Sprint made some waves last month when it revealed its plans to drop unlimited 4G data from its mobile broadband plans, but today the carrier has attempted to make things better by introducing a new set of mobile broadband offerings. The word "unlimited" is nowhere to be found in Sprint's lineup of new plans, but there is a decent variety of options available for folks to choose from (all of which have overages of $0.05/MB on-network, $0.25/MB off-network):
The new mobile broadband offerings from Sprint don't end there, as today also brought the introduction of the Express Mobile Hotspot from Sprint (that's it up at the top of the post). Priced at $29.99 with a two-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate or $249.99 sans commitment, the Express Mobile Hotspot packs 3G and 4G connectivity, Wi-Fi range up to 262 feet, support for up to 5 users at once, microSD card slot, and a 2200mAh battery that Sprint says will provide 7 hours of data time. The Express Mobile Hotspot is available starting today from Sprint Telesales as well as the Sprint website.
Lastly, Sprint today also announced the availability of a new Direct Connect handset: the Kyocera DuraCore. The DuraCore features a 2-inch 320x240 main display, 1-inch monochrome display on the front, 1360mAh battery, Sprint Direct Connect push-to-talk support, and a rubberized body that's built to meet Military Standard 810G to resist dust, shock, and vibration. It's available starting today in all Sprint sales channels for $69.99 with a two-year contract and $50 mail-in rebate.
Although I'm sure that the death of unlimited 4G in Sprint's mobile broadband plans will continue to be missed, these new options look like decent choices, offering a cheaper 1GB plan for light tablet users as well as a 12GB option for the more data-hungry among us. And yes, Sprint's smartphones still have unlimited data. You can find the full PR from Sprint down below.
Sprint Launches New 3G/4G Mobile Broadband Plans, Delivering More Data at a Lower Price Than Competitors
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), November 14, 2011 - Sprint (NYSE: S) today launched new 3G/4G mobile broadband plans that deliver more data at lower prices than similar plans from national competitors. The new plans are available in all Sprint sales channels.
Customers can choose from 6GB of combined on-network 3G/4G data usage for $49.99 per month or 12GB of 3G/4G data usage for $79.99 per month. The new plans deliver 20 percent more data for the same price as similar plans from Verizon and AT&T.
Sprint Verizon AT&T
$49.99 per month/6GB $50 per month/5GB $50 per month/5GB
$79.99 per month/12GB $80 per month/10GB NA
With an extra 1GB of data vs. Verizon and AT&T’s $50/5GB plans, Sprint customers subscribing to the new $49.99/6GB plan will be able to view approximately 6,667 additional Web pages, 2,000 more photos or 67 extra YouTube videos each month.1
“Sprint is committed to delivering exceptional value to its customers, and our new 3G/4G Mobile Broadband plans are the latest example of that,” said Will Souder, vice president of pricing for Sprint. “Sprint gives customers more data at lower prices than competitors, so they can do more with their mobile broadband devices on Sprint’s 3G and 4G networks.”
The $49.99/6GB and $79.99/12GB plans are compatible with all Mobile Broadband devices sold by Sprint, including tablets, dedicated mobile hotspot devices, USB modems, netbooks and notebooks.
In addition, Sprint is also launching a new plan available for tablets2 and dedicated mobile hotspot devices3 priced at $34.99 per month for 3GB of 3G/4G data usage, along with a new plan for tablets priced at $19.99 per month for 1GB of 3G/4G data usage.
The new plans replace all previously available Mobile Broadband plans and are available to new and existing customers.
Sprint provides to customers tools to monitor and manage their mobile broadband data usage and avoid overages:
Customers who have opted-in for notifications will receive email and/or SMS notifications when their 3G/4G data usage has reached 75 percent of their plan limit or higher.
Customers are also able to view their data usage by logging into My Sprint at www.sprint.com.
Customers with devices featuring the SmartView application can use the app to view data usage.
Tablet users can text “usage” to 1311 to receive a text with their current 3G/4G usage.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 53 million customers at the end of 3Q 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 3 in its 2011 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
1 These numbers are estimates based on averages of 150kb/Web page, 500kb/photo and 15MB/YouTube video. 1,024kb=1MB. 1,024MB=1GB.
2 Casual messaging is included in tablet plans at $0.20/message. Messaging add-on packs also are available. Tablet plans are available in 3G-only version for activation on 3G-only devices. These plans also include casual messaging capabilities with messaging add-on packs available.
3 $34.99 per month/3GB dedicated mobile hotspot device plan is restricted to Sierra Wireless Overdrive Pro 3G/4G mobile hotspot, MiFi 3G/4G mobile hotspot by Novatel Wireless and any future dedicated mobile hotspot devices. 3G-only mobile hotspot plans are available for activation on the 3G ZTE International Hotspot device.
4 Off-network data limitation of 100MB or 300MB applies. See www.sprint.com for details.