Sprint Tries To 'Compete' By Throttling All Video To 600 Kbps, Then Talking Some Shit On Twitter

from the when-in-doubt,-call-bullshit dept

Sprint was the only one of the big four carriers to clearly support Title II and full net neutrality rules, but since the rules' passage the company's behavior has been a little bit strange. Last week, Sprint announced a new "All In" promotion that offers new users unlimited text, voice and data for $60 a month, plus a $20 device lease fee. The plan was supposed to be the company's game changing assault on current industry darling T-Mobile, but Sprint curiously included a small caveat in the fine print of the program; absolutely all video going over the Sprint network would be throttled to 600 kbps regardless of network congestion:
"To improve data experience for the majority of users, throughput may be limited, varied or reduced on the network. Streaming video speeds will be limited to 600Kbps at all times, which may impact quality. Sprint may terminate service if off-network roaming usage in a month exceeds: (1) 800 min. or a majority of min.; or (2) 100MB or a majority of KB."
Users quickly made it clear that they weren't interested in an "unlimited" data plan with such limits, forcing Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure -- who claimed he was asleep in Tokyo during all the ruckus -- to reverse course and remove the 600 kbps limit. This flub came after the company's CEO had been making it perfectly clear Sprint is planning to kill unlimited data entirely, one of the few things people actually like about Sprint. In short, Sprint's trying very hard lately to act like the more-disruptive T-Mobile, but as the uncool "dad jeans" of the wireless sector, isn't quite sure how to go about it.

With the company's promo arriving with a thud, Sprint apparently tried to mimic T-Mobile in another way: mirror the trash-talking of T-Mobile's brash CEO John Legere. Sprint's Claure quickly decided the best course of action would be to head to Twitter and insist that T-Mobile's recent "uncarrier" efforts (specifically its handset early-upgrade program) were little more than finely crafted bullshit:
The problem is that T-Mobile's amusing uncarrier efforts (which have included eliminating device subsidies, hidden fees, and other industry pain points) have been working. The magenta-hued carrier has been adding more new subscribers per quarter than any other U.S. operator, feeding a desperate consumer desire for better deals and less fine print. Sprint, meanwhile, has labored in last place in most network performance and customer satisfaction studies. As such, offering up some bullshit, then deriding other companies for engaging in bullshit, probably isn't the best way to reverse those lagging fortunes.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • icon
    toyotabedzrock (profile), 6 Jul 2015 @ 3:04pm

    The 600kbps limit has always been there. The 100mb thing is a bit troubling, I think it used to be the majority part.

    The device unbundling is stupid, it changes the price at all carriers by small amounts if at all.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2015 @ 8:07pm

    It should be clear by now that there is a strange new drug that these people inside this industry are keeping to themselves and refusing to share with outsiders. Selfish bastards.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Jul 2015 @ 9:16pm

    600 kilobits per second / 8 bits = 75 kilobytes per second video streaming.


    Bwahaha! What video quality is that? 240p resolution? Bwaaahahaha!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jim Fitz, 7 Jul 2015 @ 5:47am

    Think About it...

    The meaning of "Unlimited" is myriad. To the casual, or 'regular' user, 100Meg is a LOT of data to have to go through in a month's time. Web Browsing, email checks, the occasional YouTube video here and there, even Face time with your kids, grandkids, sister or bro...plenty.

    The problem that ALL carriers have many a-holes that think their 'unlimited' entitlement gives them every right to stream the entire Netflix library, to everybody and their uncle, via their Hotspot or the Hot Spot Feature on their phone, 24/7, sucking up all the usable bandwidth...leaving us 'regular folk' battling for contention...

    If I was a Wireless Provider, I would fire those bandwidth hogs or, simply, charge them for being pigs...

    I totally get it...Go Sprint #MarceloClaureCalledBullshit
    #RenewedSprintFan

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      The Expert On Such Matters, 7 Jul 2015 @ 6:39am

      Re: Think About it...

      #nativeadvertisement

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 7 Jul 2015 @ 8:22am

      Re: Think About it...

      So they say "Unlimited" and someone that takes them at their word is suddenly entitled?

      Unlimited means unlimited. If they want to charge bandwidth hog more, fine, but don't call that unlimited.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Jul 2015 @ 9:21am

      Re: Think About it...

      To the casual, or 'regular' user, 100Meg is a LOT of data to have to go through in a month's time. Web Browsing, email checks, the occasional YouTube video here and there, even Face time with your kids, grandkids, sister or bro...plenty.
      I can't tell whether this is sarcasm. It's not true, anyway. A Youtube video alone could be 100 MB. A "modern" web page could be several MB.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 7 Jul 2015 @ 10:46am

      Re: Think About it...

      That's right. When you buy a service that's been sold to you as "unlimited", then you're clearly an asshole for using it as if it were unlimited.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Gwiz (profile), 7 Jul 2015 @ 12:34pm

        Re: Re: Think About it...

        That's right. When you buy a service that's been sold to you as "unlimited", then you're clearly an asshole for using it as if it were unlimited.

        Makes me wonder if Mr. Fitz thinks that the customers at Whole Foods who expect their 1 lb. bag of Trail Mix to actually weigh 1 lb. are assholes too.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      RD, 10 Jul 2015 @ 10:22am

      Re: Think About it...

      "To the casual, or 'regular' user, 100Meg is a LOT of data to have to go through in a month's time. Web Browsing, email checks, the occasional YouTube video here and there, even Face time with your kids, grandkids, sister or bro...plenty."

      From when, 1996? This is the 21st century, son. A visit to Amazon to browse anything will eat enough of portion of your laughable 100mb "enough" that it would shock you. And by you, I mean YOU, not the collective "you" meaning anyone else on the planet who knows shit-one about the internet in the last 20 years, which apparently you don't.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Joshua Jones (profile), 7 Jul 2015 @ 6:48am

    Claure's Shit Talking

    Claure's version of shit talking also needs some work. The featured T-Mobile tweets here come off as textbook trolling shit talking. Marcelo's tweet just comes off as an angry guy that didn't realize there was a 140 character limit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 8 Jul 2015 @ 5:40am

    Well, such a marvelous new product! Sprint will excuse me but while they throttle the videos to a much less than optimal speed I will throttle my money going to their pockets to zero. Fair deal! - Some American Dude

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.