Here's an interesting move. Today, a Sprint spokesperson said that moving forward it will not allow its smartphone customers to tether their devices to their laptops. You want mobile Internet on your laptop? Buy a Sprint dongle and data plan.Sprint's David Owens shared a wide range of Sprint's future plans during an online chat hosted today. The bulk of the information covers Sprint's plans for future smartphone devices. The basic points are these:
First, I'd like to say, "What the heck?"
Tethering allows users of smartphones to attach their device to a laptop and use it as a wireless modem. This means users -- and businesses -- can save a little bit of money each month. Most carriers charge a $15-$30 data premium above and beyond the normal smartphone data plan to enable tethering. Users can then avoid paying the typical $60 monthly data fees (for 5GB of data) that is often required with laptop modems. (Infrequent users can choose less costly plans.)
Sprint no longer wants its customer to have that option. If you want to surf the web on your Sprint smartphone and your laptop, you're going to have to pay for the two separate plans.
This is a major change in its policies that is going to affect the wallets of individuals and the bottom line of companies that equip their workforce with these tools. Were I a Sprint customer, I'd not be happy about this. Owens didn't say how long its current tethering customers will be allowed to do so. I assume they'll be grandfathered in at least until the end if their contracts.
What's scarier to ponder is, will the other carriers follow suit? I certainly hope not.