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Tuesday January 18, 2011 11:30 am

Sprint to hike rates on smartphone data plans by $10

Posted by Andru Edwards Categories: Smartphones, Corporate News

Sprint raises smartphone data prices

If you're planning to get a new smartphone on Sprint, you should probably do so in the next couple of weeks. After Jan. 30, data plans for smartphones activated on the carrier will go up in price by $10 a month, the company announced today.

Called "Premium Data," the mandatory charge is added to the Sprint's existing unlimited $70 Everything Data plan, pumping it up to $80 a month. Sprint says the increase is to address its users' "growing appetite for a richer mobile experience." The charge affects only smartphones activated Jan. 30 or later—existing customers will not experience the increase until they upgrade.

"The wireless industry is in the midst of a mobile data explosion," a spokesperson for Sprint said in an emailed statement. " Wireless companies have various options to ensure they meet customers' growing demands for mobile data. Rather than imposing limits and overage charges on data plans for wireless phones as competitors have done, Sprint has elected to maintain its unlimited pricing philosophy by adding its monthly $10 Premium Data add-on charge to all smartphone activations."

Sprint says its smartphone customers use 10 times more data on average than feature-phone users, and that the cost of building and maintaining its network "isn't free." The company defines smartphones as devices with a "robust" operating system and deliver a "rich wireless experience." For Sprint, that includes BlackBerryAndroidWindows Phone 7, and Palm devices.

This article, written by Peter Pachal, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc..

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