“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.”
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