Open Internet Information
INFORMATION RELATING TO SPRINT'S BROADBAND INTERNET ACCESS SERVICES
This web page contains important information about the terms, performance, and management of Sprint’s wireless broadband Internet access services and is intended to help you to make informed choices about the purchase and use of Sprint’s these services. It applies to Sprint branded prepaid and postpaid services as well as Sprint’s separate prepaid brands (Boost Mobile, Virgin Mobile, and Assurance Wireless). Broadband Internet access services provide Sprint customers with the ability to transmit and receive data from all or substantially all points on the Internet while using Sprint’s data networks. In some cases we will refer you to other web pages that will provide additional information about Sprint’s terms and practices. The information provided relates to your experience while using Sprint’s data networks and may not describe the terms, performance, or management you may experience while using extended coverage networks or roaming on non-Sprint affiliated networks.
For questions that are not answered on this page, Sprint customers may contact customer care at 888-211-4727, by dialing *2 from your Sprint phone or by any of the methods listed on our customer service contact page located at: sprint.com/contactus. For information on resolving disputes with Sprint, please review our terms and conditions under the heading "Dispute Resolution" located here: sprint.com/legal.
Where can I find pricing and other terms and conditions for Sprint broadband Internet access?
Sprint's terms and conditions, including guidelines on such topics as service plans, activation procedures, data usage and dispute resolution, can be viewed at the bottom of all of our online shopping pages. Terms and conditions also can be viewed here: sprint.com/legal.
Detailed information on all of Sprint's broadband Internet access service plans for phones, broadband cards, laptops, tablets, mobile hotspots, and more can be found on Sprint's online shopping pages at:
Sprint postpaid and contract plans: sprint.com/plans.
Sprint Prepaid plans: sprint.com/prepaid.
Boost Mobile: boostmobile.com/plans.
Virgin Mobile: virginmobileusa.com/plans.
What is Sprint's policy for online privacy?
Does Sprint have rules regarding the attachment of devices to its network by customers?
Any device certified as being Sprint network compatible may be used on the Sprint network including compatible devices not purchased from Sprint. Information about Sprint compatible devices can be found on Sprint’s website at: support.sprint.com/support/devicelistpage. Sprint will not activate devices that have been reported as lost or stolen or associated with accounts that are found not to be in good standing.
Manufacturers and developers who want to develop products for use on the Sprint’s network can contact Sprint for more information at: newsroom.sprint.com/request_info.cfm
Broadband Internet Access network performance is generally described by looking at two measurements – speed and latency. Speed refers to the amount of data that can be transmitted over a period of time and is typically expressed in megabits of data per second. Latency refers to the amount of time it takes for a packet of data to get from one designated point to another. Sprint measures latency as the time it takes a packet to be returned to its sender in milliseconds.
Network speed and latency determines how applications perform on a network. Many commonly used applications do not require high speeds. Applications like email, general web surfing, posting on social media, and other similar applications work well even when connected at lower speeds and are not generally affected by latency. Applications like streaming music and video may require higher speeds, but because they can be buffered, are also not affected by higher latency. Applications like real-time gaming, two way video conferencing, and other interactive audio/video applications usually work best when customers have high speed connections and low latency. Sprint customers will enjoy the best experience with these interactive applications when connected to Sprint’s 4G LTE network.
What performance can I expect from Sprint's data networks?
Sprint regularly measures the coverage, speed, and latency of our data networks in an effort to ensure our coverage maps and performance data are accurate and up-to-date. Our average speed and latency ranges are based on a combination of independent third-party testing and Sprint-generated results including actual customer performance results. Coverage isn't available everywhere, and speeds and latency may vary considerably from these averages based on factors both within and beyond Sprint’s control such as network problems, software, signal strength, your wireless device, structures, buildings, weather, geography, topography, etc. It is important that you consider the capabilities of your device, Sprint’s network coverage, and Sprint’s expected speed and latency estimates for Sprint’s network technologies in determining whether Sprint’s data services are right for you.
4G LTE network: Typically, you can expect to experience download speeds of 4-35Mbps and upload speeds of 1-5Mbps with an average device to network edge round-trip latency of less than 60ms. The average speed and latency of our 4G LTE network is suitable for video and audio streaming, web browsing and other general Internet usage consistent with Sprint's terms and conditions.
Sprint non-LTE network: Typically, you can expect to experience 600 Kbps-1.4Mbps download speeds and 350Kbps -500Kbps upload with an average device to network edge round-trip latency of less than 160ms. The average speed and latency of our non-LTE networks is suitable for video and audio streaming, web browsing and other general Internet usage consistent with Sprint's terms and conditions.
More information on Sprint’s network performance can be found at:
Depending on your service plan, additional information concerning Sprint's coverage can be found at
- Sprint postpaid and contract plans and service: sprint.com/coverage.
- Sprint Prepaid plans and service: sprint.com/prepaidcoverage
Do different Sprint plans have different performance?
