updated 07:05 pm EDT, Wed September 21, 2011
Sprint to limit phone modem and hotspot data Oct 2
Sprint will make one additional concession to its service just as it's about to get the iPhone 5. Newly leaked staff memos have shown that it will cap the $30 Mobile Hotspot plan to 5GB of data on October 2. The SprintFeed sighting also showed that Sprint wouldn't go for a looser per-gigabyte overage cap and instead will charge five cents per megabyte.
True to other leaks, Sprint would keep unlimited on-device data for both phones and tablets.
Its plan would still be one of the better options in the US for tethering. Both AT&T and Verizon cap their hotspot plans at 2GB above and beyond the existing service.
With the iPhone 5 due to be unveiled on October 4, the scheduling is likely no coincidence as Sprint braces for a flood of new or newly upgraded smartphone users. Apple may launch the new model more quickly than it has in the past and could give carriers little advance warning. AT&T and Verizon have themselves coordinated these sorts of restrictions in the past timed explicitly around iPhone launches, such as AT&T's 2GB cap or early termination fee hikes.
Sprint hasn't confirmed its iPhone but has very conspicuously dodged around the subject just on Wednesday. Verizon followed a similar strategy when it had secured an iPhone deal months earlier but didn't want to jeopardize sales of existing hardware.