Sprint Throttles Top 1% of Data Users, No "Truly Unlimited" Data For US iPhone Users [Updated x2]

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Though Sprint, the United States' newest iPhone carrier, has been running advertisements touting its "truly unlimited" network, the carrier is throttling smartphone customers who use "excessive" amounts of data, according to Dow Jones Newswires.
For those that want to abuse it, we can knock them off," [Sprint CEO Dan] Hesse said at an investor conference Thursday. He said Sprint pares back data use for about 1% of users, a practice known as throttling.

[...]

"You'd be shocked how much data you use in a month," Sprint asks in a recent television advertisement. "What happens if you go over? With Sprint, you don't have to worry; only Sprint offers truly unlimited data."
Hesse did say there were no plans for Sprint to move to tiered data plans like Verizon and AT&T have switched to in recent years, however it appears that there is no longer any US carrier that offers "truly unlimited" data plans for the iPhone.

Update: As pointed out by TechCrunch, Dow Jones seems to have misinterpreted Hesse. The throttling only applies to customers who use excessive data while roaming on partnered networks -- "a guy in his house in rural Montana" for example. Sprint's fine print notes the carrier will begin throttling after 300 MB of "off-network" data usage.

Update 2: Sprint has now clarified the situation with a blog post indicating the carrier does not throttle any customer's data usage, even for those with excessive roaming usage. The carrier does, however, have terms in place that permit it to terminate the contracts of users with heavy roaming usage, and it attempts to reach out to those customers and work with them before terminating their contracts.

Article Link: Sprint Throttles Top 1% of Data Users, No "Truly Unlimited" Data For US iPhone Users [Updated x2]
 

adversus

macrumors regular
Sep 11, 2009
164
18
Portland, OR
Original ATT is still "Unlimited" isn't it? I use tons of data a month and haven't noticed any throttling from them.
 

dlimes13

macrumors 6502a
May 3, 2011
744
9
Perrysburg, OH
Original ATT is still "Unlimited" isn't it? I use tons of data a month and haven't noticed any throttling from them.
Yup, I still have it from the iPhone 3GS days by way of the grandfather law. My plan never changed and no throttling as occured. Unlimited and fast as can be.
 

AJH1993

macrumors regular
Oct 26, 2011
154
0
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0_1 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Mobile/9A405)

Not like sprint 3G speeds with the iPhone were fast to begin with...
 

Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,080
287
Indianapolis
Guys, what are you doing on your phones that needs this much data? I run my phone on Wi-fi only. I will admit I am an excessively frugal person but I talk to friends on some of those crazy +$100 plans with everything just to figure out how they can justify THAT much data usage. I have not gotten an answer yet...

I should ask again.
 

vitzr

macrumors 68030
Jul 28, 2011
2,766
3
California
It was only a matter of time. Sprint just doesn't have the resources. They're in over their heads.
 

kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,186
115
Will "unlimited internet" ever truly exist on a mobile network without some sort of small print limit/throttling for excessive use?
 

hoing

macrumors member
Aug 7, 2010
69
0
This is no more corrupt than Apple. Apple is way more corrupt to its consumers and competition. Sorry buddy. No big deal.
 

Sixtafoua

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2009
374
0
Boston, MA
"For those that want to abuse it, we can knock them off"

Correct, using as much data as you want on an unlimited plan is definitely abuse.

Why do all the carriers in the US suck?
 

neiltc13

macrumors 68040
May 27, 2006
3,116
6
I use my iPhone quite a lot and I reset it over a month ago. Since then it's reporting it has downloaded 154MB of data.

Can someone explain what these excessive users actually find to download on their phones that puts them in the top 1%?
 

Daveoc64

macrumors 601
Jan 16, 2008
4,057
49
Bristol, UK
Guys, what are you doing on your phones that needs this much data? I run my phone on Wi-fi only. I will admit I am an excessively frugal person but I talk to friends on some of those crazy +$100 plans with everything just to figure out how they can justify THAT much data usage. I have not gotten an answer yet...
If you stream video content then even a 30 minute show could use 600MB+.

