Sprint Nextel increases smartphone data pricing by $10

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) is increasing the price of its unlimited smartphone data service plan by $10 per month for all new postpaid smartphone plans beginning Jan. 30.

Sprint said the charge will enable it to maintain its wireless network to meet the demand for data services. Sprint said its smartphone customers use 10 times more data than its traditional feature phone users. Last summer AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) changed its pricing plans to protect its network from heavy data use by introducing a tiered pricing structure--$25 for 2 GB of data and $15 for 200 MB.

Sprint's extra $10 previously only applied to WiMAX-enabled smartphones, the HTC Evo, HTC Evo Shift and the Samsung Epic.

Sprint spokeswoman Cristi Allen told FierceWireless that the change indicated the operator is not going to take the route AT&T and others have on data pricing. "At this time, we're committed to our unlimited pricing philosophy," she said.

Existing customers will not be required to pay the increased per month fee.

For more:
- see this release
- see this FierceWireless article

Related articles:
AT&T has 7 million usage-based pricing subscribers
Sprint: We won't throttle wireless data speeds on our network
Sprint not changing data pricing after AT&T's move
Will other operators follow AT&T's lead on usage-based data pricing?

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