Sprint has three 4G smartphones where the $10 Premium Data add-on charge already exists. Those are HTC EVO 4G, HTC EVO Shift and Samsung Epic 4G.
The new $10 Premium Data add-on charge will be applied to Blackberry, Android, Windows Mobile, Palm, and the Instinct family of devices.
The US carrier has announced in a press release that it is “increasing its postpaid rates by applying a $10 per month Premium Data add-on charge to activations of smartphones beginning Jan. 30.”
According to Sprint “existing Sprint smartphone customers are not affected unless they upgrade to or activate another smartphone.”
As Sprint remains to be the carrier which offers cheap plans to the consumers, the increase in data charge is apparently to maintain its ever expanding wireless network. The price hike is clearly due to heavy usage of data on Sprint network, it says.
Explaining that Sprint is still offering better prices than its counterparts, Roger Entner, the analyst and founder of Recon Analytics said, “Building, maintaining and expanding wireless data networks isn’t free – there are real costs involved. In effect, Sprint has chosen to increase the price of its unlimited Everything Data plans, which is still below that of its major competitors, for the segment of customers – smartphone users – who are using wireless data the most and are driving up costs. Consumers have many choices. They can choose unlimited, worry-free data plans on the Sprint network or they can have tiered, metered plans and overage charges with other wireless carriers.”
The smartphone users who were paying $69.99 a month to activate unlimited service will have to pay $79.99 a month from January 30.
Sprint, however, expects the smartphone usage to double during the next four years, and among them Google’s market share has already grown by 23 percent last year.
Moreover, in terms of unlimited data plans, Sprint is way ahead of other carriers. Presently, Sprint Everything Data plan, with free calls to any mobile phone with unlimited data comes to $79.99 for a month whereas Verizon Wireless offers unlimited at $119.98 and T-Mobile offers $99.99 a month. But AT&T doesn’t offer any unlimited data plan.
Here is a look at the data plans offered by different carriers:
450 voice minutes, unlimited data, unlimited text = $79.99
450 voice minutes, unlimited data, 5000 texts= $89.99
500 voice minutes no contract, unlimited data, unlimited text = $79.99
450 voice minutes, 2GB data, unlimited text = $79.99