If you add in Apps, Web Browsing, Streaming Audio etc. or tethering with a computer then you've got a lot of usage.
 

Slurpy2k8

macrumors 6502
Feb 26, 2008
383
0
OMG SPRINT IS SO EVIL!! OUTRAGE!!!

This seems like a sane and logical move for any company. That 1% is probably consuming as much data as the rest combined, and costing Sprint just as much. There's nothing wrong for setting limits based for extreme usage and extreme outliers. You'd be naive so pretend that things can truly be unlimited, especially when increased usage costs the company money. There's absolutely nothing wrong with throttling the 1% who is doing God knows what with their devices (probably tethering and torrenting all day), so the rest can continue to enjoy near-unlimited data use. You people sound like whiny, entitled 8 year olds who have no idea of how things work. I don't even live in the US and don't give a **** about Sprint, but there's something called common sense.
 
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Joshwawilson

macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2011
207
0
Missouri
I use my iPhone quite a lot and I reset it over a month ago. Since then it's reporting it has downloaded 154MB of data.

Can someone explain what these excessive users actually find to download on their phones that puts them in the top 1%?
Someone on MR posted that they purposely ran Pandora all night long on mute...those are the kind of people that made this happen
 

iEvolution

macrumors 65816
Jul 11, 2008
1,432
2
Wait wait wait, hold up.

If they allow you to use as much data as you want a month regardless if its throttled or not, its still technically unlimited right?

Should read there is no truly Un-throttled data plans for iPhone users in the U.S.
 

syan48306

macrumors 6502a
Apr 15, 2010
611
476
OMG SPRINT IS SO EVIL!! OUTRAGE!!!

This seems like a sane and logical move for any company. That 1% is probably consuming as much data as the rest combined. There's nothing wrong for setting limits based on extreme usage.
See, that's fine. It's not like ATT, T-Mo, Verizon etc. don't throttle their top 1% of users who "abuse" (in their language) the internet.

The problem is the other companies don't bash each other claiming that they're the ONLY one who don't throttle the unlimited plan. That's where the problem is. Stop using it as a marketing ploy.
 

identity

macrumors 6502
Nov 18, 2011
316
0
Not surprising at all. What I want Sprint to do is boost my dl speed! I haven't reached 1mbs in over a month. Why give me unlimited usage it takes forever to load one page?
 

Tiger8

macrumors 68020
May 23, 2011
2,479
649
All carriers do that

All carriers, everywhere in the world, do this. It is called the 'Fair usage' policy, where a carrier justifies a throttle / ban based on the arguement that a single user's excessive usage could severely compromise other users usage.
 

Sixtafoua

macrumors 6502
May 29, 2009
374
0
Boston, MA
There's nothing wrong for setting limits based on extreme usage.
Sure, but on an unlimited plan, it's dishonest for a company to limit the plan. Also, it bugs me that there are people that have signed up for 2 year contracts expecting unlimited data for the life of their contract, only to have this new policy come up.
 

webman2k

macrumors member
Apr 8, 2004
83
0
I love how everyone screams over this. So what? Unless you're downloading and streaming on your phone ALL day you're not going to see this. This throttling is only in place for those who wish to "abuse" the service. People who use their phones as hotspots to share Internet with others, or to provide fast access for home computers. Second, throttling doesn't make it "limited", just slower.

If enough people in your area were allowed to leach the service, YOUR speeds would suffer. The throttling of these folks prevents that. How is that bad?
 

fins831

macrumors 6502a
Oct 7, 2011
655
0
Its one thing to say you don't throttle when you do, but its another to completely make it the foundation of your entire 'Come to Sprint' iPhone campaign...

What a joke...false advertising.
 

KPOM

macrumors G5
Oct 23, 2010
14,506
3,050
Since they have ads that point specifically to T-Mobile's throttling, could someone claim false advertising? Or are they simply saying that they could throttle people they think are abusing the system (i.e. not simply throttling everyone in the top 1%)?