Sprint today announced that the company is introducing new data pricing for the company's 3G (EVDO) and 4G (Mobile WiMax) customers that access these networks using laptops. Fresh on the heels of eliminating unlimited data options for devices other than smartphones
, a Sprint press release
notes that customers can now pay $50 for 6 gigabytes of data a month (previously $60 for 5GB) or $80 for 12 gigabytes of data a month (previously $90 for 10 GB).
Sprint insists that this new pricing puts them at a competitive advantage to AT&T or Verizon, offering 20 percent more data for the same price as similar plans from Verizon and AT&T.
"With an extra 1GB of data vs. Verizon and AT&T’s $50/5GB plans, Sprint customers subscribing to the new $50/6GB plan will be able to view approximately 6,667 additional Web pages, 2,000 more photos or 67 extra YouTube videos each month," says the company. While cheaper than competitors, these new plans come at the cost of the elimination of Sprint's unlimited service for these customers.
Sprint today also introduced several new plans for tablet and mobile hotspot customers. In addition to the $50 6GB and $80 12GB plans available for laptop users, mobile hotspot and tablet users can also sign up for a $35 plan that provides 3 GB of data per month, or a $20 plan that provides 1 GB of data per month. Customers who go over these limits pay $0.05 per each additional MB consumed when on network, and $0.25 for each additional MB consumed while roaming.
Nothing has changed yet for Sprint's unlimited smartphone customers, but you get the sense that with Sprint doing its best to mirror AT&T and Verizon in more ways than one
, unlimited smartphone data plans likely won't survive 2012.