Sprint customers who use more than 23 GB of data during a given billing cycle will now be bumped down the prioritization ladder when the network becomes constrained, the carrier’s chief technology officer John Saw announced last week.
In a Friday blog post unveiling Sprint’s new Quality of Service practices, Saw said users on unlimited data plans for handsets will be prioritized below other customers for the remainder of their billing cycle once they hit 23 GB of usage in a single month. According to the post, only about 3 percent of customers fall into this usage bracket.
“This QoS practice is intended to protect against a small minority of unlimited customers who use high volumes of data and unreasonably take-up network resources during times when the network is constrained,” Saw said in the post. “It’s important to note that this QoS technique operates in real-time and only applies if a cell site is constrained. Prioritization is applied or removed every 20 milliseconds. And performance for the affected customer returns to normal as soon as traffic on the cell site also returns to normal, or the customer moves to a non-constrained site.”
Saw said the 23 GB threshold is an industry standard of sorts, and is large enough to send “6,000 emails with attachments, and view 1,500 web pages, and post 600 photos, and stream 60 hours of music, and stream 50 hours of video each and every month” unimpeded.
The move comes as carriers attempt crack down on disproportionate users of unlimited data. In August, T-Mobile CEO John Legere took to his company blog to lambaste individuals he called data “thieves” who were “stealing” large amounts of LTE data through tethering.