New smartphone data plans from Sprint, including unlimited data plans, will cost $10 more beginning Jan. 30, with the wireless provider blaming rising costs of providing data to mobile devices for the fee hike.
Sprint said on Tuesday in a company statement that it would be levying a $10 per month “Premium Data add-on charge” for smartphones activated after the end of this month.
However, not all new Sprint customers will charged extra. The charge is already tacked onto the phone bills of 4G users, and new non-smartphone or non-4G users also won’t see the $10 fee.
The Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint Nextel Corp. cited rising usage costs in its fee announcement as video and rich content are increasingly streamed over mobile networks.
“Sprint’s decision to apply the Premium Data add-on charge to activations of smartphones going forward recognizes the enhanced user experience that today’s smartphones deliver, which, in turn, drives substantially higher data usage and cost,” Roger Entner, analyst of Recon Analytics, said, according to a Sprint statement.
The move comes as telecom companies have shied away from unlimited data plans or cut down the value of their data plans.
AT&T ditched uncapped data plans last year, replacing them with capped, but less expensive, data plans, while Verizon Wireless is pushing strongly for its limited plans over its unlimited ones.