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Sprint's unlimited data plans aren't going anywhere, CTO confirms

Amar Toor, @amartoo
September 27, 2011
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Sprint may have plenty of changes in store for its upcoming "strategy update," but it looks like one crucial policy will remain in place -- unlimited data plans. Speaking to reporters at Mobilize in San Francisco yesterday, company CTO Stephen Bye confirmed that even though competitors like Verizon and AT&T are phasing out their unlimited plans, Sprint remains committed to providing its customers with infinite data. Doing so won't come without costs, since, as Bye explained, not all unlimited subscribers eat up the same amount of data. But the exec pointed out that these efforts are counterbalanced by the relative simplicity of managing unlimited schemes, and don't seem quite as prohibitive when compared with the hidden customer support costs involved with more complex, tiered plans. Yet despite all this optimism, Sprint seems fully aware that some major expenses are on the horizon, especially with a revamped 4G LTE network in the pipeline and, perhaps, with the iPhone 5 on the way. "Is there pressure? Yeah," Bye acknowledged. "There's a challenge for all engineers to work on how we get the cost structure down." Bye went on to reiterate, however, that although a new data network may attract new investors, it's ultimately Sprint's unique data plans that will keep its customer base intact.

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