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Sprint: Smartphone Users Need to Pay $10 More

Article Comments  100+  

Jan 18, 2011, 8:43 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Sprint today announced a change to the cost of data plans for smartphone users. Starting January 30, customers signing new smartphone contracts will have to pay a $10 per-month Premium Data add-on charge, which Sprint says will allow it to continue to maintain its high level of service. Sprint claims that smartphone users consume 10 times the mobile data of non-smartphone users due to data-intensive apps and services. Sprint argues that its smartphone customers will still receive the "best value" when it comes to overall plan cost. Sprint points out that it offers plenty of devices (including touch phones) that don't require the Premium Data add-on. The plan will be applicable to Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, and the Instinct family of devices. Sprint points out that users of the EVO 4G, Epic 4G, and EVO Shift 4G are already paying this fee.

more info at Sprint »



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Jan 18, 2011, 3:43 PM

Can a sprint employee confirm?

According to the leaked memo, if a customer perfoms an ESN change, the feature will get added on.

Does this mean if I have a blackberry tour and then get a Style for cheap on ebay and swap it out (so no in store purchase) the fee will auto ad?
The fee will be required for provisioning as of February 1st. No matter how you get the hardware, when you call to activate it we'll be required to add the Premium Data SOC to your sub before the device can be activated.
THIS IS ANOTHER , IN A LONG LINE OF REASONS I AM LEAVING SPRINT FOR VERIZON WIRELESS... THEY HAVE NO Loyalty to long term customers... and they think they are the only company out there... WRONG!!!
Yes, the fee auto adds with iRMS.

The one way around this (not confirmed, so don't quote me) would be to use the, which has helped me on more than one occasion beat the system, even with a restricted employee account.

Jan 18, 2011, 7:37 PM

Comment Explosion!!!

Wow Sprint announces a price hike and boom 240+ comments. Sprint is still the best bang for your buck no matter how you slice it they beat the crap out of att and verizon and compete with tmobile on pricing. But blow tmobile out of the water in coverage and services! Cool
But you said this would never happen if the sheep followed you from all those other crappy networks to Sprint Rolling Eyes
You lied to us Diamond! Laughing
Really? Best bang for your buck? Show me how.
Scenario 1: single line, smartphone, don't use many minutes, a few hundred text per month.
Scenario 2: single line, smartphone, need unlimited minutes, few hundred texts per month.

Jan 21, 2011, 9:22 PM


What I really hate about this is I wonder how long will it be before the other guy decide to follow suit? Sprint did this with pay per use text messaging rates as well. Next thing you knew...the other guys copied. Hell, Verizon was charging $44.99 for data and lowered the price to $29.99 for non-BES data plans. If Sprint were going to raise rates I wish they had added $10 to their rate plans across the board. This is likely going to be the beginning of a disturbing trend.

Jan 20, 2011, 3:06 AM

It's not just abt the extra 10 bucks now.

I can handle the 10.00 but the icing was also that no more premier status for me unless I of course spend more! so no more full upgrades at 1year plus when I call abt a billing question get the rudest ,stupidist ghetto reps. So much for there improved customer service. Plus my airave causes data problems half the time. Shall I go on in other words all the little things that made Sprint better to me over Tmobile there slowly taking away. Let's see what there supposed great announcement is supposed to be. Im gonna be more mad if they dont offer more WebOs devices. HpPalm already said that was Sprint's decision. And we all know Sprint is the sloooooowest at bringing out phones! in general. So it's not just the 10.00 charge!
"call abt a billing question get the rudest ,stupidist ghetto reps"

That's just offensive and makes you sound ignorant. Have you considered the reps are "rude" to you because of the way you speak to them? Most customers don't consider this and are...

Jan 18, 2011, 9:02 AM

Say it ain't so....

It is still the best value, but what is Sprint thinking? This will impact it's users to the point where it may push usersaway in favor of other services who charge a few bucks more. I'm seriously thinking about switching over now, because even though I save a few dollars, this changes things drastically. 10 dollars a line on a five line family line is a huge increase. Sprint, please don't do this, you were just starting to see the daylight.....
Exactly. Also, notice how they first said the fee was for WiMAX devices/connections and now its suddenly become a fee for how much data one uses. Its a bunch of BS for Sprint customers.
It DOES NOT represent the best value any longer. T-Mobile's prepaid plans are the most attractive of any of the major 4. There are also those of us in Metro and Cricket markets who have choice.

The sooner the big boys are left on a regular basis,...
I really hope they're just making this for new customers, but still, let's see if they notice any change and get it right again. Probably not. LOL I did see someone say they will raise the rate with an ESN swap? COME ON! WTH! TMOBILE is looking better...
I have the EVO, and have 4G in my Area (Denver), so I already pay the $10 extra, and I believe blackberry users also pay a $10 fee as well.

I can see though how this would get expensive having 5 lines on an account and adding 50 bucks extra.


