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Sprint slaps 5GB limit on Mobile Hotspots, adds hefty fees

Sprint is parading around the mediaverse claiming the entire network is “truly unlimited” but slaps massive restrictions and overage fees on Mobile Hotspots.



Sprint surprises customers with new limits

Sprint’s recent commercial series focuses on how “truly unlimited” the Sprint Network is, featuring children disappointed by parents nearing their data limits choosing apps over their performances, like below:

[ba-youtubeflex videoid=”qFp0P_Wuftc”]

But what Sprint really means is that data is “truly unlimited” for their entire Sprint Network, except for Mobile Hotspots, after years of promoting the service, and even promoting the idea that several users can be on the same Hotspot simultaneously. The company gave users a tasted, got them hooked, and is now announcing1 that starting this month, and effective on users’ next bill, their phone or tablet’s Mobile Hotspot on-network data allowance will be limited to 5 GB. “Truly unlimited?”

Truly unlimited fail.

According to the company, the changes include:

  1. A monthly 5GB of 3G and/or 4G data allowance will apply while on the Sprint network and display on your next bill. This 5GB is in addition to your phone or tablet plan’s monthly on-network data usage.
  2. You have the option to receive notifications from Sprint as you approach the monthly 5GB on-network data allowance. See Additional Use Notifications for enrollment instructions.
  3. If you choose to continue using above the monthly 5GB on-network allowance, additional data usage charges of 5¢/MB will apply.

Sprint says that what is not changing is the monthly charge for the Mobile Hotspot, and that unlimited data usage still applies to smartphone and tablet use, just not Mobile Hotspot use. Off-network roaming data usage is a combination of Mobile Hotspot or Phone as Modem and phone or tablet and monthly data allowance stays the same: 300 MB for phones and 100 or 300 MB for tablets depending on your tablet plan. Additional off-network roaming data for tablets is 25¢/MB. Tablet customers will continue to receive off-network data usage notifications.

Sprint says it will alert users when they have used between 75 and 90 percent of their monthly data allowance for their Mobile Hotspot, but only if they subscribe to notifications. If Sprint was not promoting how unlimited their network was, this change would be no surprise, but users will likely feel that the wool is being pulled over their eyes, especially regarding how hefty the overage charges are.

If Sprint allowed users to keep their Mobile Hotspot at the same unlimited plan for the remainder of their contract, that would also not be a problem, but because users can’t notify Sprint that they’ve decided they’ll pay 20 percent less each month because they need to conserve – Sprint would say adios, just as some people will likely do as Sprint has pulled this quick surprise without warning.

1 Sprint Announcement

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.

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  1. mtamaralondon

    June 5, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    As Sprint customers we should have the option to break our contracts since obviously sprint broke thier word.

  2. mg123987

    June 6, 2012 at 8:32 am

    The hotspot feature is just that, a feature. There is no contract associated with the hotspot and can be dropped at any time. so if you can’t handle a 5 GB cap drop the feature. On a side note try going outside instead of being tethered to your phone or computer.

    • natedood

      June 6, 2012 at 10:44 am

       @mg123987 It’s not as simple as that for those of us that purchased phones and plans specifically for this offering from Sprint.  I went with Sprint because I could use this on the road, in fact, the sales person pitched it as a reason to go with Sprint.  
      If the fee’s were reasonable I wouldn’t even complain, but now I’ll pay $50 per gigabyte over the limit?!  That is just plain robbery.

  3. CharlesEarley

    June 6, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Sprint told me this is not a material change to my contract, so I am stuck with the current contract.  Sprint has eliminated discount, promised 4G service (and I actually feel lucky when I get 3G speeds) and does not have adequate capacity on Galveston Island.  They have enough during the week, during the winter, but let 500,000 tourists arrive, and try making a call or using the WiFi hotspot.  If you can get dial up speeds, you are lucky.  Unfortunately, they were the best option simply because of unlimited.  Now, I am shopping around for a new plan.

  4. natedood

    June 6, 2012 at 10:41 am

    I’m very upset.  I went with sprint because I travel a few times a month for work and using my phone as a hotspot was a perfect option for my laptop while on the road.  I’m very disappointed and will be leaving Sprint because of it. 

