The promise of 'unlimited' would more often than not, call for certain abuse for those who are familiar with how to take advantage of it. Even more so with Internet data, where one can have unlimited access to massive amounts of data in blazing fast speeds. This has garnered the attention of American carrier giant Sprint to make certain actions as a portion of its users hog data for themselves, giving the rest of its user base unfavourable experience when they are added into the equation.
Sprint CTO John Saw said in a blog post that the move to throttle data hogs who go past the 23GB mark is done in process to protect the 97 percent of its customers that have been negatively impacted by the 'overwhelmingly disproportionate network resources' caused by the remaining three percent. "As we continue to improve our network, and as data usage across the industry continues to skyrocket, we're always looking at ways to better manage our network resources and improve the customer experience," said Saw.
This prompts Sprint to introduce a new Quality of Service (QoS) practice that applies to its users who go for an unlimited data handset plan that has launched Oct. 16, 2015 onwards, or users who choose their devices on the aforementioned data and remain on an existing unlimited data plan. Customers that go over 23GB of data during their billing cycle will be put on the lower priority during times and locations where the network would appear constrained. However, these customers can still use unlimited amount of data without worrying about additional charges incurred by the succeeding data past the 23GB mark.
The new QoS practice is only meant for a small minority of customers with unlimited data plans who use high volumes of data and take up network resources unreasonably during network constraints. As mentioned, the QoS technique operates in real time and will only work if a cell site would seem constrained, and will return once data traffic on the cell site returns to normal or when the user transfers to a non-constrained cell site.
"Today's wireless networks are sophisticated and complex, but what our customers want is simple - to access their information and entertainment with a simple click," Saw said. "To make this happen, we'll continue to take a responsible and thoughtful approach in how we manage our network resources."