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Sprint bumps up its smart-phone data plans $10 a month

January 18, 2011 |  4:08 pm

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Sprint Nextel is increasing its monthly service fees by $10 a month for smart-phone customers, coming closer in cost to rivals Verizon and AT&T.

The rate increase, which Sprint called a Premium Data add-on charge, will go into effect Jan. 30, the carrier said in a statement, adding that its smart-phone owners use about 10 times more data than non-smart-phone consumers.

The increase will put Sprint's starting price for monthly smart-phone service at $79.99, and data use will still be unlimited.

"The charge will assist Sprint in offering simple and affordable unlimited plans for its customers while maintaining a wireless network able to meet the growing appetite for a richer mobile experience," the company said.

The base smart-phone plan also includes 450 minutes of calls to land-line phones, unlimited mobile-to-mobile minutes and unlimited text messages, Sprint said.

A similar plan through Verizon would run about $110 a month, according to Reuters.

AT&T no longer offers an unlimited data plan, instead capping data use at 2 GB a month, but its closest plan would run about $85 a month, with extra fees when a user goes over the data allotment, Reuters reported.

T-Mobile offers 500 minutes, unlimited Text and unlimited Web data for $79.99 a month.

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Sprint could lose 10% of customers to Verizon's iPhone

-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Photo: Seth Chapman, right, of Silver Lake checks out items for his new HTC Evo 4G smart phone at a Sprint store in Los Angeles in June. Credit: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times

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