Sprint CEO Dan Hesse discusses throttling data of customers while roaming, pausing LightSquared deal

Alex Wagner
Editorial Director of News and Content from  Omaha, NE
| January 5, 2012

Sprint unlimited data

Sprint is known for touting its unlimited data plans in the face of tiered and throttled offerings from its competitors, especially with the arrival of the iPhone on the Now Network. However, today Sprint CEO Dan Hesse made some headlines speaking about his carrier's unlimited data at an investor conference. According to a report from Dow Jones Newswire, Hesse said that Sprint throttles the data of about 1 percent of its users, adding that "those that want to abuse" Sprint's unlimited data plan can be knocked off. The good news is it seems that the exec was misquoted. TechCrunch explains that Hesse was actually talking about throttling folks that gobble up data while roaming. Throttling a customer's data while roaming is covered by the fine print of Sprint's contracts, which say that the carrier can begin putting a stop to heavy data consumers after they reach 300MB of "off-network" use.

That's not all Hesse had to say today, as the CEO also touched a bit on its LTE deal with LightSquared. Last year Sprint announced that it'd be investing in a 15-year deal with LightSquared in order to help the Now Network build out its upcoming LTE network, but LightSquared has been running into some issues with the FCC as of late that's led to Sprint pausing its investments in the company. LightSquared plans to build out an LTE network using satellite spectrum, but the FCC has yet to give LightSquared's plans the A-OK because of concerns that the network causes GPS interference. Hesse told investors today that Sprint will be putting its plans with LightSquared on hold until its issues with the FCC are cleared up. “The companies have agreed to realigning our deployment timeline to coincide with potential FCC actions,” a Sprint spokesperson explained in an email to Bloomberg.

So there you go, Sprint folk. As long as you don't go overboard and gobble up dozens of gigs while using Sprint's network, it sounds like the carrier won't be making any attempts to limit your usage. Of course, with smartphone usage on the rise and a 4G LTE network coming soon, exactly how much longer Sprint continues offering unlimited data remains to be seen. Do you think Sprint will choose to begin throttling its customers or offering tiered data plans any time soon?

Via Dow Jones Newswire, TechCrunch, Phone Scoop, Bloomberg