Sprint scolds Verizon's tiered data plans with new unlimited ads

Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) wasted no time in pouncing on Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) recent move to stop offering unlimited data service to new smartphone users. Sprint this week introduced a series of new ads that highlight the data caps and throttling employed by its competitors and reiterate Sprint's offer of uncapped smartphone data.

Sprint unlimited smartphone data TV ad

Click here to watch Sprint's latest TV commercial for its unlimited smartphone data service.

In Sprint's new TV commercial, the carrier points out that AT&T Mobility (NYSE:S) and Verizon "charge you extra for going over 2 GB of data."

"T-Mobile claims they're unlimited, but use your phone a lot, and they slow down your data speed," according to Sprint's ad. "With Sprint, you don't get charged extra, you don't slow down."

Sprint said the ads will run across TV (both broadcast and cable), print and online nationally. The new unlimited ads are an extension of the carrier's "All. Together. Now." tagline and ad campaign, announced in April. The carrier declined to say how much it is spending on the ads.

The ads are the clearest indication yet that Sprint plans to heavily leverage its position as the last Tier 1 carrier offering unfettered smartphone data services. AT&T last year implemented tiered pricing for its smartphone data services, and Verizon enacted a similar scheme last week; both carriers levy additional fees on customers who surpass their monthly data thresholds. T-Mobile USA doesn't charge overage fees, but the carrier does throttle users' data speeds down to an EDGE, or 2G, experience of around 100 Kbps or less when they go over their allotments.

Tiered pricing and speed throttling represent efforts by carriers to curtail users' skyrocketing demands for smartphone data--or at least cash in on it. Indeed, Sprint, isn't immune to the crush: The carrier in January tacked on an extra $10 per month fee for unlimited data for smartphone users.

For more:
- watch this Sprint TV commercial
- see this Sprint print ad (PDF)

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