Earlier this week, Sprint debuted their new “All-in” plan, designed to take on both T-Mobile’s low prices and Verizon’s unwillingness to offer unlimited data. On paper, and in the hands of David Beckham, it all seems pretty good. After all, for $80 – $60 for your service, $20 for your phone – you get unlimited data, unlimited SMS messages and unlimited minutes, except when you don’t. In our story earlier, we suggested that it’s always worth taking a look at the fine print, and seeing just what you do, and don’t get access to. It appears that after spending time in the T and Cs, Sprint’s “All-in” plan has an interesting definition of the word “unlimited”.
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As Android Police have pointed out, the All-in plan comes with this pretty poor caveat; “streaming video speeds will be limited to 600Kbps at all times, which may impact quality.” We should be thankful Sprint can figure that much out on their own, we suppose. To put this in perspective nice and simply, Netflix advises that you need a 1.5 mbps connection or better to stream content at Standard Definition quality. Not everyone asks for the same sort of speeds as Netflix however, but with a limit like this, you’ll be lucky to stream a decent-looking YouTube video. A hard cap every now and then might be understandable, but a permanent lock on how fast you can stream video is just misguided, sadly.
This is of course where Verizon’s argument that their network is simply better comes in, and they’ll happily tell you that they don’t offer unlimited data because they don’t believe in such caps. The same applies for AT&T and T-Mobile, but T-mobile has often been accused of keeping all the 4G LTE data to themselves for a long time. Either way, the moral here is to read the fine print, and know what you’re signing up to. None of the big four wireless networks are perfect, but it’s always a nice idea to know what you’re getting into, before it actually happens.