Possibly. During an interview with TV station KSHB of Kansas City, Marcelo Claure, chief executive officer of Sprint, hinted that the carrier is indeed considering the likelihood of increasing prices of its unlimited data plans in the next few months.
For the moment, Sprint currently offers an unlimited data plan that costs $85 per month, as well as a special plan for iPhone users that is priced at $50 per month. But that may be about to change, with Sprint even thinking about initiating even more dramatic changes in the structure of it services. Claure even warned that the carrier may get rid of unlimited data altogether.
Unlimited data plans were first introduced by former Sprint CEO Dan Hesse, as an attempt to shake up the competition by offering an unlimited package with a simplified payment scheme on a monthly basis. Even though at the time the carrier was trying to improve its network coverage, launching an unlimited offering was effective in not only keeping its existing subscribers but also in attracting new customers, even those from rival wireless networks. For instance, wireless leaders like Verizon Wireless and AT&T offered its subscribers tiered plans in which a preset data allowance is assigned for each plan, with customers paying the set price for that plan, and then paying extra for overages. But when Sprint introduced its unlimited data plans, customers were given the option of not having to worry about how much their data allowance is and if they were expecting to pay for overage fees at the end of each billing cycle. T-Mobile is basically doing the same thing with its $80 per month unlimited offering.
But offering an unlimited data service is not as easy as many people think it is. For one, Sprint has to constantly make sure that its network coverage and wireless infrastructure can handle the rapidly increasing volume of streaming video content, audio content, and shared or stored images being transmitted via its network minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day. The carrier is certainly feeling the stress of rising costs related to operating and upgrading its network, but more than ever, the company wants to focus on delivering optimum network quality for its subscribers, something it says it has a better chance of achieving by ditching its unlimited data plans.
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