Sprint confirms unlimited data plans for iPhone subscribers

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
America's third largest carrier Sprint is finally able to carry the iPhone, and is celebrating by offering a $69.99 unlimited data plan with 450 voice minutes and unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling, or a $99 plan with unlimited data and calls.



Formerly rumored to be the only US carrier to continue offering an unlimited data plan for the iPhone, Sprint's plans have now been confirmed by Wall Street Journal blogger Ina Fried.



Unlimited differentiation



Sprint hopes to stand out from both Verizon Wireless and AT&T, both of which have since terminated their "all you can eat" data plans in favor of tiered pricing plans.



AT&T now offers a DataPlus plan with 200MB for $15 per month, a DataPro plan with 2GB for $25 per month, and a DataPro 4GB plan for $45 per month, the latter which includes tethering support.



Any of the three data plans (pdf) must be added to voice plans starting at $39.99 for 450 anytime minutes and ranging to $69.99 for unlimited anytime minutes.



Verizon offers the same voice plan pricing tiers as AT&T, paired with a wider variety of data plans including $10 for 75MB, $30 for 2GB, $50 for 5GB, and $80 for 10GB. Users who go over their monthly allotment are charged $10 per gigabyte, or $10 per 75MB on the entry-level plan.



Sprint's move to offer customers an unlimited data plan comes amid efforts by both AT&T and Verizon to start throttling wireless data speeds for their heaviest users.



Sprint's network



All three US carriers will now be selling the same iPhone 4S model, but Sprint, like Verizon, will only be using its CDMA capabilities, which offer limited data speeds. The new phone's support for 14.4 Mbps HSDPA service will only be of potential use by GSM/UMTS mobile carriers like AT&T, although even AT&T won't be supporting the iPhone 4S' full potential, at least not from the start.



In addition to its unlimited plan, Sprint can also tempt users in some areas with better service coverage. In some cities, such as San Francisco, Sprint appears to have better mobile coverage than its competitors, although this difference is specific to certain cell tower locations.



iPhone users on Sprint may also find they have less competition for the company's network, particularly when they're in areas where there are already lots of iPhone users saturating the bandwidth of AT&T or Verizon.



"We have every confidence in the ability of our 3G network to handle the influx of devices we expect to get. It certainly hasn?t been an issue to date," Sprint spokesperson Michelle Leff Mermelstein told the Journal.



The carrier maintains enough confidence in its ability to sell Apple's iPhone that it has reportedly agreed to the upfront purchase of more than 30 million iPhones over the next four years.



The deal, worth an estimated $20 billion, is likely to see the carrier operate at loss on its iPhone initiative until at least 2014.



Global mobile roaming



The world-mode compatibility of the new iPhone 4S also means that Sprint and Verizon users will be able to take their device roaming on foreign networks, most of which are compatible with GSM/UMTS.



AT&T will remain the exclusive carrier of the GSM/UMTS-only, 8GB iPhone 3GS, which will now be subsidized for free with a contract. The existing iPhone 4, now reduced to being available only as a $99, 8GB model, will remain specific to GSM/CDMA in the US, with Apple's website noting that the model "will only work with the carrier you choose."







Apple's site notes that the 8GB iPhone 4 is "coming soon" to Sprint, indicating that the new third US carrier will sell both the CDMA-only iPhone 4 as well as the global, dual mode iPhone 4S.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 80
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    LOL Good luck with that Sprint customers. To each their own.
  • Reply 2 of 80
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,700member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    LOL Good luck with that Sprint customers. To each their own.



    It'll be bait-and-switch. Advertise unlimited, wait a year and then start charging. All it takes is those top 5% of users to abuse it and make Sprint change their tune for everyone.
  • Reply 3 of 80
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    It'll be bait-and-switch. Advertise unlimited, wait a year and then start charging. All it takes is those top 5% of users to abuse it and make Sprint change their tune for everyone.



    And they can throttle bandwidth, too.



    I'm personally sticking with the carrier that offers me 14.4Mb/s down, 5.8Mb/s up, and gives me simultaneous voice and data.



    PS: Have you read about Verizon's network being hit harder than they expected by all the smartphone traffic?
  • Reply 4 of 80
    sflocalsflocal Posts: 4,700member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    And they can throttle bandwidth, too.



    I'm personally sticking with the carrier that offers me 14.4Mb/s down, 5.8Mb/s up, and gives me simultaneous voice and data.



    PS: Have you read about Verizon's network being hit harder than they expected by all the smartphone traffic?



    I agree with you 100%. Contrary to what the AT&T haters think, AT&T has been great for me, and I'm saying that coming from the AT&T "wireless black hole" of San Francisco too! I don't use voice & data simultaneously too often, but when I do it's priceless.



    Haven't read much about Verizon's traffic issues. It would not surprise me though. Can you spare a link containing those fun tidbits? Would make some great reading.
  • Reply 5 of 80
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    It is not a bait and switch as long as Sprint honors the unlimited for the life of the contract. I know Verizon and AT&T iPhone users who still have unlimited plans who were grandfathered in. The same will be true for Sprint.



    Both Verizon and AT&T are greedy. If they were really worried about bandwidth, they'd still offer unlimited plans, but throttle data in peak times or do as T-Mobile does: offer unlimited, but throttle data after a certain threshold.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sflocal View Post


    It'll be bait-and-switch. Advertise unlimited, wait a year and then start charging. All it takes is those top 5% of users to abuse it and make Sprint change their tune for everyone.



