Sprint axes unlimited data for all mobile broadband plans and mobile hotspot

We already knew that Sprint was killing off unlimited data for the hotspot plan, but today's news makes everything all official.  Starting in November, users with a mobile broadband plan (that would be a tablet, netbook, USB card, connection card or mobile hotspot device) as well as folks using the mobile hotspot plan on their smartphone will no longer have unlimited data.  Depending on your existing plan, you'll be placed in a tier that goes between 3GB and 10GB of data, with a $0.05 per MB overage in-network, and a $0.25 per MB overage while roaming.

Note that this does not affect unlimited data for smartphones.  Your Epic 4G Touch or EVO 3D will still have unlimited data.  It's still a direction we hate to see yet another carrier travel, though.  Resist the temptation Dan.  Don't kill your unlimited smartphone plans.

Source: SprintThanks everyone who sent this in!

Jerry Hildenbrand
Senior Editor — Google Ecosystem

Jerry is an amateur woodworker and struggling shade tree mechanic. There's nothing he can't take apart, but many things he can't reassemble. You'll find him writing and speaking his loud opinion on Android Central and occasionally on Twitter.

  • They lose that, they lose a good bit of their subscribers. (assuming they go tiered with rates similar to say t-mo)
  • Bought a mobile hotspot on the 1st of September, returned it 27 days later after hearing about this the first time. Talked to a Supervisor about the internal memo and the supervisor got mad at me. Asking for where I got my information and checking to see if I was on a special Sprint account that was prevy with that type of info.
    All and all, the bad feeling I got from that conversation made me give it back.
    I now have a rooted Evo 3D running a rom capable of free Wifi tethering. Sprint I would have been a good customer and paid for the service, but your reps made me say "big F, little u". I'm happier now that I don't have to pay...
  • It's confusing to me that you can use unlimited data when you tether your smartphone to your computer and DON'T pay, but when you pay Sprint $30/month to tether that same phone to your computer, your data is capped. Why, exactly, would anyone pay for the Mobile Hotspot function?
  • The sky is falling!
  • Go Sprint and they didn't even use lube. Some customers might not be able to sit after this one. Que all the crying and whining from disgruntled customers.
  • I don't see the queue* being that large. Mostly going to be those of us that were taking advantage of the "free" data.
  • I would kind of be suprised to see them keep unlimited data for smartphone through all of next year.
  • I have been thinking this exact same thing for awhile.
  • Prepaid unlimited data might soon rise cough* straight talk *cough *cough :)
  • Does this allow affected users to leave their contracts fee-free?
  • No, you'd be grandfathered in. Once your contract is up, then you'd have to change data plans.
  • Actually, this change is not being grandfathered. "effective beginning with your next bill following notification" is what it says on sprint.com. It might be a way out of your data card contract, but since mobile hotspot is an add-on, that wouldn't void a phone contract.
  • No, that's not how this works. No matter what, you're going to the new system. No grandfathering... If you use a data card or a portable Mifi, this will hurt you the most. Those devices use a separate contract. Mobile hotspot on the phone can be added or terminated each month depending on how you want to use it. I prefer Rooting your phone and using a Rom that has the free Wifi tethering hack.
  • The unlimited data on the phone is dead. It's just a matter of time before the evangelist members of their customer base realize it.
  • Well yeah, when it's an ogilopoly, things only tend to get worse. If we had good, healthy competition in all forms of telecommunication here in the US, this wouldn't be the case.
  • -
  • And I should buy a tablet that is anything more than Wi-Fi only why?
  • Jerry, you almost gave me a heart attack! Couldn't care less about the death of unlimited Hotspot/Mobile Broadband. Hopefully, my Unlimited Data plan remains "unlimited" forever. (Fo EVAH evah??) PS: Good job on pleading Dan Hesse to not give in.
  • Damn november is less than 2 weeks away. That's very short notice. Sprint is moving fast about there plan changes. Days of unlimited for all will soon end
  • Pretty soon a no-frills, no-thrills basic flip-phone is going to look very attractive.
  • Stupid iphone! Sprint had to pony up so much to get the phone. :( you sold your sole to the devil.....
  • lol Is it because the devil needed new shoes? Or because he was hungry and wanted some fish?
