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Sprint again confirms unlimited data plans are here to stay – until they’re not

Zach Epstein
September 27th, 2011 at 6:10 PM

Sprint has once again reaffirmed its commitment to maintaining the availability of its unlimited data plans — until it eliminates them. Speaking at GigaOm’s Mobilize conference in San Francisco on Monday, Sprint chief technology officer Stephen Bye reiterated the carrier’s stance on unlimited data. Bye stated simply that the company will continue to offer unlimited plans as T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon cap and throttle their offerings, but cost is the biggest variable. Read on for more.

“There’s clearly a cost to support unlimited,” Bye told conference attendees, noting that some subscribers use much more data than others. The CTO also noted that maintaining Sprint’s unlimited offerings is a constant challenge. “Is there pressure? Yeah,” Bye added. “There’s a challenge for all engineers to work on how we get the cost structure down.”

Sprint has confirmed as much to BGR on numerous occasions. In an interview with BGR this past May, Sprint’s vice president of product development Fared Adib confirmed that the carrier would continue to offer unlimited data plans as long as it was monetarily feasible.

“We’re going to try to keep [unlimited plans] around as long as we can,” Adib said. “What most people don’t realize is that there is a cost here with us doing this, and we are definitely seeing a trend where people are using more and more data. Like I said we’re not against that, but what happens is that over a certain period of time if people abuse the unlimited data policies — if everyone constantly uses a lot of it — then it becomes more expensive for us to maintain the network. So you do have to look at that and balance that out as a carrier, to make sure you can still generate revenue to offset your costs.”


Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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