Sprint has launched an "unlimited" data plan for tablets that start at the low price of $20 per month, in what is another case of a carrier using the term alongside many limitations that take away from the whole point of being "unlimited."
In the press release announcing the new data plan, Sprint states that the requirements for availing the plan is that the customer should have at least one active Sprint phone line, the tablet should be purchased directly from Sprint, and the customer should enroll his or her Sprint account under the carrier's AutoPay feature.
"We're thrilled to offer our customers a chance to enjoy a tablet with unlimited data for a super price every month," Sprint chief marketing officer Roger Solé stated in the press release, once again using that "unlimited" term before going into the long list of limitations for the $20 data plan.
Under the plan, video streams are capped at a maximum of 480p, which is standard definition, music streams are capped at 500 kbps, online gaming is capped at 2 Mbps and only 5 GB of data is allocated for VPNs and personal hotspots. Tablets capable of SMS will also gain unlimited text messages.
For users who would like to gain access to better quality and more capacity, they can choose to double the amount of the data plan to $40 per month, By doing so, they will see improved video streams at up to 1080p, music streams at up to 1.5 Mbps and online gaming at up to 8 Mbps.
In more lines under the offer's fine print, Sprint stated that customers who would like to subscribe to the tablet data plan without an active phone subscription can do so for an additional cost of $50 per month. In addition, tablets purchased from Sprint at a discount through the plan will carry an additional charge of $10 per month for each line.
The offer is actually not a bad one if you look at it, but tagging it as an "unlimited" data plan and then applying all these throttling and limitations will likely not sit well with customers. The term "unlimited" is now being used and abused by carriers as an attention grabber and not as a faithful description of the services that they are offering.
In any case, the offer is there if it appeals to you, but customers should first be aware of the limitations included in the plan before committing to it and into Sprint's ecosystem.