If the corporate overlords have their way, Sprint only has a few more months of existence before it’s officially part of New T-Mobile. But rather than sit and wait for regulatory approval, Sprint is rolling out some changes to its current unlimited plan to make it worse, or more expensive, depending on which option you choose.

Sprint’s current single unlimited plan is becoming two new plans, Unlimited Basic or Unlimited Plus because the word unlimited no longer has any meaning or value. Unlimited Basic is $60 per month for the first line, the same pricing as the current Unlimited Freedom plan. Unlike Unlimited Freedom, however, Unlimited Basic only comes with 500MB of hotspot data per month rather than 5GB. The same restrictions on streaming video quality (480p), streaming music, and gaming speeds all still apply.

If you want fewer limits on your unlimited plan, Sprint is offering Unlimited Plus for $70 a month, which includes HD video streaming and 15GB of data. You get subscriptions to Hulu and Tidal for your troubles as well, which helps sweeten the pot a little.

The only silver lining is the volume pricing: Unlimited Freedom currently works out to $36 for five lines, while Unlimited Basic is $32 per line for five lines. The pricing is worse if you’re a couple, however, as two lines of Unlimited Freedom costs $90, and two lines of Unlimited Basic is $100.

There’s also a bizarre limited-time promo on Unlimited Plus, with prices working out to $22 per month per line for five lines provided you’re not leasing a phone through Sprint. For a single line it’s also cheaper than Unlimited Basic, $50/mo for line 1, $30/mo for line 2 and $10/mo/line for lines 3 to 5. At that price, you’re obviously better off choosing Unlimited Plus if you need a bunch of unlimited lines and you already own the phones.

Sprint isn’t the first company to rejig its unlimited plans to push heavy users towards more expensive offerings. It’s just a shame that unlimited plans, which were supposed to simplify the wireless industry, have done anything but.


Chris Mills has loved tinkering with technology ever since he worked out how to defeat the parental controls on his parents' internet. He's blogged his way through Apple events and SpaceX launches ever since, and still keeps a bizarre fondness for the Palm Pre.