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Sprint says it will throttle download speeds for customers who use the most data

News by Andrew Kameka on Thursday May 08, 2014.

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Unlimited data is still allowed at Sprint, but there are still limits to how much data the carrier will let some customers use in congested areas. Sprint is reportedly notifying some subscribers that they will throttle their speeds in order to maintain a quality network experience.

Fierce Wireless reports that Sprint subscribers and customers on its MVNOs like Virgin Mobile have received warnings that Sprint will soon limit the download speeds of users in congested areas. Beginning June 1, the Now Network will use "prioritization of access" in congested areas by capping the download speeds of its top 5 percent of data users. The carrier confirmed the plan in a statement to FierceWireless

"[Throttling] will enable us to provide more customers with a high quality data experience during heavy usage times. Once the customer is no longer connected to a congested cell site, or the site is no longer congested, speeds will return to normal."

What Sprint proposes isn't a blanket cap on performance for its network hogs. Under the plan, heavy users would be capped when they are in busy areas. A person who frequently is in the top 5 percent of users -- the cutoff is undefined but often 5GB or more -- would not be able to get the full speeds while downtown during peak usage times. His or her phone would be limited while other customers who use less data would see faster speeds. The heavy data user would return to normal once the device is no longer in a congested area.

Sprint's plan means customers will have to redefine what "Truly Unlimited" data plans mean. Customers will not face caps on monthly data usage, but the top users will see limits on how fast they are able to access data at certain places and points of a day.

source: Fierce Wireless

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Andrew Kameka
Andrew is based in Miami, Florida.

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