Yes. To help ensure that our customers have access to the services that best suit their needs, Sprint offers a wide variety of different plans. Depending on the plan, you may be allotted fixed amounts of high-speed data per billing period after which your data access speeds may be reduced or suspended. Sprint plans may also limit the amount of data available for specialized applications such as use of your device as a Wi-Fi hotspot, to engage in peer to peer file sharing, VPN, and device tethering. Users on such plans will typically be directed to an informational web page with further options after exceeding any plan limits on these types of applications.
Some of our plans may provide different performance characteristics optimized to different user experiences. For example, some plans may come with standard DVD quality video streaming at one price, while providing an HD video experience for an additional charge. Similarly some plans may also limit gaming or audio streaming to standard or high definition. In some cases, users on plans with data allocations for specialized applications like Wi-Fi hotspot, peer to peer file sharing, VPN, and device tethering will experience reduced speed for those applications for the remainder of the billing period after exceeding their allotments.
For more information on the performance characteristics of current plans, please refer to the following pages:
Sprint postpaid and contract plans: sprint.com/plans.
Sprint Prepaid plans: sprint.com/prepaid.
Boost Mobile: boostmobile.com/plans.
Virgin Mobile: virginmobileusa.com/plans.
Sprint is committed to providing the best mobile broadband Internet access service experience possible. To ensure that all Sprint customers enjoy the best possible network experience, Sprint uses reasonable network management practices that are consistent with mobile broadband industry standards and guidance provided by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Sprint’s network management practices are primarily used for and tailored to achieving legitimate network management purposes taking into account Sprint’s network architecture and technology.
The following is intended to help you understand what Sprint means by network management and explain Sprint's network management techniques and approaches.
Why does Sprint manage its network?
Sprint manages its network with the goal of delivering the best possible mobile broadband Internet access experience to our customers. Mobile network resources are not infinite. Managing the network is essential to promote the use and enjoyment of mobile data by our customers. We use reasonable network management practices that are consistent with industry standards for protecting Sprint’s network and customers and for managing the delivery of mobile broadband services. Just as the Internet continues to change and evolve, so, too, will our network management practices to address the challenges and threats on the Internet.
How does Sprint manage its network?
Sprint employs a holistic approach to managing congestion on its data network. Sprint’s first goal is to avoid congestion altogether by directing traffic to the best available spectrum resources and cell sites. Sprint also attempts to avoid congestion by managing tonnage on its network. Finally, when congestion does occur, meaning that the demand on a particular sector temporarily exceeds the ability of that sector to meet the demand, Sprint relies on the radio scheduling software provided by Sprint’s hardware vendors to allocate resources to users.
Techniques to Direct Traffic to the Best Available Spectrum Resources and Cell Sites: All mobile networks, including Sprint’s, employ a Radio Access Network (“RAN”) that manages connectivity between mobile client devices and the core network. The RAN functions to identify mobile devices permitted to access the network and their locations and assigns the mobile device to an available frequency band and cell site serving the location. The RAN also controls device “hand off” between neighboring cell site resources to balance load across network resources or as a mobile device moves from one location to another. Sprint’s RAN manages connections between mobile devices and cell sites operating on multiple frequency bands (800 MHz, 1.9 GHz, 2.5 GHz) and multiple air interfaces (CDMA, EVDO, LTE). As part of managing those connections, Sprint’s RAN is designed to dynamically connect customers to the best available spectrum resources and cell sites—and reassign those connections as circumstances change.
Managing Tonnage: Some of Sprint’s traffic management efforts are aimed at avoiding congestion by managing the total volume of data transmitted, referred to colloquially as “tonnage.” Sprint may work with high-volume content providers to help ensure that their content is delivered in a way that uses Sprint’s network in an efficient manner. In addition, some applications may reduce or increase their traffic volume depending on network conditions. For example, some streaming video applications employ adaptive bitrate protocol to stream video. These applications automatically and continuously monitor the available bandwidth and adjust the streaming video bitrate to current user conditions. Depending on available bandwidth, users may notice differences in video streaming quality as the application adjusts the video streaming bitrate to account for changing channel conditions.
Allocating Resources During Times of Congestion: Despite our best efforts to prevent congestion through managing tonnage and directing customers to the best available network resources, the demand on a particular network sector sometimes temporarily exceeds the ability of that sector to meet the demand. During these times, Sprint relies on the radio scheduling software provided by Sprint’s hardware vendors to allocate resources to users. This radio scheduling software includes a set of generic fairness algorithms that allocate resources based on signal quality, number of users, and other metrics. These algorithms are active at all times, whether or not the cell is congested; however, during times of congestion, the algorithms operate with the goal of ensuring that no single user is deprived of access to the network.
