Softbank-owned Sprint may have the slowest LTE service in the country, but that is not stopping the carrier from implementing bandwidth throttles on some users. Sprint announced that, beginning next month, the “top 5 percent” of users in areas experiencing “heavy congestion” will see “slower-than-normal data speeds until the congestion has passed.” Customers will receive a text reminder of the new policy before it goes into effect.
The change applies to the entire Sprint network, including prepaid customers on Boost and Virgin Mobile. Affected subscribers will generally be those who use more than 5GB of data, Sprint said.
Throttling may help to marginally improve speeds, but Sprint still has a lot to worry about. The carrier’s tri-band Spark network falls short of promised speeds, and comes with annoying limitations, such as lack of support for simultaneous call and data usage. The company also lost nearly half a million subscribers during Q1 of this year.
Will the rumored merger with T-Mobile save Sprint? Who knows, but the carrier needs to do something quick if it wishes to convince subscribers to return.