  • Reply 6 of 80
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,461member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TBell View Post




    Both Verizon and AT&T are greedy.




    As a basis for comparison, how would describe Apple with their cash reserves, profit and profit margin?
  • Reply 7 of 80
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,461member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    LOL Good luck with that Sprint customers. To each their own.



    It's a good move to attract new to iPhone buyers and keep current subscribers and move the to the iPhone. I think we all know it won't last through the iPhone 4G/5.
  • Reply 8 of 80
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,158member
    This won't last.
  • Reply 9 of 80
    jakebjakeb Posts: 557member
    If nothing else, I'd sign up for Sprint just to not have to pay $20 additional for text messages.
  • Reply 10 of 80
    normmnormm Posts: 575member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    The world-mode compatibility of the new iPhone 4S also means that Sprint and Verizon users will be able to take their device roaming on foreign networks, most of which are compatible with GSM/UMTS.



    If Sprint really wants to do something to attract customers they should allow customers to use GSM with other carrier's SIM cards! As long as you're paying for Sprint coverage you should be able to avoid all national and international roaming charges by buying a prepaid SIM card. This would be very attractive to customers who travel a lot.



    According to the Verizon website, to roam on an international GSM network with a Verizon iPhone 4S you have to pay high roaming charges (e.g., $20/MB in Europe). You might be able to jailbreak, but who knows whether/when this will be possible on the 4S. AT&T is similar.
  • Reply 11 of 80
    shenshen Posts: 434member
    Anyone else look at their upgrade eligibility yet?



    Anyone else discover it might be keep to switch carriers if they want to upgrade?



    Insanity...
  • Reply 12 of 80
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,461member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by shen View Post


    Anyone else look at their upgrade eligibility yet?



    Anyone else discover it might be keep to switch carriers if they want to upgrade?



    Insanity...



    Cancel your current and buy a new phone without "upgrading". What are we missing?
  • Reply 13 of 80
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 453member
    I used Sprint (I still have my Treo phone) for years before the iPhone was introduced and I went to AT&T. I liked Sprint, found their service OK and loved that they had an unlimited voice plan for Canada.



    I'm thinking of going back to them and I'm trying to decide if I should purchase an unlocked iPhone 4s (I confirmed today with Apple that an unlocked version would be available, but pricing is not yet set) as I do a lot of international travel.



    I am hearing rumors that Sprint will lock only the CDMA, thus allowing the GSM spectrum to be utilized by prepaid phone cards or local SIM cards when traveling overseas. That would another huge plus for Sprint if that pans out.



    Still many questions remain about how best to purchase the 4s (pre-orders will not be available from Apple for Sprint - unless Sprint gets their act together (this according to Apple rep also)). Also the only way to trade in my old 3Gs is to NOT pre-order, but go to the Apple store on Friday at 8 AM (pristine 3Gs is worth $105 while a 4 is worth about $200 from Apple on trade in, but only if done at the time of new phone purchase/upgrade - this also per Apple rep today).
  • Reply 14 of 80
    I'm in SF too and AT&T network's issues have become almost too much to bear. I don't use my phone much but the dead spots that just don't improve really impact me.



    AT&T's decided to challenge my loyalty even more by charging me a $250 early upgrade fee while my early termination fee is $175. Is seems like they are daring me to jump to another carrier.



    Sprint's pricing for unlimited seems pretty attractive.
  • Reply 15 of 80
    I'm on AT&T with 2 iPhones plus one voice-only phone for my oldest. I'm planning on switching to 4 iPhones, and to have that many data plans on AT&T is much more than on Sprint. Verizon is waay out of the park expensive.



    The question I have to decide is will Sprint be better or worse than AT&T in customer service & call quality (Seattle area). Secondly, is the savings per month (roughly $30 definite, plus Sprint has more minutes & unlimited data) worth the cost of switching. If I stay with AT&T I can hand-me-down my iPhone 4 & the wife's 3GS to the kids plus I still have about $175 in early termination fees with AT&T.



    I *really* hate the way AT&T nickels & dimes me for every little thing, so I'm tempted just for that reason to switch.



    I think if Sprint can't handle a call & data at the same time, I won't switch.
  • Reply 16 of 80
    emoelleremoeller Posts: 453member
    Oh yes the CDMA "simultaneous call/data" problem. I may be wrong on this, but it's really a CDMA problem rather than a carrier problem. So I don't see Sprint being able to do this...
  • Reply 17 of 80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BrianAI View Post


    I think if Sprint can't handle a call & data at the same time, I won't switch.



    Since Sprint is CDMA, I can guarantee that it won't be able to handle cellular data and voice at the same time. As with the Verizon iPhone, wifi and voice will work fine.



    I had a smartphone on Sprint for years literally never needed to use voice and cellular data at the same time. It's a good marketing bulletpoint for AT&T but not actually that important in the real world.
  • Reply 18 of 80
    christophbchristophb Posts: 1,461member
    I think you can still get an unlimited data on AT&T iPhone. Take in an iPhone gen1 and have them light that up. Go into the Apple Store and upgrade to the 4s.



    I did not type this. I was not here.
  • Reply 19 of 80
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lamplighter View Post


    Since Sprint is CDMA, I can guarantee that it won't be able to handle cellular data and voice at the same time.



    I understand. However, one of the rumor sites was claiming there was a chance the 4S would have the capability using two channels. Not saying its likely or anything.



    For example, see this: http://thecellphonejunkie.com/2011/0...-network-soon/
  • Reply 20 of 80
    Will the Sprint iphone have the GSM unlocked?
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