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Sprint Turns to Throttling to Manage Network Congestion

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May 8, 2014, 9:23 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

Beginning in June, Sprint will slow down the browsing speeds available to the top 5% of its customers in congested regions. The change applies to Sprint's post- and pre-paid customers. Some customers have already received text messages explaining the change. Sprint explained the change will affect the top consumers of mobile data, but only when they are in a congested area. This change "will enable us to provide more customers with a high quality data experience during heavy usage times," said Sprint in a statement provided to FierceWirelessTech. "Once the customer is no longer connected to a congested cell site, or the site is no longer congested, speeds will return to normal." Sprint has long marketed "unlimited data" as a way to differentiate itself from its competitors, all of which sell data but the bucket. Sprint's pre-paid arms, Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile USA, have long throttled customers who exceed certain usage amounts. This marks the first time Sprint will throttle its own-branded customers. According to Sprint, it developed "fairness algorithms" on both its CDMA and LTE networks to "dynamically allocate available bandwidth in a way that is fair to all users." Sprint further noted that the change isn't being implemented due to sudden spikes in traffic, but instead reflects a continuing increase in usage.

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May 9, 2014, 12:19 PM

Sprint banned me from their Facebook page.

Because I kept helping disgruntled customers on there shop for better service with Verizon Wireless, AT&T, or T-Mobile.

I guess they are really touchy about having customers walk away from their crappy network and service... 🤣
Lol you can't help someone get better service with T-mobile.
Any company would do the same. It's one thing to offer contructive criticism or offer up a complaint. However, to use a company's site to sell another company's product, is just not acceptable.

The companies you are trying to sell, must be desper...
Why leave Sprint? Do you actually think AT&T or Verizon would be better? They all have their tricks and exploit people with bait and switch tactics. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don't.
If you hadn't been acting like a douche bag trying to sell their competitors' services they probably would have tolerated you.

May 8, 2014, 10:18 AM

Throttled All Customers Already

With Sprint admitting to me not only verbally, but in writing that they are experiencing capacity issues in San Francisco, I can say, from first hand experience, Sprint is automatically throttling users, and has been, for nearly 4 years.

Due to their own network issues, I fail to see how customers, even the Top 5% like I was, could actually use more data and clog the network, when the entire network is clogged from 6AM to 3AM everyday, giving only 3 real hours of use, when 98% of the population is sleeping.

With this said, it will be hard to determine if Sprint is actually throttling users, or if the network just sucks. Ill give you a hint, its actually both.

With Sprint touting how awesome Spark will be (first hand experience, it ...
I have watched youtube videos in Chicago of sprint speeds on the street level over 20MB, thats not slow at all
rwalford79 said:
Id rather have TRUE unlimited non-throttled data than be limited to a cap that Sprint deems necessary.

Well of course, everyone would RATHER that. That statement doesn't mean much in itself. A better statement:...

May 10, 2014, 11:30 AM

Read the actual article

top 5% of users in congested areas. it's not everyone everywhere. Assuming 5oclock rush in big cities etc etc. Now I can see it as a gateway to other throttles or just the beggining, but currently this is only a handful of users. not fussing about but not closing my eyes either.

May 8, 2014, 6:20 PM

Open Letter To Robert "Bob" Johnson CFO/CIO for Sprint United

As a now former business analyst who has seen your voodoo economics at work 1st hand while maintaining Sprints public perception as the "good guys".

1st by increasing RPU by

- Drawing a line in the ground that most of the desirable devices will require all inclusive plan Starting with the laughable iPhone killer flop that no device could ever live up to its infamous marketing campaign and hype the Samsung Instinct.

- Requiring WiMax (at 1st) then eventually ALL smartphones to encure a $10 device MRC on top of a supposedly ALL INCLUSIVE plan.

Stopped the huge hemorage of handset subsidies by allowing subscribers to break the full cost of a phone over 24 mos. Guess you figured the allure of a Shiney new phone would keep the bulk of...
Agreed. That being said I am sure that the share holders are rubbing their grubby little hands with glee.
That letter might, though highly unlikely, carry more weight were it not littered with grammatical and spelling errors.

May 9, 2014, 9:55 AM

I didn't think

Sprint even had enough customers or data speeds worth throttling? 😲
Who knew!?!

I gave up on Sprint long ago when I had to turn Wi-Fi off just to receive picture messages.
What garbage phone did you have that couldn't get picture messages while on WiFi, I do criticize Sprint a lot, and still have a cheap old school SERO Premium line with them for occasional roaming use in northern AZ, but i've never had a phone with the...

May 8, 2014, 8:16 PM


With twice the spectrum of either Verizon or AT&T, and half the customers, shouldn't they be all set for a while? T-Mobile has half of what Verizon or AT&T has, and they're blazing fast.
amarryat said:
With twice the spectrum of either Verizon or AT&T, and half the customers, shouldn't they be all set for a while? T-Mobile has half of what Verizon or AT&T has, and they're blazing fast.

It's not just about how much ...
T-mobile is not blazing fast. They barely have service.

May 9, 2014, 10:55 AM

No wool

Over my eyes. My Sprint service hasn't been nearly as good as my Verizon services was. But I didn't expect it to be. I was drawn in by the unlimited data and and the much cheaper pricing. This is not the best move for Sprint, though it was likely inevitable. If they continue down this road with very little to differentiate themselves, I will be back at Verizon as much as I hate to admit it.

May 8, 2014, 10:58 AM


I guess I am not as much of a fan of Sprint after all.

May 8, 2014, 10:58 AM

Wait, you mean it hasn't been throttled this whole time?

How much slower can slow get?? Compared to the other 3 major carriers, I'd say Sprint already seems as in full-on Throttled mode...Here in Chicago at least. I feel sorry for all your Sprint customers locked in by contract.
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