Sprint’s ambitions took a turn toward Icarian.
On wings of wax last week, the carrier, still regaining its strength, nearly flew too close to the sun. In the midst of current battle to out-double the data of its opponents AT&T and Verizon—T-Mobile, perhaps wisely, stayed outside the fray—Sprint did the almost unthinkable and offered 800GB of shared data to businesses.
Granted that amount can be spread across up to 100 lines but even left to such a throng, each user would have to chew through 8GB a month in order to finish the feast. That’s well above the current U.S. monthly average of 2GB.
The true audacity of Sprint’s offer though lies in how close it came to the unthinkable: 1 terabyte of shared data. 1,000 gigabytes. More than 1 million megabytes. The vast majority of the population would hurt themselves while trying to wrap their heads around that amount of data—particularly mobile data.
Besides assaulting the part of the brain that does math, an 800GB shared plan essentially detonates the logic behind carriers doing away with unlimited data.
If carriers can offer almost 1 terabyte, even to a group as large as 100, why can’t they just offer unlimited? If carriers enforce throttled speeds upon grandfathered unlimited plans that use more than 3GB or 5GB, how could they not throttle 100 customers on the same plan using 8GB each per month?
Come Halloween, the double data plans will be taken off the menu and the buckets will shrink back down to their original size.
But should Sprint or any other carrier approach the 800GB horizon again—or even boldly push past it into uncharted 1 terabyte waters—they could seriously risk melting under the heat of subscriber scrutiny.
Do you think offering such gigantic data buckets to customers degrades the carrier argument against unlimited? Or do you not care what carriers call it as long as they’re offering up a ton of data?