Sprint will soon begin throttling heavy data users in congested areas


Sprint Truly Unlimited Data

For many, it was Sprint’s saving grace: “unlimited” data free from the shackles of caps and throttling that have become the norm with their rivals. It seems all good things must come to an end, as the folks at FierceWireless are now reporting that Sprint — as well as its subsidiaries like Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile — will soon begin throttling users on its network.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Apparently this will only affect the top 5% of users on its network, and while an exact number of bits wasn’t provided, Sprint did confirm that those exceeding around 5GB+ of data per month could be targeted. Sprint also mentions that throttling will only occur in some of their more congested markets, a way to free up and spread out some of that bandwidth to its other customers as part of the carrier’s “prioritization management” plan.

Sprint has already begun sending out SMS messages to their worst offenders, notifying them to slow things down before they begin restricting data speeds. We expect to soon find a few more asterisks and fine print added to signage in the coming weeks. “Truly unlimited data… mostly.”

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Lol it’s about time. Knew it wouldn’t last forever.

  2. Sonofabitch…..

  3. I hit between 6 to 11 gigs a month sometimes.I haven’t received a text yet. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

    1. Expect the Men in Yellow to show up at your door any minute now.

      1. They should expect a barrel to greet them!

  4. how is it that some phones in congested markets are able to even get
    high speeds or high data usage…I dont understand that…it takes ages
    for my phone to even play a movie on netflix because the tri state area
    is so shitty with 3G service…Not one of the places ive frequented has
    fast speeds…unless the devices some ppl are using are well made, have the right db waves consistently …..i just dont get it….as far as i understand if you can increase the Db on ur phone even with an amplifier at home…u can get better download speeds.

    disclaimer:Getting better reception at home with DIY cell equipment is illegal in some places. please check locals laws before getting that type of equipment.

  5. This leaves tmobile as the only option for truly unlimited LTE. Used a whooping 32GB last month. Woohoo.

    1. Good for you dude…i aint mad at ya….

      TO Carriers:

      Dont place the word “unlimited” in your data plans if you cant handle it in the first place..dont put lil Asterisks or any disclaimer bulllshit…be real and let us know on our contracts if we even get soft caps or hard caps….dont lure us in and then F’ us over.

      1. Tmo does that. They let you know straight up that it’s 5GB at 4G speeds. Or whatever data plan you get.

    2. It’ll be a matter of time before T-Mobile goes back to throttling the heavy data users. What the hell do you do using 32GB of data in a month?

      1. 1 or more GB sized Apps out the Playstore, TV, Movie, and Music streaming services while riding the bus, downloading ROMs and the download was bad so you had to download it again. =.=

        I mean, I’ve hit that high once, but I was Netflixing it all day that one time. I was going to catch up on my Supernatural. I had gotten too far behind. And at the time, our WiFi at home was about 3Mbps and with a younger brother on his PS3 all the time? I think I’ll use my phone, thank you. LoL!!

      2. It’s a smartphone just use your imagination, Google maps satellite view, while streaming hd pandora, Netflix, YouTube, apps , games, etc…

    3. Shoot I thought I was the only one

    4. Fuk it bruv, rape that data plan you’re paying for it! These assholes shouldn’t be touting “unlimited” if they can’t take the heat from these “5%”.

    5. I used 140 gigs one month, No throttling. Awesome.

      1. That’s incredible. How do you manage that.

        1. Using Netflix with Wi-Di on the tv, and Roms, and utorrent. Etc. I was quite proud of myself.

    6. There will be a time when Tmobile has to throttle users like you as well as the guy who used a ridiculous 140 gb a month. You think Tmobiles network can handle that indefinitely? Absolutely not. While I do not condone sprint setting the cap at 5gb which is pretty low, what they are doing is beneficial to everyone. When you have people using as much data as you do, it slows down the network for everyone else. Sometimes to unusable speeds. Just wait for it. And if Masa purchases Tmobile, consider that crap done.

      1. Give it a year or two and T-Mobile will be doing the exact same thing. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint do it. It WILL happen with T-Mobile as well.

        1. This kind of data usage is not sustainable for any network. Maybe in the future when we have superior technology and maybe if Pcell technology gets integrated into Tmobile and Sprints infrastructure…but definitely not right now.

    7. Give it a year or two and T-Mobile will be doing the exact same thing. AT&T, Verizon and Sprint do it. It WILL most certainly happen with T-Mobile as well.