  5. ThomasABJohnson

    June 7, 2012 at 1:32 am

    We will start seeing more and more throttling and data up charges until data usage is optimized by all the carriers. Want an iPhone #5 this fall? Be prepared to lose your grandfathered unlimited data plan if you take the subsidized price and want LTE speeds. Right now, I think I am a long term IPhone 4s owner.

  6. anonuser

    October 3, 2012 at 11:45 am

    There is a new service called Solavei that may be a cheaper option. They run on the T-Mobile network and offer no contract service with 4G, I do think it is throttled after 4g of data per month but no extra charges.$49 per month with a plan that lets you even make money if you want too. Check out for details.

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Tech Gadgets

Samsung nudged out of the top smartphone seller spot by Huawei

(TECH GADGETS) Huawei beats Samsung as the top seller of smartphones for the first time ever — but can they keep it up? How will COVID change the smartphone market?



When you think of a best-selling smartphone, pretty much anything from Samsung or Apple tends to come to mind. During the second quarter of 2020, though, Huawei–a Chinese company–takes that title.

This is a surprising disruption of what we’ve come to expect from smartphone sales, no less so because of the United States’ ban on technology products from China. Indeed, Engadget points out that 70 percent of Huawei smartphone sales occurred within China, something that plenty of manufacturers thought would spell a significant hit for the company.

Huawei themselves actually predicted a 20 percent drop in smartphone sales during 2020–a figure that both failed to come to fruition (the company’s sales only dipped by five percent during the second quarter of 2020) and was heavily influenced by the ban. Nevertheless, their sales topped even Samsung’s during this quarter.

The smartphone company’s success can be attributed, at least in part, to China’s swift response to the Coronavirus pandemic, thus capping the sharp decrease in smartphone sales seen worldwide during 2020. By selling largely internally, Huawei was able to best their own predictions of doom and propel their brand forward.

These sales don’t come without some drawbacks. One major aspect of the tech ban on China is that Huawei phones cannot ship with the Google Play Store app or proprietary apps installed–something that virtually every other Android phone can do with free reign. This is a situation that is unlikely to change under the current administration.

Additionally, Samsung is set to release new products in the third quarter of 2020, so they expect to top Huawei once again. Surely, Huawei’s success may very well be a fluke insofar as they were able to maintain sales in a market in which every other company saw dramatic changes to their numbers.

Perhaps the most notable takeaway from this situation is Huawei’s circumstantial timing. In a world where smartphone sales took a backseat to hand sanitizer panics and mask shortages, Huawei was in the right place at the right time by marketing to home-based buyers. As this pandemic progresses and the tech ban on China tightens, it will be interesting to see how–or if–China continues to innovate in this way.

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Tech Gadgets

Recording your smartphone’s screen is easier than you think

(TECH GADGETS) Screen recording your mobile device is a valuable trick, but not many people realize how easy it is. Here is how it’s done.



screen recording

Recording your smartphone’s screen may seem like a gimmick at best, but there are some pretty valid applications for a screen recording, be they demonstrations of technology, walkthroughs for your mom to watch at Christmas, or documentation of a particularly hilarious thread on Twitter. Here’s how you can record your phone’s screen if you have an iPhone or Android.

Firstly, keep in mind that not all phones have a screen-recording option. If you’re running an iPhone 4 from 2010, you’re out of luck. More pressingly, most Androids don’t allow you to record the screen without downloading a third-party app–something that, thankfully, will be fixed later this year when Android 11 drops. We’ll cover both an Android 11 and a prior versions method so you Android folks don’t get left out.

If you have an iPhone that’s running iOS 11 or later, though–that’d be anything from the iPhone 5 up–the process of recording your screen is exceptionally simple, if a little tricky to set up the first time.

From the Settings app, you’ll need to open the Control Center option, tap Customize Controls, and tap the plus icon next to Screen Recording. This adds the Screen Recording option to your Control Center.

Once you’ve done that, you can open the Control Center–by swiping down from the top-right corner of the screen (iPhone X and up) or swiping up from the bottom of the screen (iPhone 8 and prior) and tap the circle-within-a-circle icon to begin recording your screen’s contents after a three-second countdown.

