For those of you who have Sprint's "unlimited data plan," you may want to sit down for this. It seems that Sprint is implementing a new policy to throttle network speeds for the top five percent of data users.
Sprint and its subsidiaries Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile have begun sending alerts to customers about the impending changes.
They look a little something like this:
"Beginning 6/1/14, to provide more customers with a high quality data experience during heavy usage times, Virgin Mobile USA may manage prioritization of access to network resources in congested areas for customers within the top 5 percent of data users."
Five percent isn't a very specific number and it will fluctuate depending on how much data Sprint's customers use each month. However, the company did say that customers who routinely use 5 gigabytes of data a month will most likely be in that top five percent.
"A customer who slips into that group will be subject to network prioritization during the following month of service. "Customers that continue to fall within the top 5 percent of data users will continue to be subject to prioritization," Sprint said.
Boost and Virgin have throttled users' speeds down to 256 kbps since spring 2012 if they exceed 2.5 GB of data usage in a monthly cycle. In March, Virgin and Boost customers were told that starting this month those using more than 2.5 GB of data would have their data speeds reduced to 128 kbps.
Customers can top up to re-start their monthly billing cycle if they want to access faster 3G CDMA or LTE speeds. This month, Boost also unveiled a $60 monthly plan that includes 5 GB of data before throttling.
By throttling its heaviest users to control congestion, Sprint is following the lead of the other three U.S. national mobile carriers."