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Boost Mobile to Throttle Unlimited Data Starting Jan 20, 2013

BEST OF THE MARINE CORPS - May 2006 - Defense Visual Information CenterLike the US Marines in this training exercise photo Boost Mobile is about put a choke hold on user's data speeds.

The Sprint prepaid brand has been sending texts to users this week warning that it will implement a 2.5 GB virtual choke hold on its Unlimited Monthly plans starting "on or about" Jan 20, 2013. Users who consume more than 2.5 GB during a plan month will have their data speeds reduced to 256 kbps for the rest of the month. Yesterday Boost put the announcement on their Facebook page and in the Support section of the Boost website.

This change comes as no surprise, back in May Boost announced that it would start capping speeds at 2.5 GB starting "later this year". It was nice of them to hold off as long as they did.

Given that Sprint's 3G data speeds rarely exceed 500 kbps and are often well below 256 kbps Boost's throttle won't be nearly as dramatic as the choke hold demonstrated by two US Marines in the photo.  In fact, I don't think most 3G users will even notice when they hit the cap. To help them notice, Boost will send a text to users when they have used 85% of their 2.5 GB and another text when they hit the limit. There will also be data usage meter on the My Account section of the Boost site.

WiMAX users would definitely notice the cap but it's unclear if it even applies to WiMAX. In May Boost told The Verge that the future cap would not to apply WiMAX. Yesterday's announcement omits any mention of 4G or WiMAX.

Phonenews.com thinks this change is in preparation for Boost's expected LTE launch in January and I believe they are right. The LTE network represents a huge leap in network performance for Sprint and will be a major selling point for the carrier when fully rolled out. Sprint needs to differentiate its own $125+ (with taxes and fees) unlimited everything LTE service from $55/month ($40 with Shrinkage) Boost Unlimited. Sprint is counting on truly unlimited data (and off network roaming) to keep prepaid LTE from siphoning away too many lucrative contract customers.

Image: US Marine Corps (USMC) Recruits from 1st Battalion demonstrate the proper technique for a figure four choke hold while participating in the first phase of their Marine Corps Martial Arts Program (MCMAP) training, held aboard Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD), Parris Island, South Carolina (SC). photo by expertinfantry  Some rights reserved

6 comments:

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  1. This will affect any Sprint to Boost byosd customer as there is no wimax phone allowed on Boost at this time that originates from Sprint.

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  2. You need to recall Sprint is in the process of being acquired. It needs to free up bandwidth for its focus on the iPhone.

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  3. Just so long as every time they mention Unlimited they mention reduced speeds above 2.5GB, no problem. The problem is when you are not clear and upfront about it like Net10 and Straight Talk.

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  4. It's so funny looking at all the complaints on Boost Mobile's Facebook page people b*tch about either how they are getting ripped off. 90% of the time I use wifi on my S2. 10% of the time, I only use data when I am on the road. At least Boost Mobile is giving warning to the damn data hogs.

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  5. Im a hog Im just not getting to eat as much as Id like! And it sucks!

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