Update 2: Much ado about nothing, folks. Apparently Hesse said "roaming," and Dow Jones or whomever missed it entirely. Go about your postpaid, non-roaming business. 

Update: And just as a few of us were thinking, Sprint's walked this back to CNET and says it doesn't apply to postpaid accounts, which is most of us. Carry on.

At a Sprint investor conference today, CEO Dan Hesse confirmed that Sprint is throttling data speeds for the top 1 percent of users (you know who you are), and he seems to feel strongly about those that abuse the unlimited data plans on the nations number three carrier:

For those that want to abuse it, we can knock them off

As of today, Sprint still offers a mandatory unlimited data plan for all smartphones.  Hesse says they have no plans to switch away from this, and will not start offering tiered data packages.  He made no mention about switching to any sort of throttled plan after a certain cap is reached, but that's always a possibility.  Sprint will do what they have to do to manage data use on their network, and we can't blame them one bit.  Here's hoping they do it the right way and keep the consumer in mind.

Source: NASDAQ


Reader comments

Sprint throttles data for top 1%, CEO Dan Hesse says (Update: actually, only if you're roaming)


I wonder how long they've been doing this. On a somewhat related note, has anyone noticed significantly crappier 3G speeds lately? Maybe it's a coincidence, but it might have something to do with all the new iPhone users zzz bring on LTE!

My reception and 3G speeds were absolutely horrible in Austin after the iPhone came out. I mean, just *down* for like 2-3 days. I've switched to Verizon because I got frustrated with it (their having the GNex didn't hurt.) I wonder if I was being throttled, too...

I'm in Buda (Austin), and have had zero connection issues. I work in sales so I travel from Buda to Leander to Temple (that's larger than some states) and I have no issues with my Photon on Sprint.

I've noticed it getting worse here too. I take a daily walk around my neighborhood while listening to streaming music and my 3VO has to stop to buffer every few minutes.

I recently left sprint for VZ. But yes about a week before iphone 4s was introduced to sprint I started noticing a lot of sporadic data issues.

This coming from the company that has commercials saying that they didnt want to limit the iphone...i guess they are going back on their word. They are doing what verizon does. Their commercial about how tmobile throttles everyone for going over a certain amount applies to them to a degree. Now they are punishing people that pay for their data...that is not right. This goes for verizon as well for punishing the people that are grandfathered into the unlimited data by taking advantage of it. I would have to disagree with this tactic.

There has always been a 300MB data roaming cap. If I'm not mistaken when I went over it once Sprint actually sent me a message alerting me of it. Never got charged extra though.

I disagree with you all the way,just like you go to any all you can eat places, does that mean if you are not hungry go and get three plates and leave them on the table, because they are all you can eat!!!! So all the three carriers doing what is suppose to be done. There is some people have no respect for anything. The phone never meant to be a substitute to the computer at all, but some users thinking that way.

Yea i agree with you that a phone is meant to be phone and not a computer. BUT they don't have no problem in charging the customers with this ridiculous prices. They advertise this phone as smart phone aka a mini computer in your hand. So if they are gonna charge an arm and a leg and promote smart phone is the way people are using it for their everyday life then they better back up their advertisement and not lie 2 the consumer and throttle the people but they all are doing the same thing. People need 2 wake their asses up and stop spending so much money on this so call smartphone and stop making this assholes that much richer. Remember it is just a damn phone just change ur plans and save ur money and stop making this corrupt asshole so much money!!!!!

Yeah but i've seen posts where people are tethering their phones to Xbox and PS3s and to pirate movies and music etc. To me, even though you pay the bill every month, that is excessive. Get an ISP will ya.

+1 on this.. There is an ever growing crowd of people tethering to their PS and XBOX's....

That is wrong... Abuse in my opinion.

Um.... If Sprint is throttling 1% of data hogs, however and wherever they might be using data.... Why does the 99% who aren't "abusing" or being throttled even care?

the Data limit mentioned is 300MB and it is ROAMING networks. Regular data on the regular sprint networks is still unlimited

I just got throttled on AT&T, and I don't think people are aware of what throttling means. The connection is reduced by about 95%, rendering it actually useless. This is a big deal, that means the most "geeky" out of every 100 sprint customers is now going to have a broken data connection. For AT&T it's 1 out of every 20.

Lucky for my co-worker he is grandfathered into Verizon's unlimited because he was bragging about using over 100 GB's last month! I hate the tiered packages as much as anyone else, but people like my co-worker should be throttled after so much data imho.

Yea well you can blame all the people like him for tiered data and thottlng. Its unlimited for the phone not for your xbox ps3 or computer.