  • That's great news to anybody who wants out of their contract. I think even if you don't currently subscribe to the hotspot ripoff, you could argue that its available was part of your service plan.
  • It would be complete carrier suicide if they get rid if unlimited data for phones. Sprint....you know better.
  • Shit...I'm beginning to wonder if they really do "know better". If they drop unlimited on their phones, then I will be checking out another carrier. LTE would be nice, and T-Mob has some decent phones also. AT&T ain't gonna' happen though...unless they buy T-Mob eventually. Crappy Cricket might be the ones to get my $$...or Wal-Mart.
  • If or when Sprint changes phone plans to not include unlimited 3G and/or 4G they will lose me as a customer. I'll go elsewhere for my mobile service. They've already screwed us Premier Gold customers out of getting new handsets every 12 months. Instead of nickle and dime-ing customers to make more revenue, try setting realistic expectations for revenues for stockholders. Committing to purchasing 30 million iPhone units from Apple is a "stoner" move. Sprint is reported to have about 45 million subs. That means roughly 75% of us would have to get iPhones, and that's not going to happen.
  • Look at that time frame for buying iphones. This is going to put then into several generations of the iphone. IPhone 4,and 4s now. And several models in after. They can easily do it. It is not like they are trying to sell 30million iPhone 4 & 4s
  • I didn't think they would but with the schedule they have for the lte roll out they wont make it to 2013. At least I can tether off my evo and soon galaxy nexus(hopefully) for now.
  • The beginning of the end for sprint. Ciao
  • Is there anybody here gullible enough to have not seen this coming (not to mention what's looming on the horizon)? Sprint is in the crapper (or crappier if you need to be fancy). This is why I can't wait to bail for the big V...of course I have a bigger reason to switch than just this. The wife is a corporate VZW employee, so that means HUGE discount and full upgrade every year. Its just really sad to see Sprint lose so much traction after launching the EVO and Epic, Premier benefits, G-Voice integration, etc. Now to fall flat on their face thanks to the Jesus phone and poor investment in WiMax...
  • I wouldn't say gullible, more like we were hoping that they wouldn't succumb to tiered pricing. All that said they are no longer giving a sub any good reason not to bolt when their contract is up. I'm not gonna say it's the end for them. Though they aren't doing themselves any favors by these moves. Just wonder after the defections increase after the initial jesus phone bump. Do they start to reinstitute the perks that drove people to them.
  • Am I the only one who noticed 4g is still unlimited? Also, this doesn't mean sprint is going to get rid of unlimited data on smart phones. It gives the advantage over other carriers. And how many of you actually use air card or hotspot? The whiners and the haters will use it as an excuse to complain. Even though it doesn't affect them
  • Read it again. It most certainly stops 3G AND 4G unlimited data.
  • 4G is no longer unlimited. That's the point of the announcement. As far as who actually uses aircard/hotspot? I use both. I have a 3G only Sprint MiFi that I just added on Monday so I have data when placing calls. It cost me $22 for the device on eBay and the plan is $35 a month. That's better (for now) than $100+ for a phone and $70 monthly for a plan. If I ever need a higher capacity plan than the 3GB one I'm on now or 4G gets here, this rules out Sprint. I'll be going to Verizon. Verizon plans are the same price at the same caps and even their 3G is faster than Sprint's 3G. I bought a Sprint card only because Verizon doesn't have a 3GB option at the $35 price point.
  • Sprint is trying to do everything they can to avoid getting rid of the unlimited data for there smart phones I hope it works
  • and besides just get your android device rooted and you don't have to worry about that
  • For now...Try to do free wireless tether on Verizon. All Sprint has to do is flip the monkey, and we're cut off from that. It's probably coming soon.
  • It will affect me big time, sprint card for 5 years, unlimited data, and working from home. No way i can stay under 10g a month..and living in the boonies... might being driving over a hour to go into an office a little bit now
  • Apple and the iPhone strikes again. Smartphone plans will be next, just watch.
  • Doesn't affect corporate account lines :-) no complaints here other then I could have escaped contract and used my credit for the next greatest lol
