Sprint Raises Data Pricing For Mobile Hotspot Tethering


Sprint Nextel, the third largest major U.S. carrier, has tweaked the data pricing for its mobile hotspot tethering options in an attempt to lure new customers into using their mobile devices as wireless hotspots.

Sprint has killed its 5GB mobile hotspot plan and has started offering two new, more expensive (cost per GB) plans from May 18th.

Discovered by Phandroid in a Sprint community forum, the company will no longer offer its $30 per month plan with 5GB of data ($6 per GB) and will instead replace it with a $20 per month plan with only 2GB of data ($10 per GB) and a $50 per month plan with 6GB of data ($8.33 per GB). Existing customers can opt to stick with their old plan.

The company argues that the new plans will let customers โ€œtry the mobile hotspot add-on at a lower entry pointโ€.

According to the company’s press release, Sprint will notify customers when they reach 75, 90 and 100 percent of their on-network monthly data limit if they’ve specified whether or not they’d like to be notified.

“[…] Sprint provides data usage notifications to help customers to proactively manage their MHS usage and adjust usage to avoid high overage charges. Customers must enroll to receive usage notifications. At 100 percent of their on-network monthly data allowance, customers will receive a notification with the option to suspend on-network mobile hotspot usage or continue to use it and pay the overage charges. If the customer chooses to accept overage charges, they will continue to receive notifications at 20 percent increments above the monthly data allowance.โ€

As GigaOM points out, there is some confusion with the new plans as Sprint says that when the mobile hotspot (MHS) feature turned on “Both MHS and phone data usage pull from the MHS monthly data allowance”. So it means that you need to disable MHS feature when not in use as phone data usage when the hotspot feature is enabled also ends up eating into your MHS monthly data allowance.

The conditions for overage charges are included below:

Additional on-network data usage above the monthly allowance is charged at $0.05/MB Monthly Off-network data usage limit is combination of Phone or Tablet and MHS usage.

For Tablets, the off-network data limit is driven by the tablet plan selected (either 100MB or 300MB) with a charge of $.25/MB for additional off-network usage.

What do you think of Sprint’s new mobile hotspot plans? Sound off in the comments.

Like this post? Share it!

  • DillaniPhone

    -_- Metro PCS seems to be looking pretty good right now.

  • pakaku

    …Wait, what? How is RAISING prices supposed to attract more customers?

  • Hayden

    Greedy telco’s.

  • Alex

    Because us Americans love to get ripped off, I mean come on, who doesn’t want AT&T limited-un-limited plan??? YEA!!!! USA USA USA.

    It’s supposed to work in their favor because idiots who didn’t know the old price see a “cheap” entry level price. no one thinks “per-gb” they all think total $. Which is why it works for sprint/att/ANYONE.

  • Rumour Mill

    Just a small point, I think it should read, “…in an attempt to lure new customers…”
    Allure is what it has not what it does, very minor point I know.

  • Que

    Largest carrier sounds great, but why do third largest carrier sounds better than second largest? Must be the sleepiness talking ๐Ÿ™‚

  • JJ

    I call their BS. If they truly wanted customers to try the hotspot at a lower price point, why didn’t they simply ADD more price points such as 2GB/$20? Corporate greed is getting out of hand.

    • Paul

      That’s what they did although I disagree with their whole pricing ploy. Read the entire

      • JJ

        Perhaps you may wish to read the entire article. If you did, you would discover they are REPLACING the current price plan. My suggestion was to merely ADD another price plan with a lower point and keep the current ones. Geez people!

        • Paul

          This is a copy and paste from the article above. They are doing what you implied they should be doing. Geez back at ya.
          Discovered by Phandroid in a Sprint community forum, the company will no longer offer its $30 per month plan with 5GB of data ($6 per GB) and will instead replace it with a $20 per month plan with only 2GB of data ($10 per GB)

          • Andie

            That’s what JJ is trying to say though. Instead of replacing the current plan, why not just ADD the extra options. This is a clear case of them trying to squeeze more out of the consumer. It’s ridiculous.

