Sprint is one one of the biggest wireless carriers still offering unlimited data plans, but don't expect them to always be there. Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said at the Code Conference today that unlimited data won't stay around forever. That doesn't necessarily mean that those plans will go away any time soon — in fact, Claure said that the plans are working quite well right now — but he sees a time when they'll have to be phased out.
Increased data use could make unlimited data tough for Sprint
Claure suggests that as what we do with our smartphones begins eating up more and more data, it won't be practical to keep offering unlimited plans. Instead, Sprint will likely raise prices for unlimited data and begin pushing people over toward capped plans, which are likely more profitable anyway.
Wireless carriers have been moving away from unlimited data for years now, so this isn't a particularly shocking statement. Sprint exists as one of the few bastions left for customers who want unlimited data, likely because Sprint needs a compelling offering to win people away from AT&T and Verizon. T-Mobile also offers an unlimited data plan, and its typical plans will keep subscribers coasting on 2G speeds once they hit a cap. Verizon and AT&T customers who still have unlimited data will just have to hold on to their plans for as long as they can.
Correction: T-Mobile does offer an unlimited data plan that is not subject to throttling. This story previously said that T-Mobile's unlimited plans eventually switch over to 2G speeds.