Network Suicide! Sprint rumored to be capping 3G use

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Computers, get off the phone internet! Rumors abound that Sprint is to kill its biggest selling point over rival networks: unlimited 3G data plans. From an alleged internal memo, leaked by an anonymous source, a change to the Terms of Service is coming down the pike this summer…

“Sprint reserves the right to limit throughput speeds or amount of data transferred and to deny, terminate, modify, or suspend service if usage exceeds 5GB per month in total or 300MB/month while off-network roaming.”

Sprint’s fast Evdo Rev. A. network offers DSL/Cable-like bandwidth, with real-world speeds typically peaking at about a megabit and a half. Applying a low cap to this would be a disaster for users like me, who rely on Sprint’s 3G network day in, day out.

At 5GB, a user could eat their monthly allocation in a few hours of continuous maxed-out use; spread over a month, that’s only about 160MB a day. Compare to this blog’s homepage, which currently contains 1.6MB of stuff. Heavy browsing is easily enough, these days, to throw one past the rumored limit: a few YouTubes and maybe 100 homepages a day is all you’ll get. For comparison, Comcast’s undisclosed cap on its cable internet service is suspected to kick in between 250-300GB a month.

Five GB is no good for use as an everyday connection unless you haven’t changed your browsing habits since the last century. If true, Sprint’s vision for its 3G network is as something for phones, not computers.

Sprint is NOW LIMITING DATA USAGE [Sprint Users via Phonescoop via Gizmodo]

About Rob Beschizza

Rob Beschizza is the Managing Editor of Boing Boing. He's @beschizza on Twitter and can be found on Facebook too. Try your luck at besc...@gmail.com

 

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8 Responses to Network Suicide! Sprint rumored to be capping 3G use

  1. mykie says:

    If you’re unhappy about this, and you’re under a contract, you can be released from the contract within 30 days without an ETF.

  2. spiralbrain says:

    @#7

    Yeah I have a question about this. Do they have to inform their customers of a change in the terms of service?

  3. dssstrkl says:

    And it would have to be with lame phones, cause I come close to that with my iPhone. I imagine I’ll definitely blow past that with a 3G iphone. Sprint just really wants to go out of business.

  4. mmbb says:

    Compare to this blog’s homepage, which currently contains 1.6MB of stuff.

    I get 142.66 KB for the current page size.

  5. mmbb says:

    Oops, nevermind…

  6. chrisdodds says:

    Ummm… did no one notice it says “while off-network roaming” They’re not capping their network. Their capping the usage of roaming data.

  7. Doomstalk says:

    #4: Re-read the post. It’s capped at 300 MB off-network or 5 GB while on-network

  8. meehawl says:

    This would be a shame, because I recently found WMWifiRouter, a nice little program that binds Sprint’s 3G connection and re-broadcasts it out to wireless clients using the phone’s WiFi. I regularly get 1700/800 on the phone network, which is ironically way faster than my DSL landline. Sprint’s amazingly fast network lets me use Orb to stream videos and music from home, and stuff like Skype/fring or MS Portrait to do VOIP, both audio-only and visual. Whatever @dssstrkl likes to believe, some of the Sprint PDA phones are little techno miracles (thanks, HTC), but a lot of that hinges on an amazingly fast, unfettered and unmetered network.

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