Sprint lures AT&T’s iPad customers with unlimited data portable Wi-Fi hotspots

“When Apple Inc. began selling a version of its iPad tablet this year that could connect exclusively to AT&T Inc.’s third-generation wireless network, Sprint Nextel Corp. saw an opportunity,” Greg Bensinger reports for Bloomberg.

“Touting the unlimited data on its portable Wi-Fi devices — AT&T stopped offering unlimited plans in June — Sprint has been luring iPad owners to its network. Sprint’s palm-sized Overdrive 3G/4G hotspot device allows users to connect to the lower-priced Wi-Fi-only iPad from anywhere the carrier has coverage,” Bensinger reports. “The portable Wi-Fi devices give Sprint, as well as Verizon Wireless, a chance to tap into a market otherwise closed to them through Apple’s exclusive contract with AT&T, which has connected 500,000 iPads to its network out of 3.3 million sold. Apple and AT&T have declined to say when their contract ends.”

Bensinger reports, “In June, AT&T stopped offering $29.99 unlimited data plans on the iPad in favor of tiered pricing starting at $25 for 2 gigabytes of data per month, with additional gigabytes of data available for $10 each per month. The Overdrive offers unlimited data for $59.99 per month. A user streaming an average of one 30-minute television show and 30 minutes of music per day would exceed their 2 gigabyte limit by month’s end, according to AT&T’s website. That doesn’t include any e-mails sent or received or additional Internet browsing. Sprint Chief Executive Officer Dan Hesse has said the Overland Park, Kansas-based carrier has no plans to end unlimited data plans, while Verizon Wireless said it will introduce data caps in as soon as four months.”

Read more in the full article here.

40 Comments

  1. My company supplies one of these devices to me so I can connect while on the road. Sprint is NOT offering UNLIMITED 3G Data Plans, only unlimited 4G Data Plans. As their coverage does not cover much of the country, most users are limited to 5Gb per month via the Sprint 3G network.

    When I have been in 4G coverage – in Chicago – the speed was INCREDIBLE! I am looking forward to the day I can connect to Sprint 4G in my neighborhood.

  2. My company supplies one of these devices to me so I can connect while on the road. Sprint is NOT offering UNLIMITED 3G Data Plans, only unlimited 4G Data Plans. As their coverage does not cover much of the country, most users are limited to 5Gb per month via the Sprint 3G network.

    When I have been in 4G coverage – in Chicago – the speed was INCREDIBLE! I am looking forward to the day I can connect to Sprint 4G in my neighborhood.

  3. There is never a good reason to end unlimited data plans.

    These companies just want money. Thank goodness my iPhone data plan got grandfathered in.

    But not being able to access unlimited 3G on AT&T could severely alter my iPad purchasing probability.

  4. There is never a good reason to end unlimited data plans.

    These companies just want money. Thank goodness my iPhone data plan got grandfathered in.

    But not being able to access unlimited 3G on AT&T could severely alter my iPad purchasing probability.

  5. I’m not sure I understand this article. I pay $14.99 a month for 250 MB of 3G data over AT&T’s cellular network, plus unlimited WiFi at their 20,000 WiFi hotspots, so how is paying $59.99 a month to Sprint for a device to access their network a better deal? If I’m going to watch a movie, it will be at home on my own WiFi network, not at Starbucks. I’m certainly not going to sit in a parking lot using their device to watch a movie.

  6. I’m not sure I understand this article. I pay $14.99 a month for 250 MB of 3G data over AT&T’s cellular network, plus unlimited WiFi at their 20,000 WiFi hotspots, so how is paying $59.99 a month to Sprint for a device to access their network a better deal? If I’m going to watch a movie, it will be at home on my own WiFi network, not at Starbucks. I’m certainly not going to sit in a parking lot using their device to watch a movie.

  7. I suppose a heavy mobile user might benefit, but I’ve never come close to using my 2GB plan on my iPhone, and only used up my 250MB plan on my iPad when I was on vacation using it for navigation.

  8. I suppose a heavy mobile user might benefit, but I’ve never come close to using my 2GB plan on my iPhone, and only used up my 250MB plan on my iPad when I was on vacation using it for navigation.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.