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Sprint to start throttling some unlimited data users – here are the details

Updated 7 years ago
Sprint Unlimited Data Plans Throttling

Sprint is following T-Mobile’s lead again, but not in a way that will make some unlimited data users happy. Sprint CTO John Saw announced on Friday that the carrier is going to start throttling some unlimited data users during periods of network congestion if they’ve already gone over 23GB of data in a given monthly period.

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Sprint isn’t the only carrier to do this, of course: AT&T will throttle users’ unlimited LTE connections if they’re over 22GB of data consumed per month during periods of network congestion. And we already know that T-Mobile does the same thing to unlimited data customers who cross the 21GB threshold, so Sprint’s policy here is actually the best of the bunch.

“The 23GB threshold is typical in the industry and other carriers have already implemented a similar practice,” Saw explains. “We agree this is a smart approach towards making sure a small number of customers don’t adversely impact the experience for others. Today approximately three percent of our postpaid subscribers are using overwhelmingly disproportionate network resources. Our goal with QoS is to prevent some portion of that three percent going forward from negatively impacting the other 97 percent of customers.”

Overall this does seem like the fairest way to manage network health during periods of congestion — instead of hitting users with data caps and overages fees, just throttle the biggest users’ connections until the period of congestion is over.

You can check out Sprint’s full explanation of this new practice here.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.