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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
    ROC, 27 Jun 2008 @ 7:53pm

    No

    Verizon gave it up a year ago or so after being sued by NY state's attorney general, and now, on Sprint's site this info is shown for an inquiry about available broadband plans:

    " With this plan and your Mobile Broadband Card or USB modem, you have instant Internet access wherever you go on the largest national Mobile Broadband network.
    This plan includes

    * Internet access on the largest national Mobile Broadband network.
    * 5 GB/mo. in total or 300 MB/mo. while off-network roaming. (1024 kb=1MB. 1024 MB=1 GB)
    * International data roaming may incur additional charges. Sprint reserves the right to limit throughput speeds or amount of data transferred."

    That off-network roaming limit could be a killer - when I use my Aircard, I have no idea when I am doing that aside from a slowdown in thruput.

    Rock and a hard place...

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