Jan 20, 2011, 4:06 PM

Some clarification.....

the $10 won't be charged retroactively. Meaning if you've already upgraded your lines to androids, blackberries, etc you won't see your bill jump up $10 a line overnight,'ll see it the NEXT time you upgrade.

That's not great news but its better than bills jumping up $50 for a family plan you upgraded to last month.

Get locked in at the current prices by the 29th of this month. It's going up for almost everyone after that.
others just don't get it
it's been christmas all year it's time for sprint to step up a little bit..
its not that but at all for me.. still cheaper..

Jan 20, 2011, 10:29 PM

Breach of Contract Sprint is trying to twist the ETF rules once again!


Jan 18, 2011, 10:18 AM

Apple Tax???

Could this be in preparation for announcement of a new smartphone for Sprint?
More like a sheep tax. Look at all of the people stating they NEED the phone selection that comes along with paying at minimum $20 more per month for service.

What do you need to do that you can't on the LG Optimus series? My guess would be nothi...
This is like a nightmare. I like Sprint and T-Mobile because they are the underdogs. Suddenly Sprint has gotten some huge *Bleeping* cajones! Something MUST be up. This February 7 announcement HAS to be the Wi-Max iphone, right?
If youre thinking iphone... Verizon has a multiyear exclusivtivity on cdma version only in the US with apple... so sprint will definitly not be carrying it anytime soon

Jan 18, 2011, 11:00 AM

The industry is getting much worse, Sprint is getting just a little worse

If you watch the industry as a whole it is getting more expensive everyday. Customers are using more Data but the industry is fueling it, with a barrage of adds touting high bandwidth applications like streaming media and really fast networks.

If you look at various 4G speeds how long can you sustain streams at those speeds until you run out of data allocation? AT&T for example, who cares if you could pump data at 10MB/s if you can only do it for a 25 minutes in an entire month and your data has run out. Now no one is pushing 10MB/s on their network but the point is what good is having fast data when the quantity limits are small. In England for example you get 15GB for your Ipad for 25GBP per month (inclusive of ALL taxes a...

Jan 18, 2011, 4:53 PM

People Spoke, Sprint Listened

Am I happy about this change? Nope, this is going to be a pain in the ass to explain and to try and reason with already unreasonable customers who think they're paying too much for what they feel entitled to for free.

Here's the thing; I get about 6-10 complaints a week, at least, about how "I don't live in a 4G area, how dare you charge me for it/no one else has to pay premium data, if I'm charged, everyone with a smartphone should too!"

Guess what? We listened.

Now all smartphone users have to pay the premium so we can keep the unlimited data as just that; unlimited.

But hey, raise enough of a fuss and throw enough of a hissyfit and we'll go Verizon's route and cap the data for you and you'll stay at the prices you have now.
at least for smartphones. It more than likely WILL be capped for 4g, but as that pricing is not available yet, it's kinda useless to speculate on it.

Verizon smartphone data is UNLIMITED. You're free to rant if you wish, but please stop forwardin...
Well how about you listen to this.

1. I am a customer with a contract, if I feel the need to swap from one smartphone to another - I shouldnt have to pay a fee for doing so, because EITHER smartphone I use will use the same amount of data that Ive ...

Jan 19, 2011, 4:19 PM

Too bad US Cellular doesnt serve more Markets

I am not thrilled with this new fee either so when I switch my phone will have to pay now that on fam plan all four of us wld be paying more not just my bro in law that got the shift. Yes Sprint is still cheaper etc of the contract players. But US cellular to me now has a more compelling package that I cant get of course. Oh well so is life. Sprint better be getting some of the new WebOs devices thats all I know! They make you almost choose between good rates and they are the slooooowest at launching devices. Tmo has a bigger selection.

Jan 18, 2011, 2:03 PM

So... Same price as T-Mobile?


450 anytime minutes
unlimited "Anymobile" (unless you are roaming)
unlimited Mobile to Mobile
unlimited texting
unlimited internet

TOTAL $80.00mo. (Smartphones)
$70.00mo (feature phones)


500 anytime minutes
no "Anymobile"
unlimited Mobile to Mobile
unlimited texting
unlimited internet

TOTAL: $80.00mo (smartphones)
$60.00mo (feature phones)

I guess Sprint still has a great value on minute packages, Anymobile is a pretty neat hat-trick, but this brings thier pricing in-line with T-Mobile.

Also, it's a LOT easier to just NOT get internet on T-Mobile.
What I'm hoping is that with this change they post a positive quarter. The last thing I want to see is if customers only have a choice between Verizon, ATT, Tmobile (where available, talking smartphone data) or prepaids.

