Sprint says 5 GB per month should be enough for most

After last week's news that Sprint confirmed its plans to implement a 5 GB per month overall use cap for its mobile broadband service, the company has seen a flurry of negative comments, and last weekend attempted a clarification.

"The vast majority of our current users (about 99.5%) shouldn't be affected" by the usage cap, reads a statement to BetaNews from Sprint public relations manager Roni Singleton over the weekend. "Whether it's the 300 MB roaming limit or the 5 GB limit on total data usage, that's enough data to meet the regular monthly usage habits of almost all of our customers."

The company will check customers' broadband usage once every three months, and "customers would have to exceed the limit in two out of three consecutive months to face termination," Singleton told us. Starting June 8, customers will be able to monitor their data usage online, so that they are fully aware of the amount of data they've used.

Usage caps will only be placed on consumer and individual accounts, she continued, and not business contract, corporate, government, or public sector accounts. "We're working on additional processes and pricing to appropriately address the needs of heavy roaming and data users among the corporate liable customer group," she added.

A Sprint statement issued last week reads, "The use of voice and data roaming by a small minority of customers is generating a disproportionately large level of operating expense for the company. We are enforcing the existing terms and conditions for phone plans."

Previous Sprint customers should now be receiving messages attached to their phone bill stating the pending data usage caps that go into effect 30 days after receipt of a bill. Starting next month, Sprint employees will begin calling customers to confirm they are aware of the changes made to the mobile broadband plan.

Several blog posts prior to the Sprint announcement inaccurately claimed the cap was designed to force users to get ready for Sprint's WiMAX 4G network launch, currently slated for later this year.

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