Unlimited 4G data is no more. Yesterday, Sprint announced some new data plan changes for most , if not all, data plans outside of smartphones. Users of tablets, netbooks, Mobile hotspots, and USB wireless cards will no longer have unlimited 4G data. Rates will not increase, but those who pay for 3GB, 5GB or 10GB of 3G data will no longer have unlimited 4G data as well. The usage of data on both networks will be combined, with overages of $0.05 per MB. Sprint maintains that smartphone users still have unlimited 3G and 4G coverage, but those with a mobile hotspot add-on will now be limited to 5GB of data on their hotspot.
While it’s admirable that Sprint is choosing to stick with unlimited plans for consumers, these changes don’t give us much confidence that the carrier will stick by its pledge. Worse, usually when carriers implement a rate change like this, current users are “grandfathered” in to their previous plan and the changes only affect new users. Sprint has broken this unsaid rule, applying the new limits and pricing structure to all current users come November.
Things just keep getting worse for data users. Sprint remains a top option, but who knows what changes will come in December or January.