Sprint is no longer offering unlimited 4G data consumption for most mobile devices on its network, the company announced Thursday.
Previously, Sprint only put a 5 gigabyte limit on data consumed over its 3G wireless network, while 4G data consumption was unlimited. But as of November, the company will treat all data consumption the same.
The devices affected by Sprint’s data rate change include tablets, netbooks, notebooks, USB cards and Mobile Hotspot devices. And while smartphones will continue to have unlimited 4G data allowances, it doesn’t apply to their Wi-Fi hotspot features — meaning whenever you use your phone to connect to your laptop, the meter is running.
Devices that go over their 5GB allotment of data will get charged $0.05 per megabyte on Sprint’s network and $0.25 per MB for off-network roaming.
Eliminating the unlimited 4G data for most devices except smartphones is probably a strategic move by Sprint to keep its wireless network from lagging due to the increased activity from the iPhone. Also, Sprint’s network has the smallest coverage area and the weakest performance compared to other U.S. carriers, as VentureBeat previously reported.