only been on the forums from people that were terminated and the contract(not many people read the fine print)

You aren't being "throttled" when roaming. Roaming on Verizon defaults to 1x/2G which is about ten times slower than 3G. The only time you roam on 3G on Verizon is when 2G isn't available. I've tested this many times.

And no, the top 1% of users who roam will not be throttled, just terminated, if Sprint so chooses. Just read the article if confused.

you feel that way cause other carriers put thier romaning users on the lowest priority network. for example you roam on verizon, you may connect as 3g but verizon will give you 1x speeds. OR instead of connecting EVDO rev A, verizon will connect you @ EVDO rev 0 and all of thier own customers get the fastest newtork. So in effect yes you are throttled but by the other company

Oddly enough, T-Mo which roams on AT&T gets full bandwidth 3G same as an AT&T phone.

I have a friend who has t-Mo and Moved to a town with no T-Mo Towers, and he roams on AT&T. His speed is the same as mine (I'm AT&T) when in that town.

They're still slugs even though they talked their way out of this situation. They sold me an Air-rave after I complained of having poor signal strength. Then I found out that they are giving those Air-raves away for free to people for the same issue and Sprint won't refund me or even give me a partial refund. Slugs!!! They keep telling me they are going to call me back to resolve the issue and never call. Slugs!!!

If they don't throttle or tier now... they will eventually. "Do you hear that Mr. Anderson? That's the sound of inevitability."

I agree, throttle or tier has to come sometime, because no network can allow truly unlimited forever and still have any room left on the towers. Each tower can only handle so many concurrent connections.

The NY Times had an interesting article stating that a study in November of US, EU, and African users showed that the top 1% of mobile users consume HALF the worlds mobile bandwidth.

Of course the Apple heads in the press jumped on a single half sentence in the report about SIRI causing increased usage, but it was an extremely small part of the trend.

Movie streamers are the big offenders as are tether users on laptops. Careful reading reveals that most of these laptops were tethered with legitimately purchased 3G dongles and broadband plans.

Singled out for mention from the android handset world are the HTC Desire S, and the Google Nexus One, which makes 221 percent more calls to the network. Who knew the venerable N1 was so heavily used.

True, but because of users like this we will have data caps in the future. If people would not be 'hogs' we would not need data caps. The medium is shared people.

15 here... Let me say that I normally only use 3 but I'm moving so I watched netflix since I canceled my services for the move... It's nice to know that the option was there for me. I don't abuse it otherwise. I want to know my bill is safe from overage and that's why I'm a sprint customer.

24 GB here..... I download tons of games in the Android Market some of them are huge files especially Gameloft games. I also stream Pandora throughout the day and watch Youtube videos late in the evening. I take a ton of photos and also send those to people. After a while it starts to really add up.

noooooo: to all the people. they do this so that you are not rooting and tethering to your entire house. or anything like that. they want to make sure that if you are using 16gb of data like one of you said you used, that you are using it on your phone. they just want to make sure everything is legit and that you aren't trying to ruin the network for other people by disregarding their terms of service. throttling and limiting would make you not want to break the terms because you wouldn't really gain much. that's why new verizon data users would probably NEVER root their phone to tether interwebs to their laptop.

Sprint can say whatever they like about throttling; all I know is ever since they announced they were getting the iPhone data bandwidth has been abysmal. I've been a customer for 13 years and have never seen such an overnight drop in performance. I still have my Sprint account for now but for the last two months I've been using an Amaze on T-Mobile and both the phone and network rock - completely blows away Sprint's data speeds on my EVO 3D (3G or WiMAX, which almost never works anyway here in downtown Chicago).