Sprint Nextel chopped the price of phone-as-modem service from $50 down
to $15 monthly, but there's a catch. Where the old $50/month fee
included everything a user needed to use Sprint's data network for
"laptop tethering" (connecting a computer to the Internet by using a
cell phone as a data modem), the new $15 charge only applies as an
add-on to existing services that already include mobile data. So if
you're a Sprint customer who wants data on your smartphone and your
laptop, you may see some savings here; but if you're looking for
cellular data on its own the price cut won't really affect you.
Citing a report from industry research firm Current Analysis, RCR News
broke the new service offerings down this way: "the $15 offer is only
available alongside certain data plans, including
the Sprint PRO Pack ($30 per month), Blackberry Personal Pack ($30 per
month), Worldwide Blackberry Personal Pack ($70 per month), Primary
Data Plan ($50 per month) and the Worldwide Data Plan ($70 per
month)." Additionally, you must have a compatible Sprint Power Vision
(EV-DO) phone to use the PAM service.
Still, $45 monthly for a data plan that includes laptop access isn't
bad compared to similar offerings from the other carriers. Bear in
mind that's $45 on top of your monthly minutes and messaging. But
Sprint's EV-DO Rev. A network is arguably the best data service in the
land, and if you've got good coverage where you use your computer most
often, this could be an interesting way to ditch both the landline and
DSL/cable modem broadband service and go totally mobile.
Any of you
Sprint Nextel users care to weigh in on that one?