So much for doing away with throttling. Sprint will once again slow down the speeds of its heaviest data users, but only at times when the company's cellular network is congested. CTO Dr. John Saw published a blog post — titled "Protecting the 97%" — outlining the specifics today. First, Sprint is setting 23GB as the data threshold that unlimited customers will have to cross before throttling kicks in. That's pretty generous and resembles the policies of T-Mobile and, more recently, AT&T.
And even then, Sprint is emphasizing that those customers will see decreased speeds only when a particular cell tower is constrained. But let's not be too dismissive; networks get congested pretty frequently in major cities, and dealing with this for the remainder of a billing cycle after hitting that 23GB ceiling could annoy some people.
"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," Sprint says. Earlier this year, Sprint drew criticism after trying to limit the amount of data that customers could use for streaming videos — despite advertising it as an unlimited "All In" data plan. Now, the company is at least trying to be more transparent about changes and new policies. One other thing: it seems as though this new "Quality of Service" practice only applies to people signing up for or renewing an unlimited data plan as of today. Otherwise, you should be okay until the next time you upgrade your phone.