  • Jerry, if you really want Dan to resist the temptation to do away with unlimited plans, you need to be against people who root their phones and use them in the same manner as all those devices and plans that they just capped. Sorry, I know this is unpopular, but why can't people see that if they continue to use their phones in this manner that unlimited plans will be gone? Go ahead and complain all you want, but you'll have no one to blame but yourselves. Go ahead and blame the iPhone all you want, but the rest of us will know the truth.
  • Anyone know if this allows you to get out of their contract?
  • Hahaha! Kiss those unlimited data plans goodbye for smartphones...I won't be surprised in a few months when they announce they will no longer have unlimited everything plans...they will follow AT&T & VERIZON with tiered data plans ....All this because of the Iphone 4S.....which Sprint has had complaints of slow data on the 4S....LOL!
  • Actually, I think that is pretty unlikely because Sprint is still advertising heavily about unlimited data without throttling on phones. It is their major differentiating feature.
  • Forget that! If I can get our of my contract free and clear I am going to flash my epic over to Boost and say forget that noise!
  • This is a real simple problem to fix; Sprint is changing the terms of the contract so if you are unhappy with this then just cancel your contract ETF free. I've seen on several comment boards where people have already done this. If you happen to live in a really good Wimax area why not switch to Clear? They offer unlimited 3G/4G plans starting around 55 a month with no contract. It's a shame Sprint is taking the unlimited feature (main selling point for Sprint) away from their customers but there is always a way to make it work.
  • Without unlimited data on their phones they don't have much else. Speed certainly isn't their strong point. They may have decent prices but if it wasn't for unlimited data i would be curious to know how many would put up with the slow speeds just to save $5 or $10 more per month. I wouldn't be one of them. It's pretty sad each time a carrier gets the iPhone their plans take a dive.
  • Man this really saddens me not about what sprint done but how gullible ppl are, and all you had to do was read the fine print sort of speak or terms and agreements. Guys there has never been unlimited data on Sprint or any other carrier for that matter. Its always had that 5GB cap but since they KNEW it was unreachable they said let's just call it unlimited smh. But now fast forward 10, 15 yrs later with how advance these phone have gotten, we're getting close to that cap and now they have to take their words back before someone gets a huge ass bill and sues the shit out of them. Its basically the same crap their doing to us with 4G calling it 4G when its really not smh its all a bunch of smoke and mirrors and welcome to greedy, lying cooperate America
  • You're wrong. SPRINT is truly unlimited. They push this fact hard.
  • So does this mean I no longer have to pay that ADDITIONAL $10.00 they said was for True Unlimited Date?
  • That fee was for a multimedia rich phone experience. LMAO I can't believe Sprint reps actually kept repeating that BS when asked what the fee was for.
  • You know that's a good question. It makes me wish that I didn't upgrade my phone 2wks ago. I had my palm pre since launch and was avoiding that fee and now with this I wonder what sprint is going to say
  • To all the Sprextel people that see this: We told yall this would happen...its just a matter of time before they stop the AYCE on the smartphones...
  • Hopefully that $10 premium data add-on fee is what's keeping the smartphones unlimited. Please, pretty please!!!! :(
  • Whoa, guys! Why are some of you getting this sick pleasure out of a price increase on a carrier you don't even use?? Oh yeah, I forgot- every single article posted here, now starts some controversy, bickering or trolling. We all come to this site because we have a common love for Android, correct?? The comments board is supposed to be a place for civil feedback, AND they are a place we can HELP or RELATE with others. Yet everyone is ready to insult other members, or fight instead about who has the best phone. WHY?!? We all love Android and AndroidCentral, so instead, lets build on that. Stop the carrier wars. Stop the spec wars. Stop the insults. Stop competing!
    Otherwise.....what's the point of all this?
  • Well my palm pre didn't require an extra 10 bucks per month and its a smartphone but when I got evo and epic touch they added the 10 and told me it's because they are smaetphones
  • I just talked to Sprint... they told me if your current contract is unlimited..you are good UNTIL the end of the contract..so i have 1 year left.. I asked when my contract ended, would unlimited be automatically moved...he told me i'd have to call back and check then.