>As of today, Sprint still offers an mandatory unlimited data plan for
> all smartphones. Hesse says they have no plans to switch away from

Wasn't it just about a month ago Hesse also said they have no plans to throttle anyone....so much for that.

Key words here people, abusers & roaming. Please pay attention writers. I like how both ac and that other website (mentioned above) left out roaming in their articles. The main reason the other networks went to tiered plans are because of the people that abuse the "unlimited" data. I just hope Sprint keeps unlimited data on smart phones.

All I have to say is.... I'm glad I switched to Verizon. Sprint WILL get worse with their data plans, their just slow grinding their customers. And to all those who believes they should, shame on you.... SPRINT'S NETWORK IS SO MUCH SLOWER THAN ITS COMPETITORS ALREADY. If ur familiar with cricket than know that's the same level sprint's network is on.

I regularly get speeds anywhere from 50k to 1200k. im talking speeds that would blush at a dialup modem. still wouldn't switch from Sprint but Im not sure how they could possibly throttle anyone, at least not where I live. again, happy sprint customer but im just saying its a little frustrating sometimes


just to be clear, I'm just saying its pretty deplorable that it can be as slow as freaking dialup. I'd actually be pretty content with 1.2mbs at all times

Shouldn't matter what network you're on, wireless or wired ISP, if you abuse the network by consuming massive amounts of bandwidth, you should be throttled as you're negatively affecting everyone else on the network.

im frustrated all the time with data over 3g lately, even more now with 3vo, evo4g seems to had better reception

Sprint's network isn't negatively impacted by so called high users. What causes the network issues are large numbers of users in particular areas. The notion that high users abuse Sprint service is completely false.

I hope all the abusers get ticked and leave for VZW. Go over there, root your phones, get your wifi tethering on hook up your xbox or ps3 and use a couple hundred gigs a month!!

Sprint is the only option for me. They have the best signal where i work and give me the most options for my money. Its funny i always hear about Sprint network being slow but i continuously see my friends with Verizon having issues with their phones. Haha look how quick these wannabe internet journalists and fanboys jump on these sites when they see an article like this. Use whatever justifications you need to help you feel better for your high phone bills and unreliable service. Ill stick with the most "reliable" unlimited and uncapped network and i dont have to wait for a "double my data promo" lol smh

Hate to say it, but they throttle all their customers. The network is slower than molasses these days. I blame the stupid iPhone users.

Stfu about xbox tethering, playing a game online takes ("VERY") little bandwidth and netflix? Is only gonna load the same quality it would on ur phone unless you have freakishly fast 3g. Im grandfathered and maybe use 5 or so gigs

IMHO all the policies changes that Sprint implemented was because of the Apple Iphone. The change in upgrades went from 12 months to now 22 months. The added $10.00 data charge was a smart move on Sprints part but then again they can change whatever they want now....why? Because they now have the Iphone.....sigh....Android FTW!

To the poster from Canton Mi. Were not talking about wifi!. I live in southeast Michigan. From Taylor, Allen Park, Dearborn heights, all the way out to Ann Arbor.... I have never seen 2 to 3
mb!!! 1mb if I am lucky.and that is usually in Ann Arbor first thing early morning 5:30a.m!

Hell I was down in the Sarasota Fort Meyers area of Florida for Christmas week.. Speeds were just as slow. So I know it isn't just one area where Sprint's data speeds are terrible.

Truth is Sprint's data speeds have been terrible Even before the I-Phone. I have been with Sprint
For over 11years. Dropped calls and text messages not going thru are becoming more frequent.
Something that use to never happen in the past. I even have my customers that have Sprint complain about the same issues.
They also brought to my attention how the signal bars will just drop to zero a lot now. That would explain the battery drains my wife and I have been experiencing. Lately.
There is a section on I-94 between bellville road and rawsonville road were I completely lose signal. That uae to never bappen before. Almost always drop a call when I drive in that spot. It's funny because that is exactly where AT&T has a billboard up. What's really bad is there is a cell tower right next to the freeway. Sprint needs to partner up with that tower.

If it doesn't improve soon..I will be jumping to At&t or Verizon. Yes they are more. But they are much faster. A coworker. Has the new I-phone 4s on AT&T and consistently. Pulls 4 to 6 MB.

What good is unlimited data if you are basically throttled from the get go!

Let me say that they don't necessarily "throttle" speeds, but their 3g never tops 300kbps in Hollywood. Usually it is about 150kbps.

They do block certain traffic through their proxies. If you try to stream 128k music through stream furious, the connection won't start. If you disable their proxies, it works fine.

Believe me when I say that they mess with what they will allow you to stream.

Regarding the speed, I have posted a petition about slow sprint data, asking for a stop to premium data charges. That is until they fix it.