Sprint CEO: We throttle top 1 percent of data users [UPDATE]

Sprint CEO: We throttle top 1 percent of data users

Hot off the Dow Jones Newsire comes a report that, according to their CEO Dan Hesse, Sprint is throttling the top 1 percent of data users, including their new iPhone 4 and iPhone 4S subscribers.

"For those that want to abuse it, we can knock them off," Hesse said at an investor conference Thursday. He said Sprint pares back data use for about 1% of users, a practice known as throttling.

Sprint was initially gung-ho about offering unlimited data to iPhone subscribers, so what's the deal? If they're throttling data users, then their "Truly Unlimited" network isn't actually unlimited at all. It sounds as if Sprint may be falling in line with all the other major U.S. carriers -- or at least publicly taking steps to get there.

Anyone care to take a guess at how long it'll be before Sprint rids their "unlimited" data plans altogether?

[UPDATE]: It looks like Dow Jones misconstrued what Hesse actually said. The throttling is only related to roaming data, not their regular unlimited data offerings. Although, Sprint has a lot of roaming partners, including Verizon, so this still applies to a measurable number of heavy-data subscribers. So much for Dow Jones' spot-on journalism...

Source: Dow Jones Newswire

Andrew Wray

Andrew Wray is a Salt Lake City, Utah based writer who focuses on news, how-tos, and jailbreak. Andrew also enjoys running, spending time with his daughter, and jamming out on his guitar. He works in a management position for Unisys Technical Services, a subsidiary of Unisys Corporation.

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There are 20 comments. Add yours.

JesC says:

Nice, I guess they can't hang, I'm on AT&T top 5% for using 2.4gb data. Oh no! I know...

Corey says:

How is it possible to abuse something that is supposedly unlimited?

cardfan says:

How could anyone tell considering how slow Sprint is?

David says:

If you're not in the top 1%, then its still unlimited for the other 99%. Thats still more than can be said about Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.

Boomeran says:

Hahaha, nice excuse David. Just a few weeks ago, all y'all sprint customers was boasting about how unlimited sprint is, and that they don't throttle data. Now sprint just hit y'all in the face, lol. MHO, I think sprint is more likely throttling 99% instead, because sprint network is garbage compare to t mobile edge, slow as a turtle. Sprint sucks big time.

stewm says:

Unfortunately, when a company advertises a claim that they are the only one with truly unlimited service and point the finger at T-Mobile for throttling back the service to those that use too much data it is unfortunately a case of falsely advertising your service.
I don't really care if the other 99% are getting truly unlimited service without the speed being throttled back, it is contradictory to their own advertising.
There is no excuse for misleading potential customers about your service. You either have truly unlimited service or you don't have truly unlimited service, especially if the requirements for this claim have been defined by SPRINT, it was not defined by Verizon, AT&T or even T-Mobile or any other carrier, the definition they use in their advertising is
"Only Sprint offers truly unlimited service that is not slowed down when you use too much data"
It's their definition!
Good Piece Andrew!

Steven says:

As long as they dont cut off data its still unlimited. Wether its on 1g ,2g,3g,4g or wjatever sprint uses you still have unlimited just not at the speed you want or are used too.

Tony says:

With as slow as Sprints network already is, do you really think it's even usable while throttled? Lol

stewm says:

Aaaah so Dan Hessy lied in advertising that he made the voice over for where he stated that T-Mobile was inferior because they throttled users and Sprint Doesn't.
The fact that sprint is only doing it where Roaming is taking place is neither here nor there. The fact that Sprint has to roam for so many users that it makes a problem for Sprint as a company is a pretty sorry situation!
Sorry but either way, it won't affect my opinion of Sprint, always a terrible telco, was, is and will always be depressingly bad as a carrier! Underinvested, under achieving, underwhelming!

Jgalan14 says:

Tipb please update this, they were talking about 1% of data roaming users

iMore name change sucks says:

Well so much for unlimited...but seriously..considering how slow Sprint is...throttling would only make the Internet useless in the network.

Frank says:

Who decides what 1% actually is? 2gb of use. AT&T told me also I'm in the top 5% with 2.4gb. How that is possible in the new York area is beyond me. This is total B.S. !

jd78 says:

This report is incorrect. Dow Jones misquoted Hesse... The throttling comment was in regards to data roaming, not data on the Sprint network.

Ethan S. says:

Hmmm, so because they throttle the data means that the unlimited no longer applies? So if I can get my Toyota Camry up to 150, does that mean that I can now call it a race car? You guys are horrible at this. Sprint still offers unlimited, it's just throttled. Bad reporting, which is what leads to rumors and misinformation.

Rasteca says:

I'm also a 5%er on AT&T unlimited and in 2 weeks I reached 2gb and now my speeds are 5mb dl to 0.09 dl until my cycle restarts again for the month... this is some bullish@t!!!

John says:

The funny thing is I still have a unlimited data plan with AT&T and I use 5gb plus of data a month and have never had my data throttled or gotten any MSG's from them for it, but others who have used less data have.

Rasteca says:

I used say the same thing until this month... Knock on wood :)

iPhoneDon797 says:

Sprint probably has to pay for people roaming on Verizon's network. Before the iPhone the overall roaming data usage was manageable, now that Sprint iPhone users are consuming more data, Verizon is probably complaining or Sprint's getting bigger roaming data charges from Verizon. I'm not sticking up for the carriers by any means but just thought this would only be the reason Sprint would care about technically using roaming data, it's not on their network.