Big 4 is still better than...
but then thats comparing apples and oranges. basically sprint is saying if your gonna pay the same price why not worry about your minutes...
i am unsure how many users dont have any discounts. either way tmobile's max discount was what 10 percent and sprint offers much higher depending on whom you work for
One of the downfalls of forums is that people present themselves as experts, and influence people by their words, but dont have or present all of the facts. Just so you know, T-Mobile has been over the last couple of months been offering:



Jan 18, 2011, 3:23 PM

$10 Premium Data Fee

Everyone should understand that this fee provides everyone with Unlimited Data plans as Sprint prepares for 4G Nationwide. With 4G speeds streaming Netflix could cause serious overages. Instead of paying for tiered data plans and overages above that, Sprint provides Unlimited Data PERIOD! Sprint competitors are provide tiered data and then charge for overages. $10 additional on Sprint gets you Unlimited DATA PERIOD! No overages or limits to worry about. Sprint is the better deal! Very Happy
ONE carrier charges overage
One other carrier doesn't charge overages but they throttle (like clear does on wimax)

Verizon is also still unlimited
Uhhh, you are so wrong dude...

Sprint already includes UNLIMITED DATA in their Everything Data and Simply Everything plans. Their standalone plans for phones are also unlimited. Sprint was one of the few from the get go that had unlimited data plan...
Stop the spin, neither Sprint nor anyone else can provide 'unlimited data period'

Suppose somebody used up 20 exabytes of data in one month and completely shut down his local towers by overloading them....

Do you think they would allow that to h...
Long Time Sprint User

Jan 18, 2011, 1:08 PM


yey!! let's celebrate!! cheers LONG time sprint user!!! Cool Cool

Jan 18, 2011, 6:50 PM


Now maybe the Sprint fanboys with their 'Our data is the cheapest!' battle cries will pipe down.
muchdrama said:
Now maybe the Sprint fanboys with their 'Our data is the cheapest!' battle cries will pipe down.

Nope: Razz ... »

Jan 18, 2011, 2:50 PM


Hopefully now Sprint will regain it's title has having the "Highest Churn In The Industry"!!! Cause T-Mo doesn't deserve it.
So Sprint having..

1 - virtual tie in 1st place w/ the most recent customer satisfaction rating
2 - 2nd only to Verizon in coverage
3 - Arguably best data network
4 - STILL best plans for the network
5 - STILL best smartphones...
6 - 2nd to on...

Jan 18, 2011, 12:17 PM

This is actually a -good- thing

Everyone, relax. This isn't ending the world. This was a necessity, plain and simple.

The thing is, Sprint has been in the red for some time now. Some will argue that this has been a "on paper only" discussion, but, regardless, the effects are present. Their only options were to find a way to raise arpu or a way to decrease costs. Being CDMA without the clout backing of Verizon's 93 million customer base makes it difficult for them to achieve competitive handset prices. They have had a great deal of requisition charges resulting from previous quarter net loss (churn bites companies in the arse here. Layoffs, at this point, were not an option. They did reduce some overhead by "selling" their cell site infrastructure, but this wasn't...
I agree...mostly....

Prices go up, it happens, but the price increase only affects new customers and upgrade, it is not retroactive, people need to grow up here.

Sprint can continue this charade that they are the 'nice' carrier that gives everyt...
How about Sprint dispense with the bull*Bleep* and just copy Verizon's prices like Stan Sigman did for AT&T six years ago. Don't talk out of both sides of your neck, Sprint.
Sprint and its proponents have been pushing their price advantage (granted, it's still there) for some time now. They've opened themselves to criticism the second Sprint did anything to raise their prices. I get the necessity, trust me. Does that m...
I'm going to say this is not necessary. Is Sprint in the red? Yes. Is it because the service plans are not profitable? NO!

Poor business decisions from many years past are the reason that Sprint is not profitable.

Look to a company like Metr...

Jan 18, 2011, 4:11 PM

I'm thinking this cash goes to CLEAR.

Remember the disagreement about who gets the $10 premium data charge? Clear says it should be charged to everyone and they get the money and Sprint said it should only be for WiMax customers in WiMax areas who can get 4G. I guess Clear gets the money after all.

Jan 18, 2011, 3:35 PM

it is a necessary step

To keep up with demand, they have to raise prices.. ... »

Jan 18, 2011, 11:32 AM

At this point this barely is news.

If you were looking to score a 2 year old Palm Pre, then this is pretty sad news.

Otherwise, you've already been paying this $10.00/month fee, because pretty much everyone who has purchased a Sprint smartphone has purchased one of Sprint's '4G' phones which already incur the charge. And chances are you've kept the 4G radio off 90% of the time because Sprint's 4G network is so bad it makes their 3G network look good.

And in reality, nobody's left on Sprint. Nobody really wants to switch to them either because they don't consistently provide state-of-the-art phones. The only bright spot in the past two years was the Pre (the last best-in-class phone you could argue they've offered). All they've banked on since then is the Evo, a phone...
"Pre (the last best-in-class phone you could argue they've offered)"

Wow... just wow... You're serious? That phone was complete garbage; underpowered, unsupported, poorly constructed. The Pre was a mediocre idea at best, gone horribly wrong.

That's some harsh generalizing.
What the hell, ill play.

So you condemn sprint for offering the evo and in the same breath condemn the evo for being on sprint. You can't have it both ways.

Anyone who extolls the pre while condemning the evo for its battery life of all things ...
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