You may have come to read this story expecting us to slam Sprint for their decision to convert the $10 “4G” upcharge to a smartphone upcharge but we’re not. Why? Because Sprint is holding onto unlimited which is something Dan Hesse has been in support of a lot longer than the other carriers.
Sprint came underfire for charging $10 extra for their 4G handsets, the HTC Evo 4G and the Samsung Epic 4G and the HTC Evo Shift 4G. The problem came into play when customers bought one of the three devices for the sheer power and features but still lived in a 3G only market. Sprint customers didn’t understand why if they didn’t have 4G coverage they needed to pay for it? It was debated back and fourth for a bit that this could have had something to do with Sprint and Clearwire’s agreement for 4G despite Sprint owning 54% of the WiMax service provider.
Whatever the final reasoning was, Sprint realized that smartphone customers use 10x more data than their average phone customers so rather then move to tiered data they’ve decided to charge the $10 upcharge to all smartphone customers starting January 30th. Customers who already have a smartphone on 3G will be grandfathered in and not have to pay the $10 upcharge and of course customers with 4G smartphones already paying the $10 won’t see any kind of new fee increase.
“While the $10 Premium Data add-on charge previously only applied to 3G/4G devices, it was never simply a charge for 4G. The charge has always been to address the increased costs associated with operating phones that offer a richer data experience on Sprint’s network.”
It seems like the $10 premium data charge is a welcome alternative to data caps and either charging for overages or throttling your service. So unlimited is unlimited just for $10 more and if you already have an Evo device or the Epic 4G you won’t feel a thing.
Source: TFTS and Sprint