Sprint has made a bold move by announcing that effective November 1, 2011 they are eliminating unlimited 4G data for hotspots, usb sticks and other mobile broadband devices. However they want to make sure that everyone knows right now they aren’t changing anything with unlimited data for smartphones.
More after the break
Right now the one big differentiator for Sprint vs other tier 1 carriers, is their unlimited data for smartphones. In fact they’ve been running a commercial that calls out T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon Wireless just about anywhere they can buy advertising time. Sprint also announced that their iPhone 4S would be on their unlimited data plan. If you recall when Verizon Wireless rolled out the iPhone 4 they kept unlimited data open to new iPhone customers for a short period of time
On Sprint forums and other mobile focused websites, Sprint customers have already started crying out that they’ve noticed a difference in data speeds since the iPhone 4S was added to the Sprint network. A claim that Sprint has yet to address.
The Huffington Post postulates that Sprint may be trying to ease the strain on their 4G network because of the iPhone 4S of course that couldn’t be the case because the iPhone 4S is a 3G only device and Sprint’s 4G network is wimax. Other sites have said they think it may be that Sprint is trying to ease up it’s payments and dependency on Clearwire as they prepare to roll out a 4G/LTE network in early 2012. This of course is a more likely story.
How will you be affected? Check out the chart below from Sprint’s website: