Sprint is ramping up the practice of throttling the heaviest users in the company's most congested areas, notes Fierce Wireless
. Customers of both Sprint's postpaid and prepaid services, as well as their Boost Mobile and Virgin Moobile prepaid brands, are receiving notifications from the company informing them they'll soon face a new "prioritization management" scheme.
"Beginning 6/1/14, to provide more customers with a high quality data experience during heavy usage times, Virgin Mobile USA may manage prioritization of access to network resources in congested areas for customers within the top 5 percent of data users," an example notification sent to Virgin customers states.
This new network management effort "will enable us to provide more customers with a high quality data experience during heavy usage times," Sprint said in a statement. "Once the customer is no longer connected to a congested cell site, or the site is no longer congested, speeds will return to normal."
The problem for Sprint is that "normal" hasn't been all that impressive to begin with. The company has already been facing criticism for the slowest LTE speeds and highest latency
scores among the four largest carriers. Sprint lays claim to the second lowest LTE speeds in the world, according to one study
has a little more detail on the new throttling effort, which the company states uses "fairness algorithms" on its CDMA and LTE networks to "dynamically allocate available bandwidth in a way that is fair to all users."