  • Moe

    its sad but true, Americans are the easiest way to make money and sprint knows it LOL. long live America! we need stupid consumers somewhere ๐Ÿ˜€ don’t be mad be glad !

    • Michael

      You should see how the Canadians get reamed on the mobile phones. Make American companies seem tame.

      • Joe

        That’s because the carriers have to service a ton of square miles that only have one hoser living in them.

  • Chris Wade

    T-Mobile includes Mobile hotspot in all 5GB+ plans and there are no overage charges, they just throttle after you reach what ever level you pay for. And if you want more High Speed data that month, you can call them and up your plan for that month and call back and put it back down if you so choose. They let you do this an unlimited number of times; however, if you managed to get a deal on your plan, you may loose that. For example we got the 5GB plan for only an extra $5 instead of $10, so if we increased that one month, then went back down, it would be $10 instead of the $5.

  • Callious

    Just root your phone and you wont have to worry about any of this.

  • Bob

    I am an existing customer and Sprint refused to turn on the mobile hotspot for the old price. Whoever said existing customers could stick with the old plan should call Sprint and tell them. When I got my iPhone they changed the unlimited hotspot to 5GB. Now they want to change it again it sounds like a change in the terms of service to me and just a way to get more $$$.

    • C

      Mobile Hotspot is considered an addon, not part of your contract. Hence the freedom to add or cancel at any time. Modifications to Addons are not applicable as a TOS change. Also, when they capped the unlim to 5gb in oct-nov, there was NO grandfathering of the unlim MHS plan.

      • Bob

        Yes, when I got my iPhone the agreement specifically referenced the 5GB limitation but now that option is no longer offered. They can call it a feature or addon but whether it’s a change in the the TOS remains to be seen. I never even received a notice if the change.

  • Dave

    I spent a month under the old Sprint plan and quickly dropped it when I burned through my 5 GB inside of a week (there is a charge to do this BTW). They tried to sell me *hard* on the new data plans yesterday when I contacted them on another billing issue. Pointing out out that the new plans were more expensive than the current plan doesn’t dampen their enthusiasm at all…

    • C

      Where on your bill (or how exactly) did Sprint differentiate MHS from reg phone data?

      My bill & MySprint page both list just one lump 3G Data total KB/Unl & a 4G Data total KB/Unl. Ditto when i text “usage” to 1311. I pay for the $30/mo MHS fee for presumably 5gb, but i’ve never seen any calculation of my usage. I wonder if Sprint is able to tabulate, (or start to tally data consumed when MHS is active), on some devices, but not others? Maybe iOS vs Android. Or Android froyo vs GB vs ICS. I have an android phone. Since this IS an iPhone blog, maybe i should assume that is your device of choice? Curious if iPhone keeps a seperate running total of “Personal Hotspot” data in addition to Cellular data? (I had an iPhone 3G b4 tethering/personal hotspot was an option & my ipad is AT&t, not VZW, so i can’t see how or if an iOS device lists MHS data totals.)
      Or perhaps it’s because you started your contract more recently than I did, & come Sept, if/when I renew, I’m in for a rude awakening, either because I switch OS or b/c the renewal kicks into gear some extra tracking. Thoughts? …if you’re still reading. Lol

      • C

        Oops. No idea how the pre-edit [11:36 am] version was also posted. The 12:15 version is a little more concise… (well, it was. Now it’s just redundant. Lol) can’t believe I just wasted an hour on this

  • C

    ย I pay the $30/mo MHS fee for (presumably) 5gb of data, but i’ve never seen any calculation of my usage. Where on your bill (or how exactly) did Sprint differentiate MHS from reg phone data?

    Both my paper bill & the MySprint.com page list just one 3G data total, & a 4G total. Ditto when I text “usage” to 1311. Based on the KBs, however, it’s clear the number represents an all-inclusive lump total.

    I know it’s been reported that when MHS is active, Sprint is unable to differentiate between the MHS & phone data. Fine, but I still find no record of “data consumed w/ MHS active” culled from my total data usage. ย