The way Sprint's been going lately, we're wondering if there's going to be anything left to announce at its October 7th strategy update. Another screenshot has surfaced, detailing the Now Network's intentions to launch its CDMA-based (read: no more iDEN) Direct Connect service on October 2nd, with "increased coverage" coming early next year. We've been expecting to see it at some point this winter, which means the Nextel alternative is getting pushed out ahead of schedule. With this, we should be hearing news in the near future concerning compatible handsets like the Motorola Admiral or Kyocera DuraMax / DuraCore duo.

Unfortunately, October 2nd will be filled with both happy news and bad, as it looks like the leaked memo detailing Sprint's plan to cap the mobile hotspot add-on was right on target. The carrier made its intentions official this morning, confirming that it indeed will be putting a 5GB-per-month leash on the tethering done from your phone, complete with overage charges of $.05 per additional MB used. Grandfathered add-ons aren't an option here, so every tetherer already shelling out $30 for the privilege will find themselves restricted as well. But look at the bright side: tablets need not apply to the data cap, and on-phone data plans and dedicated mobile broadband packages will remain unaffected... for now, at least.

The Engadget Podcast, live at 5:00PM ET!