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Sprint puts a cap on more 4G data plans, smartphones still in the clear

News by Dan Seifert on Friday October 21, 2011.

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Following the limit imposed on mobile hotspot plans back on October 2, Sprint has announced more changes to its data plan offerings, and they include the end of unlimited WiMAX 4G data for certain plans. Thankfully, the regular smartphone data plan is still safe, and users can gobble up as much data as they can stomach.

The latest Sprint plans to lose the benefits of unlimited data are its mobile broadband plans, applicable to users of mobile hotspot devices, USB modems, tablets, and netbooks. The three plan options (3GB, 5GB, or 10GB per month) used to offer unlimited 4G data in addition to their limited 3G offerings, but starting in November, the respective data caps will apply to both 3G and 4G service. Overages will be billed at $0.05 per MB for each plan.

According to Sprint's statement, customers who already have a mobile broadband plan will not be grandfathered in with unlimited data - come November, they will be switched to the limited plans whether they like it or not. "If you have a mobile broadband device such as a tablet, netbook, notebook, USB card, connection card or Mobile Hotspot device, effective beginning with your next bill following notification, your on-network monthly data allowance will no longer include unlimited 4G," states the carrier.

Sprint has said on numerous occasions that it intends to keep unlimited data plans for smartphone users, but many speculate that it will only be a matter of time before it switches over to tiered plans like Verizon Wireless and AT&T. One of the biggest selling points of the Apple iPhone on Sprint is that the carrier is the only one in the U.S. to offer unlimited data with it, so the loss of unlimited data would be a significant blow to Sprint's competitive advantage. [Sprint via BGR]

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Dan Seifert
Dan is MobileBurn.com's Editor-in-Chief. Based in Poughkeepsie in New York, Dan can be found on Twitter as @DCSeifert.

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