EVDO Isn't A Third Pipe: Sprint Follows Verizon Wireless With 5GB Caps

from the thanks-for-nothing dept

Well, this is unfortunate. Every time people want to pretend that there's "real" competition in the broadband market beyond DSL and cable, you hear them talk about 3G wireless services like Sprint and Verizon Wireless' EVDO. Of course, Verizon Wireless caps its EVDO service at 5GB/month -- go over that and it will cut you off. Sprint, however, remained customer friendly and having sold people "unlimited" plans, stuck to that plan and let folks use EVDO as much as they wanted to. I'm one of those customers, and have been a big fan of the service. When I travel, I use it constantly. It's convenient, reliable and more secure than WiFi. While it's not often, on heavy travel months, I almost certainly pass that 5GB barrier. Yet, now, according to Gizmodo and Phonescoop, Sprint is implementing its own 5GB cap. You can make all sorts of arguments about why it needs to do this -- or point to the fact that (eventually) it will have a WiMax network available (though, not for a while). But, in the meantime, a bunch of us were told that we were buying "unlimited" service. 5GB is hardly unlimited, and it's rather ridiculous to go back and change the deal after the company had already sold it to us. Either way, any time someone suggests that EVDO is a "third pipe" competitor to DSL or cable, remind them that it's an extremely limited third pipe with rules that change with almost no notice.

Filed Under: bandwidth limit, evdo, third pipe
Companies: sprint

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  1. identicon
    Brian Hayes, 21 May 2008 @ 7:01pm

    USA's low rank

    EVDO speeds do not encourage splurging at media sites nor indulging movie downloads. There's a built-in restraint at the pipe. The new cap will likely restrict most customers to text sites only. Itunes, YouTube, eMusic, Unbox will be out of the question after July. Turning off Flash and Java too.

    For example, just one $3.99 movie rental purchase is 2G of the 5G monthly allocation already at $60. Streaming Public Radio will pop a 5G cap too. Sprint & Verizon should offer a Lynx browser download to protect users that are depending on the web.

    I'm surprised that defenders post the old "Love It Or Leave It" bumper sticker as a rational response. Arbitrary contract dilution is serious. Increasing fees in a damn odd American infrastructure is serious.

    I'm less surprised when corporate factors are spelled out to grab my sympathy, as if paid spin.

    It seems to me that unless we're number one and prove it, we shouldn't be happy that our pipes drain our budgets and keep most of us below the full experience promised in adverts.

    Until we're happy with our pipes and wires, diligence & bitching is a duty, ey wot?

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