Quality of Service (QoS): To help protect against the possibility that unlimited data plan customers that use high volumes of data may occupy an unreasonable share of network resources, Sprint employs network prioritization or QoS on the Sprint network. Customers who choose unlimited data handset plans launched on or after October 16, 2015, or customers who choose to upgrade their handsets or activate new lines of service on or after October 16, 2015, and are on unlimited data plans, that use more than 50GB (35GB for Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile) of data during a single billing cycle (the QoS Threshold) will be de-prioritized for the remainder of that billing cycle as compared to other customers at times and places where the availability of network resources is constrained. Affected unlimited data customers will continue to be able to enjoy unlimited amounts of data without the worry of overage charges or hard, full time bandwidth reductions. Customers subject to de-prioritization may experience reduced throughput and increased latency compared to other customers on the constrained site and as compared to their normal experience on the Sprint network. Unlimited customers may also notice temporary changes in the performance of data intensive applications such as streaming video or online gaming when subject to de-prioritization. These temporary reductions in performance will only occur at times and places where capacity is constrained. Performance will return to normal as soon as the resource constraints have been relieved or the customer has relocated to a non-constrained location. Unlimited data customers potentially subject to lower QoS will be notified when their individual data usage reaches approximately 75% of the QoS Threshold so that they may modify their usage to avoid network management practices that may result in slower data speeds. We will also notify customers when they have reached the QoS Threshold and are now subject to de-prioritization.
Real-Time Traffic Management System (RTTMS): Another tool Sprint has deployed to help improve the customer experience for the majority of customers during times and places where network resources are constrained is Sprint’s RTTMS. When a Sprint site is resource constrained, RTTMS works to identify the users consuming the most site resources, and reallocates a portion of the resources serving the data intensive users to other users engaged in less resource intensive activities. When RTTMS is activated on a resource constrained site, customers engaged in data intensive applications may experience reduced performance until the site becomes unconstrained or the user moves to a non-resource constrained site. Users of the resource-constrained site that are not engaged in data intensive actives should expect a better experience than they would have on the site if RTTMS not activated. Sprint’s RTTMS is user, content, application, and device agnostic and is intended to provide an improved experience for the majority of users when resources are constrained.
How does congestion management impact me and my data services?
The goal of congestion management is to ensure that all users during times of congestion have access to a fair share of the network resources and that no user is starved of resources. When congestion occasionally occurs, customers may experience reduced throughput or speed compared to their normal experience on non-congested sites.
How often does Sprint use congestion management?
Because of the peaked nature of mobile data traffic, congestion management software is actively looking for network congestion at all times. When it detects congestion, the fairness algorithms described above operate with the goal of ensuring that all customers are allocated a fair share of network resources.
To help reduce congestion, Sprint evaluates its overall network performance and enhances its network by adding capacity or making other network adjustments to help improve network performance.
Does Sprint have any prohibited applications or uses?
Yes, Sprint broadband internet access services are intended to be used for web surfing, sending and receiving email, photographs and other similar messaging activities, and the non-continuous streaming of videos, downloading or uploading of files or online gaming. To ensure the activities of some users do not impair the ability of our customers to have access to reliable services, Sprint prohibits use of our services in a manner that is illegal, harms or unduly interferes with Sprint's network or systems, poses a security risk, or is otherwise prohibited by our terms and conditions or acceptable use policy. Refer to sprint.com/termsandconditions and sprint.com/ sprint.com/en/legal/acceptable-use-policy.html for more information.
Does Sprint discriminate against particular types of online content?
Sprint strives to deliver to its customers access to all the lawful, legitimate and non-infringing content that the Internet has to offer. However, we are committed to protecting our network and customers from spam, phishing, viruses, malware, security attacks and other unwanted harmful or malicious online activities. Sprint uses industry standard tools and generally accepted best practices and policies including our own analysis and third party intelligence to help it meet this goal. In cases where these tools and policies identify certain traffic patterns, addresses, or destinations as being harmful or malicious, Sprint may deploy technical controls to block or prevent access to harmful or malicious traffic. In other cases, these tools and policies may permit customers to identify certain content that is not clearly harmful or unwanted, such as bulk email or websites with questionable security ratings, and enable those customers to inspect the content further if they want to do so. Sprint does not block sites based on content or subject, unless the Internet address hosts unlawful content or is blocked as part of an opted-in customer service.
Despite the actions that Sprint takes to protect its network and customers, Sprint cannot guarantee that you may not encounter unwanted or harmful or malicious internet traffic while using Sprint’s broadband Internet access services. We encourage you to engage in your own security practices including using antivirus/antimalware products. For further information see: sprint.com/en/legal/secure-online-use.
Do device software upgrades affect the performance of my device on Sprint's network?
From time to time, Sprint may push software updates to your device to improve device features, security, and performance. These updates may include components that optimize the way your device and application on the device use network resources by, for example, managing connections between a user's Wi-Fi networks and the Sprint network or by managing the intervals at which certain background applications not being used by the user connect to the network. Updates that manage radio resources are intended to improve performance and device battery life while at the same maintaining a high quality user experience.