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Sprint CEO Says iPhone Extends Ability to Offer Unlimited Data

In an interview with Forbes following his company's earnings release, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse noted that the iPhone will actually enable the carrier to continue offering unlimited data plans for a longer period of time than it otherwise would have.
Sprint is still not saying when it may make that switch, but credits the iPhone for helping it push the date out further. “One of the beauties of carrying the iPhone is it extends the period of time and increases the likelihood of us maintaining unlimited data longer because it uses our network so efficiently,” said Hesse.
Hesse notes that the iPhone is better at picking up Wi-Fi signals than Android devices are, allowing users to spend more time connecting via Wi-Fi than placing demands on Sprint's cellular data network.


He also claims that Apple's tight control over iPhone apps and its requirement that those apps meet certain network efficiency standards helps Sprint's network operate more efficiently. According to Barron's, Sprint claims that the iPhone may offer 50% more network efficiency than Android handsets.

Finally, Hesse indicates that Sprint has made a $15.5 billion commitment to Apple for iPhones, targeting sales of six million units per year over the four-year term of the deal.

Sprint is the only U.S. carrier to offer unlimited data for the iPhone. Both AT&T and Verizon had offered unlimited data at the time of their respective iPhone launches, but both carriers have since migrated to tiered data plans designed to charge high-usage customers more.

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Top Rated Comments

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39 months ago


One of the beauties of carrying the iPhone is it extends the period of time and increases the likelihood of us maintaining unlimited data longer because it uses our network so efficiently


0.2Mbps != efficient. 0.2Mbps == crap.
Rating: 13 Votes
39 months ago
I don't understand this logic, but regardless, that's good to know. Now, just make your speeds faster!
Rating: 11 Votes
39 months ago
I guess it makes sense, but this would be the case for all networks with the iPhone (not just Sprint), so it sounds like a bit of marketing to me.
Rating: 10 Votes
39 months ago

This guy sure loves plugging the iPhone.


You would too if you just invested $20 billion in stocking them.
Rating: 8 Votes
39 months ago
Thanks for the explanation, Sprint.

Now what's AT&T's (and Verizon's?) excuse?
Rating: 5 Votes
39 months ago

Sprint CEO Dan Hesse noted that the iPhone will actually enable the carrier to continue offering unlimited data plans for a longer period of time than it otherwise would have. Hesse notes that the iPhone is better at picking up Wi-Fi signals than Android devices are, allowing users to spend more time connecting via Wi-Fi than placing demands on Sprint's cellular data network.

MacRumors seems to have a chronic problem misusing words like "noted" when it would be FAR more accurate to write "claimed" instead. Listening to a CEO give questionable technical answers to explain opaque business decisions is like listening to a vegetarian give advice on which cut of steak is best. Seriously MacRumors, you seem to have a love affair with a word that at best needlessly confuses the issue and at worst intentionally misrepresents the situation.
Rating: 5 Votes
39 months ago
Yes and Sprint's network is so slow (even for a CDMA network) they can give almost everyone unlimited data for a long time. Just add more users and let the speeds go down, no big deal right?
Rating: 5 Votes
39 months ago

Of course it's efficient, it's slower than mud. it's easy to give people unlimited bandwidth when speeds are that slow.


LOL. I immediately thought the same thing when I read this headline. When you're serving up speeds in the .05 kb range it's easy to have an unlimited plan. :D:D It's like me renting my house and providing free electricity but feeding the house with a single 5 amp breaker during an Arizona summer with a 5 ton A/C unit. :)
Rating: 4 Votes
39 months ago
By saying iPhone 4S uses Sprint's "network so efficiently," is Hesse basically referring to the phenomenon that the 4S essentially doesn't use Sprint's network very much since it's so slow on it?
Rating: 4 Votes
39 months ago

Sprint is going to lose all their iPhone business if they don't get this data fixed! ASAP! You people on here that dog ATT and how bad their coverage and data is?? I have ATT, and my girlfriend has Sprint. I get her on the iPhone bandwagon and she is still (after a week) getting speeds under 1mb down! Guess what, that's not 3G you idiots! If 3G isn't available in my area then don't display the 3G icon on the phone. That's another great thing about ATT, at least they give you the decency of displaying an "E" (Edge) so I know "ok, I have data, but its slow, barely better than dial-up speeds". I have ATT and have 2 bars in the house and am getting nearly 2mb down. One last rant here, PEOPLE, quit displaying your freakin data speed in kilobytes! Don't you know you have to divide by a 1000 for that to make sense? change it on the app to MB, and quit telling everyone your flippin KB?? .05 kb, you do realize that is .00005MB down??? I'm going to guess, that is not what you are pulling.... Get it fixed SPRINT (OXYMORON named company)


Last I heard both Sprint and Apple were working on this problem. My EVO 4G is rocking (though I would love an iPhone 5 when it comes out!)
Rating: 4 Votes

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