You can stop the screen recording by tapping the red icon at the top of your screen and then confirming the choice, after which point the recording gets saved to your Photos app.

Android 11 users have a similarly easy way to record their screens. To activate your screen recording widget, swipe down from the top of the screen to open notifications, then swipe down again to expand the menu into settings. Swipe right until you find the Screen record option, then tap it and follow the on-screen prompts. You can then tap Start to begin recording the screen; when you’re ready to stop, swipe down again and tap Tap to stop.

For Android users who aren’t using Android 11, there are a few free apps you can download from Google Play to record your screen. AZ Screen Recorder and Super Screen Recorder are both free to use for recordings with no watermarks and no time limits, and while both are ad-supported, you can avoid these ads by paying for the professional versions if you like.

Keep in mind that using any third-party app to record your screen can result in that app sharing your data. While it isn’t likely that your data will include the recording itself, it’s probably best to avoid recording any sensitive information if you aren’t using the Android 11 screen recording feature.

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Tech Gadgets

Get rid of mosquitos this summer with this non-toxic, killer light

(TECH GADGETS) Brace yourself, folks. There’s a new mosquito killer in town, and guess what? It doesn’t use toxic chemicals or citronella.




They’re so ubiquitous that many states claim them as their official state bird. They’re recognized as being arguably the most deadly animal in the world. They spread disease, incite ire and wrath, and ruin summer picnics. Scientists call them “Culicidae,” but we know them by their street names. They’re the common mosquito, and suffice to say, we all hate them with every fiber of our being.

But here’s the problem. As much as we hate the little suckers, getting rid of them is an almost impossible feat. Sure, you can spray yourself from head to toe with toxic chemicals to ward them off. So what if you wind up growing an extra limb in the process? You can use that spare hand to slap the surviving bugs. Or here’s another idea: did you know that mosquitoes are attracted to carbon dioxide? And you know what makes you give off extra carbon dioxide? That’s right. Running. So skip the afternoon jog and you should be right as rain. What’s a little extra paunch when trying to stop the spread of malaria?

Then there’s citronella. Don’t even freakin’ get me started on citronella. Is it all natural and safe? Sure, of course it is…but you know what else is all natural? Cyanide. But nobody is over here advocating for using cyanide to end all of your mosquito woes. I mean, yeah, it’ll make you not care about them anymore. But it doesn’t exactly mean it’s good for you. (Author note: seriously, please don’t take cyanide. I really don’t have to elaborate on this, do I?) While citronella is a known mosquito repellant, its scent is nothing short of vile. If you have citronella candles burning at your next cookout, you can say goodbye to both the flying pests and myself. It’ll keep both of us away. Guaranteed.

Then there’s this new product, which is apparently a novel way of attacking the mosquito problem head-on. Combining a special type of ultraviolet LED light, which is evidently downright irresistible to mosquitoes, with something called “bionic temperatures” (which means literally nothing to me, and my mad Googling left me empty handed on the definition of this term), this device is evidently the miracle tool that we’ve all been waiting for. Evidently these bionic temperatures boost the range of this light, sending off a beacon that summons skeeters both far and wide.

At the risk of sounding like an infomercial — but wait, there’s more! Then this nifty little device literally sucks the nasty bugs into its body with a peripheral vortex (a fancypants way of saying it’s a spinny air trap) and get this: it desiccates the everliving heck out of them. Oh yeah. That would be the “physical air-drying” storage box at the base of the machine. So, in summary, this device hails mosquitoes like a dinner bell, goes all twisty sucky vortex, then mummifies the little suckers. Nice.

And yes, friends. It’s safe and all natural, but totally not in the cyanide-which-kills-you-dead kind of way. It’s also quiet, non-toxic, non-polluting (also very valid considerations!) and the best part? It doesn’t reek of citronella. Apparently this magical little mosquito killer can be had for a ridiculously low price on the vendor’s website (another author note: totally not a shill, just really hate both mosquitos and citronella) of just about $30. So if you were thinking about having a barbeque this summer and you wanted to socially distance yourself from the mosquitoes, why not give this product a try? After all, nothing says you’re living the plague-free life quite like a coronavirus-ridden summer full of dehydrated mosquitos, right? Right.

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