Attention all Sprint customers. If you currently own a smartphone and are locked into a data plan, you will be subject to a $10 increase in your monthly service charges beginning next month. The reason for the increase is the continued financial pressure for the carrier's 4G network. When the Evo 4G phone launched last summer, anyone signing up for a data plan had to pay $10 more per month than those with a 3G phone. But with today's announcement, every smartphone is receiving the upgraded fee.
Sprint still remains one of the lowest-cost carriers when it comes to mobile data, so even though its customers may bat an eye from this news, they're unlikely to jump ship because anyone else will probably still be more expensive.
Sprint's 4G presence has exploded over the last six months, to the point where it is the undisputed leader in the next-generation mobile space. However, T-Mobile and Verizon are trying to catch up and AT&T hopes to gain traction when its 4G network launches later this year, making it the last major competitor to enter the race.
The increased fee sort of seems like someone in upstate New York paying tax to keep the New York City subway system running. You can't do anything about it but it seems unfair. Nevertheless, by having the strongest 4G network in the nation it builds strength in its brand, and that's something that benefits all of its customers.
Plus, now you won't suffer the sticker shock when it comes time to upgrade and you decide to go with 4G. The transition will be seamless.