  6. What is the point. They don’t even have any customers anyway

    1. You sound like a TMo fan who forgot that Sprint has more customers than TMo, even after TMo bought up MetroPCS.

      1. t mobile is going to surpass sprint this year, last quarter they are closing in on sprint’s subscribers. me and 9 other friends who were on framily plan moved to t mobile last month. we are trying to get more people into t mobile, t mobile rock #1!!!!!!!!!

  7. Meh. Throttled unlimited data is still unlimited data.

    1. Merriam Webster would argue you are wrong
      “Unlimited” …..without any limits or restrictions……lacking any controls….not bound by exceptions.

      Think of driving your car….those signs you see with numbers on them are call speed limits….

      1. There’s no limit to how much data you can use, but there’s a limit on how fast you can use it.

        They put a limit on the speeds at which you receive it, but not a limit on the amount you can receive. Hmm…

        1. So it’s basically limited limitless data.

          1. it basically double talk, but every carrier does it.

          2. Lol! Yes. I think that’s the best way to call it. Not unlimited speeds, but unlimited data.

            Talk about your daily tongue twister. “Limited limitless…”

          3. @michael o god im laughing so hard at your comment.

  8. This is on a Site-by-Site basis. If you are connected to a congested cell site, then the top 5% users will drop speed a little so that everyone else can still get a usable connection speed. Sounds reasonable to me. If the site is not congested or if you move 1 mile away and connect to another site that is not congested, you go right back to as fast as you can get speeds.

    I have one site on my daily route that is WAYYYY over congested, it’s in a popular shopping district. It’s terrible, like, terrible. Hopefully this will keep my Google Play Music from hiccuping while going through this area!

    Disclaimer: I use 7-8GB per month and will likely be subject to these slow downs in some areas, some months, but I think this is good overall.

    1. If you listen to the same music, then you should be fine. Also, Google is supposed to cache some of the later music in the line if you do the Listen Now, so you *still* should be good.

      Hopefully it doesn’t though. Can’t have them messing with our music. >,.,<

  9. So Sprint wants to throttle 4G speeds that are actually 3G speeds, WTF

  10. So the top 5% get throttled from 56K to 28.8, makes sense.

  11. Swan song lol

  12. but but isn’t sprint naturally throttled?

  13. How dare those people take advantage of the unlimited data they paid for!

  14. I wish Verizon would throttle heavy users when the network is congested, instead of locking me out of 4G or data in general while the connections for that cell are tied up.

  15. I thought they were already doing this, but starting at 30GB? My friend was getting throttled for watching Netflix 24/7 while he was out of school.

    But to start at 5GB!? My gosh!! My metro bus rides would be heinous after 2 weeks. =.[

    That would mean no more Hulu+, Netflix and Google Music while walking. =.O
    Bad move by Sprint. Glad I left them.

    I don’t want to be throttled to dial-up, I mean 3G.

  16. wasn’t their truly unlimited data 3G anyway?

    1. No it definitely applied to 4G as well. There was an additional 4G “fee”, but it was actually a fee to have the privilage of having 4G enabled on the phone as they charged it even in areas where 4g was not rolled out….or at least this was the case when wimax was all the rage.

  17. I’m with Boost Mobile. So far, in 2 weeks I used 2 GB. I’m probably one that’s targetted. However I only use 3G speeds. Oh well, it wouldn’t last forever.

  18. sprint already throttles all of its customers!!! lol that network moves on turtle time.

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  20. So glad I left Sprint. What a worthless pile of spectrum that can’t get it together or run a business.

  21. I’m still paying for Sprint for my wife & daughter, now might be a good time to switch them over to Verizon with me. The only saving grace for having Sprint in a major metropolis area are the unlimited speeds.

    1. Do you think that verizon doesn’t throttle? And switch to Verizon so you can watch your data caps disappear ? Do you people think about what you type before you type it.

  22. That’s pretty draconian. Rather than throttling their users, they sought to just regulate their bandwidth usage.

  23. You know Tmobile has the most sought after spectrum in the industry right now right? Verizon and Att have been hunting for the same aws spectrum Tmobile built its hspa+ and LTE networks on. Ever wonder why? Its because mid to high band spectrum is better with capacity. This has a lot to do with why Tmobile has the fastest LTE overall right now. Verizon and att have relied on low band spectrum for many years which is better at penetrating buildings and traveling further in rural areas but horrible with capacity. That’s why Verizon’s LTE speeds have dropped terribly in big cities. Also they’ve used low band spectrum as a crutch over the years to the point where Tmobile actually has more towers in big cities than att/Verizon purely out of necessity since their spectrum doesn’t travel as far. In today’s capacity game this gives them a huge leg up

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