This morning, moments after T-Mobile unleashed their latest mostly-crappy unlimited plan, Sprint announced something very similar that is equally, if not more, crappy. The new Sprint plan is also pushing the unlimited angle and can even be had for cheaper than what T-Mobile is offering. Unfortunately, it carries many of the same downsides as T-Mobile’s.
Called Unlimited Freedom (‘Merica!), Sprint’s new plan will be available starting tomorrow, August 19. The plan includes “unlimited” talk, text, and 4G LTE data “for most everything.” It also features optimized (read: throttled) streaming video, gaming, and music. People, I am not making this up. Oh, Sprint is tossing in 5GB of 4G LTE hotspot data at no extra cost, though, so that’s a bonus. T-Mobile is charging you $15 for 5GB of tethering.
The plans start at $60 for a single line, but you can add on a second line for $40 followed by lines 3-10 for $30 per.
So why is this plan equally as bad as T-Mobile’s? It’s pretty simply, actually. Sprint says that they are not only throttling video streaming (to 480p), like T-Mobile is doing, they are also going to throttle your gaming (2mbps cap) and the music you stream (up to 500kbps). With T-Mobile’s new plan, you can at least buy up to HD in the video streaming for a ridiculous $25 per month, but Sprint doesn’t seem to be allowing you to do that at all, plus they are also screwing with your gaming and music streams.
Like T-Mobile, Sprint isn’t really offering a true unlimited plan either. Sprint has set a 23GB per billing cycle cap that if reached, could allow them to throttle you depending on where you are. According to Sprint’s terms, “during times and places where the Sprint network is constrained,” could lead you to being de-prioritized. For reference, T-Mobile’s similar cap is 26GB.
These plans are just so wrong in so many ways. A couple of years back, as T-Mobile was starting their Uncarrier series, we actually liked what they were doing and saw some changes in the industry that benefited consumers. Now, each one is back to taking the slimiest approach they can to get you onto their network. Ugh.