Hesse: Too much downloading could mean the end of unlimited data on Sprint | webOS Nation

Hesse: Too much downloading could mean the end of unlimited data on Sprint 40

by Derek Kessler Thu, 23 Sep 2010 12:30 pm EDT

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse

Sprint has been the bastion of unlimited data in a land where the giants of AT&T and Verizon have either switched to the metered side, or have indicated it’s going to happen. But Sprint CEO Dan Hesse noted at the EmTech@MIT conference that if data usage gets out of hand, then Sprint’s unlimited data plans might got the way of the dodo, the dinosaur, and Lindsay Lohan’s film career. Says Hesse:

“We can offer unlimited as long as the usage is reasonable. If you run an all-you-can-eat buffet, but you have the New England Patriots come in and the whole team spends a whole day there, I can't afford to do that anymore.”

True words, Mr. Hesse. The Sprint chief was sure to note that their 4G WiMax devices do command a $10-a-month higher charge than 3G-enabled devices, obviously because it’s easier to pull down more data over a faster 4G connection. For what it’s worth, the same thing happened when moving from $10-a-month 2G 1xRTT “Vision” service to $15-a-month 3G EVDO “Power Vision” service.

Hesse knows that Sprint users are fans of their unlimited service, and will be watching (and hoping) to see if they experience an influx of customers from AT&T and Verizon seeking to leave behind the metered data plans. Hesse himself is a fan of the unlimited concept: he is the owner of an unlimited car washes pass good for an entire year. “I spend more probably than I would without it, but I enjoy not having to pay to wash my car each time.”

Source: ComputerWorld; Via: Engadget



If that happens, I am so switching carriers!

If that happens, I am so switching carriers!

I'm fine with this as long as the proposed metered plan options are reasonable. And by reasonable, I don't mean a measly 200 megabytes for the entry level plan. Minimum plan 1Gb or something like that.

I suppose this means things are finally looking up for Sprint: They're finally getting enough customers on their system to stress it.

Switch to who? think before you speak, att's plan is pathetic and verizon's are overpriced. Tmobile has NO phones worth going to them for.

For me, I use about 7GB a month on average, but i consider myself a power user (podcasts, youtube, pandora etc).

It's a damn smartphone with thousands of apps, what do carriers expect??


I'm already grandfathered into Sprint's unlimited plan and I don't plan on changing it :) Just need to change my phone :) No worries here!

Well if my next device requires the 4G surcharge even though I'll never access 4G, Dan can count on me to run my new phone on streaming music or video 24hrs a day as a protest for the surcharge. That's a promise Dan.

Doesn't make any sense to switch carriers when they all will be doing this eventually anyway...unless not having the cap was your sole reason for being on Sprint.

Could be the demise of Sprint. They have already crept up the charges. Anyone else get stuck with a bill increase as only the first two lines in the family plan are subject to any discounts. Was told it was new corporate policy. To me it sounds like a rode to loosing customers and bankruptcy.

This needs to be posted over at androidcentral. It's those clowns with the Evo 4G that are mucking it up for all of us.



Carriers need thier data technology to catch up to the phones they carry. If you knew that you couldn't handle the demand of an EVO or Epic then why decide to carry/sell the device? Why entice customers with the idea of Unlimited plan only to switch it up because your network can't handle basic smartphone data demands.

they could learn from O2... different data plans, all with unlimited data, but downgrading speed after you hit the limit you pay for.

My primary reason for staying with Sprint is for their fair and reasonable fee schedule. If they elect to go the route of the other carriers and HPalm continues to fail in new product development (ie a new phone model). I would have no problem picking myself up a nice iPhone which is in a continual state of development.

As long as they drop the price of their "unlimited" plans and give their customers an easy way of monitoring their data usage (and warn them when they are approaching the limit), I would be okay with the data caps. I'm not saying they shouldn't be continually investing in their network to increase its capacity, but capping data makes sense if a few super-heavy users are harming the overall experience for everyone else. But as long as they lower prices, give monitoring tools, and give a reasonable cap (like 3GB or so, that increases the longer you are a subscriber), this wouldn't be that big of a deal.

it's not that there network can't handle it, it's that it's becoming too expensive. The ideal 'all you can eat situation' would be one were plenty of people pay to get in, but only a select few actually eat all they can. Draw people in with great value, and profit because most people never actually use the service to it's potential. Sprints problem is that very few people are drawn to their great value and of those few, a large portion USE that value. There on the wrong end of both scales.

"Unlimited" data is a FARSE, and it has been for a long time! I think all of the carriers have a cap on their data usage already, even though they say it's unlimited. As far as switching carriers, who you gonna switch to?!?! They're all going to go to tiered pricing sooner or later.

I'm sorry, I average about 5GB of data on my Evo, but hey, they making me pay the extra $10, you better believe I'm going to make use of that data :O. Anyway guess I won't be switching since if they do change, I'll be grandfathered in so no big worries :)

I think we have have only many of ourselves to blame. How many have been tethering their Pres and expound upon how much data they have used and not been charged for overages? Installing the Mobile Hotspot on your Sprint Pre and sharing the connection with others, and claiming your Pre "saved the day" is part of what got us into this situation.

However, we are right to question Sprint with "well, what did you think would happen with releasing a slew of phones that soak up data faster than a sponge soaks up water".

They already are charging an extra $10/month for the EVO and Epic, can't the invest that extra money in providing better data throughput to ease the congestion? I for one hope if they go to a metered plan, which I am sure they will because they can't avoid the greed for our money, that they drop the $10/month fee on 4G phones.

