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Update: Sprint clarifies their Data cap and...it's good news.

So last week we reported that Sprint, like all the other carriers, will be putting a 5gb/month cap on data use.

Although 5gb is a lot of data and honestly with RevA devices coming around, we sort of understand where Sprint may be concerned. Still, considering they were the last hold outs on such a cap and yet all these companies still do the " * Unlimited Data" asterisks thingy, it was a bit disconcerting.

Kent German at Crave.net has received some clarification from Sprint on the exact details and low and behold, Sprint is actually doing the right thing here: the data cap does not apply to the "Simply Everything" plans; just "Phone as Modem" and Data cards.

Basically, if you're just using your WM device for streaming, etc. you should not have a problem. To be specific, Sprint outlines these restrictions:

  • The vast majority of current users (about 99.5 percent) shouldn't be affected. Whether it's the 300MB roaming limit or the 5GB limit on total data usage, that's enough data to meet the regular monthly usage habits of almost all of our customers.
  • Going over either limit will not cause a card to suddenly stop working.
  • Going over once in a while is OK. We'll check usage using a rolling, three-month basis.
  • Customers would have to exceed the limit in two out of three consecutive months to face termination.
  • Initially, we are contacting customers first, to make them aware of the new limits and give them a chance to change their usage, if they want to continue using the service.
  • We're investigating additional options for customers who need to use more data.
  • Users will be able to check and monitor their total data usage on Sprint.com beginning June 8.
  • The caps are being applied to new and existing consumer and individual-liable accounts, but not corporate-liable, business contracts, Public Sector, or government contracts. We're working on additional processes and pricing to appropriately address the needs of heavy roaming and data users among the corporate liable customer group.

So, not too bad at all. Lets just hope this does not have any side effects for heavy users.

WC Staff
WC Staff
5 Comments
  • Is it just me, or is applying this to the laptop data cards the exact OPPOSITE of "ok?"
  • Depends.
    I venture to guess most Data Card users are on corporate accounts and not individual accounts (at least I don't know any non-business users with a data card). Assuming that is accurate, it's really a non-issue.The caps are being applied to new and existing consumer and individual-liable accounts, but not corporate-liable, business contracts, Public Sector, or government contracts.
    It's also better than Verizon and others who have a general cap on data, regardless of "classification". Hence why the occasional "Verizon killed my service" posts where the WM user was streaming Slingbox or audio.
    Plus, if you're using PDANet...it appears you are still in the clear.
  • I couldn't agree more! I have a Sprint Touch AND a U720 usb data card. On my phone, I rarely go over 200mb a month. On my data card, I'm usually between 20 and 35 GB a month (It replaced my DSL). If they cap usage on the data card, I'll go back to DSL in a heartbeat.
    If they want to worry about bandwidth, why don't they start enforcing the phone-as-modem fees for the people who are tethering for free? Sorry, no offense to those who tether without paying the $40/month...but I pay $60/month for UNLIMITED data on my computer. Unlimited doesn't mean 5gb. It means unlimited.
  • I couldn't agree more! I have a Sprint Touch AND a U720 usb data card. On my phone, I rarely go over 200mb a month. On my data card, I'm usually between 20 and 35 GB a month (It replaced my DSL). If they cap usage on the data card, I'll go back to DSL in a heartbeat.
    If they want to worry about bandwidth, why don't they start enforcing the phone-as-modem fees for the people who are tethering for free? Sorry, no offense to those who tether without paying the $40/month...but I pay $60/month for UNLIMITED data on my computer. Unlimited doesn't mean 5gb. It means unlimited.
    Just incorporate yourself and get under their business classification :p
    No joke, it's very easy and people have done it for a lot less reason e.g. just to get devices earlier than public release (Sprint releases to business first and then roll out to stores 3-4 weeks later--so if you're under a business classification, you can order one first)
    Or rather: Sprint left so many holes in these requirements that you should be able to find a work-around without much effort.
  • Malatesta: thanks for the tip. If they do cap individuals, it sounds like I'd be able to opt out without paying a termination fee on my contract...so if it comes to that, I might look at the Business option. I might even be able to open a government account, since I'm a gov't employee.