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Sprint addresses data usage limit

Sprint will limit data, but not in every way that you might think.

Last week I told you that Sprint was limiting customers with "simply everything" to 5GB of data usage per month, plus 300MB per month of off-network data roaming. While quite a few readers have complained about the cap, it's only fair to acknowledge a couple of points. By anyone's measure 5GB is a lot of data, and it's doubtful that all but a very small handful of people would even even reach that limit. Yes, it's really the principal that matters here--unlimited should mean just that--but Sprint is not the only carrier to limit data usage.

I contacted Sprint for comment last week. Most importantly, I learned that the Simply Unlimited plan is not affected by the data usage cap, which applies only to connection card and phone-as-modem plans. Here's what else the carrier has to say about the new policy.

  • 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 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 what do you think? Are the caps still unfair?