+ a million. I have been saying this for years about people tethering. A few people mess it up for everybody. I am not mad at sprint but mad at the "tetherers" Now they are the first ones crying foul.

On the whole eating up more data on 4G, therefore we need to charge more - that's a bit of a farce. The whole benefit to a newer network is that it can handle more data transfer cheaper. It costs LESS to transfer data over time. With a 4G network, they need less spectrum to transfer the amount of data, and backhaul costs get cheaper.

if my bill goes up i'll leave. Sprint is in no way special. Price is the only reason i'm on sprint.

+ 1 for grandfathered in plans, i shall continue to rack of GB after GB every month

gayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy sprint is gayyyyyy just like everyone else do it sprint raise your prices lets see how long you will last

"Welcome to our all you can eat buffet. Please note, that if you eat too much food, we're going to charge you for that."

"True words, Mr. Hesse. The Sprint chief was sure to note that their 4G WiMax devices do command a $10-a-month higher charge than 3G-enabled devices, obviously because it

And the 4G devices dont have the "line in the sand" that the 3G service does, so they begging people to keep their phones warm to the touch. If I pick up the Epic and have to pay the surcharge while only running 3G, they might as well put up an antenna on my property, because I intent to keep one socket occupied 24/7 to get my $10 worth.


Hesse if you do that then you'll see people leaving faster than your receding hairline, and you're hair plugs won't be enough to stop it.

The bleeding just got under control and now you threaten your remaining customers?

Hesse if you do that then you'll see people leaving faster than your receding hairline, and you're hair plugs won't be enough to stop it.

The bleeding just got under control and now you threaten your remaining customers?

I'm using what am being charged now why the fuck don't just stop talking and do something you old fart

Sprint's "unlimited" 3G data is not unlimited, it's 5 GB a month. Their 4G services IS truly unlimited.

If they have a rate cap on their 3G service, what are they worried about? 4G users going over-the-top? They're subcontractors of Clearwire, who own the WiMAX network Sprint leverages. Is Clearwire charging them per user/per byte beyond what's reasonable for subcontracting?

I have the $99 simply everything plan; been on it for long time :) I've exceeded 5gb and have never been charged anything additional. So I have to believe my plan at least as it is today is truly unlimited. Perhaps new contracts have a 5gb limit.. dunno. anywho.

I'm rather in agreement with the Original commenter... the only thing that's kept me with Sprint is the knowledge that I can use my device to it's fullest potential and not worry about unexpected billing fluctuations. Without that piece of mind, I'd switch to Verizon for wider coverage areas or to TMobile for the ability to buy just about any GSM Handset I want..

I love Palm, I've begged everyone I know to wait until the Fall to see what they have up their sleeves. WebOS 2.0 is anti-climaxed without new hardware. I've watched everyone looking for a new phone get an Epic or Evo or Maemo/N900.

Sprint has been good to me so far if you ignore the not getting the Pre+ issue and their crack pot phone warranty system that leaves you without a phone for several days while their 3rd party warranty service provider, "evaluates" your claim; as if in this day at age it's acceptable to be without mobile for more than half a day... but I digress....

So, combine no concrete news about upgraded hardware ( this is huge for me cause I've been the person to replace my handset every 6 months but I've had my Sprint Pre since launchday ) with a Carrier that's hedging on one of their MAJOR selling points... and the scales are tipping in favor of more choices both handsets and apps.

If they get rid of the the unlimited plan then Sprint is done. Period. Especially if they're gonna continue to charge $10 a month per phone for 4g service [x2 if you don't even get it in your area like us Detroit metro people]

There's NO EXCUSE for this bandwidth whining besides companies just trying to milk every dime they can from customers. Period.
Bandwidth is cheaper now than ever and the price just keeps dropping.
So I say to ATT, Verizon, [and unfortunately to Sprint if they go this route] BLOW IT OUT YOUR ASS.

I WILL find a company that does provide good service comparable to the rest [or better] that isn't concerned on fucking the consumer out of money just for fun.

That's why I'm with Sprint now and have been for 8 years.
They're on thin ice as it is, this would crack it. Promise.

Think how cheap cell phone plans would be now days if you didn't have that $30 data add on thrown in. I refuse to keep track of bs like minutes and/or data usage which is why I am with sprint now. If they did drop unlimited data I could only imagine the amount of people who would say screw it and just drop data packages all together... Think about it, do you really use your internet on your cell phone that much? I doubt it, it can come in handy, but $30 a month can really be better spent on something more fun, like increasing your wired internet to 25Mb :-)

great, just frakin great! technology will be the DEATH OF US!

The only reason that I stay with Sprint now is the great no-hassle plan that they offer and the fact that I despise Verizon for the way they greedily abuse their customers.

Dan Hesse would be making a huge mistake by ditching his current business model. An extra $10/mo is fair for users who CAN receive 4G coverage, but most of us are not getting these speeds and are still paying for it. This should be enough to offset any extra data consumption. Are they going to credit your bill for only using 300kb of data in one month? No!

Hell, I'd be willing to pay $10/mo extra if Sprint could just keep my 3G coverage from hitting 1x all the time, but discontinuing the Simply Everything plan is just idiotic.

I agree with some of the posters on here 1000%. I pay $10 bux a month for 4g and 99% of the time it isn't even on! So, sprint got more money from me for the same damn service I had before. Screw them and their complaining. Mr. Hesse I hope you brought extra food, because I'm hungry. REALLY HUNGRY.