Sprint has just announced that it is adding a “Premium Data add-on charge” to the monthly fees for any smartphone activated on its network after the end of this month.
According to the company, this additional charge “will assist Sprint in offering simple and affordable unlimited plans for its customers while maintaining a wireless network able to meet the growing appetite for a richer mobile experience.”
Sprint points out that its smartphone customers use, on average, 10 times more data than those with traditional feature phones. Apparently it has found that its previous monthly charges weren’t keeping up with the ever-increasing demands of smartphone users for listening to such data-intensive activities like streaming audio or downloading movies while on the go.
“Building, maintaining and expanding wireless data networks isn’t free — there are real costs involved,” said Roger Entner, analyst and founder of Recon Analytics. “In effect, Sprint has chosen to increase the price of its unlimited Everything Data plans, which is still below that of its major competitors, for the segment of customers — smartphone users — who are using wireless data the most and are driving up costs.”
Last summer, Sprint began charging an additional $10 fee to its customers who have a WiMAX-enabled smartphone, like the HTC EVO 4G. Today’s announcement extends this fee to all smartphones. This means that those who get a 4G device will not have to pay a $20 monthly fee, just the $10 fee that’s going to be levied against all smartphones.