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 these services. It applies to Sprint-branded postpaid services as well as to those customers on Sprint’s separate prepaid brand, Assurance Wireless, who activated service before October 2020 and haven’t yet transitioned to the T-Mobile network. In some cases we, will refer you to other web pages that will provide additional information about Sprint’s terms and practices.
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. Except for the below references to T-Mobile’s network, 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.
T-Mobile and Sprint are now part of the same family. While T-Mobile is working to build a combined network, the Sprint network continues to operate. Sprint customers’ traffic may be carried in some areas by the T-Mobile network (e.g., where T-Mobile's network is available and Sprint’s is not). These Sprint customers will continue to experience the network management practices disclosed on this page, but while on the T-Mobile network can expect to experience the speeds and data prioritization disclosed on T-Mobile’s Open Internet page.
Data for customers on other Sprint-branded plans is prioritized before the data of customers who select the Sprint Essentials plans or Assurance Wireless branded plans. In the vast majority of times and places, these customers should notice little if any effect from having lower network priority. During congestion, they may notice reduced speeds in comparison to other Sprint-branded customers.
E-Rate and other government or enterprise customers' use of Sprint’s Broadband Internet Access Services may also be governed by an applicable contract or agreement.
For questions that are not answered on this page, Sprint customers may chat with us at any time, or reach out via 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.
Sprint offers mobile Broadband Internet Access Services for phones, tablets, netbooks, USB modems, mobile hotspots and other wireless devices over our 2G, 3G, and 4G, networks, and 5G on the T-Mobile network. Your plan includes access to the technologies, features, and services Sprint offers that were available and that you purchased when you first activated your current rate plan. You may have temporary access to new services while they are being tested or made available for purchase. Your temporary access may end at any time, but we may begin offering access for purchase.
Your data plan may feature a designated allotment of high-speed data, after which your data speed may be reduced or your data access may be suspended for the remainder of the billing cycle. Data used for customer service applications like My Sprint and Sprint.com may not count against that allotment.
Where can I find pricing and other terms and conditions for Sprint broadband Internet access?
Sprint's terms and conditions, including on such topics as service plans, activation procedures, data usage and dispute resolution, can be viewed at: sprint.com/legal.
Detailed information on Sprint's rate plans may be found here.
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. Sprint may limit activations of new devices on older technologies as we prepare to transition our networks to newer technologies; see a sales representative for the latest options.
Manufacturers and developers who want to develop products for use on 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 kilobits or 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 affect 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 higher latency. Applications like streaming music and video may require higher speeds, but because they can be buffered, are also generally 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 the newest network technology.
What performance can I expect from Sprint's data networks? Where are those speeds available?
Many factors affect the speed and performance that customers experience, including the programs running on the device, proximity to a cell site, the capacity of the cell site, weather, the surrounding terrain, use inside a building or moving vehicle, radio frequency interference, network problems, how many other customers are attempting to use the same spectrum resources, any high-speed data allotment, the rate plans or features you select, and uses that affect your network prioritization, such as whether you are using tethering or if you are a Heavy Data User. For Sprint-branded rate plans, a "Heavy Data User" is typically defined as a customer using more than 50GB of data in a billing cycle. The threshold number is periodically evaluated across our rate plans and brands to manage network traffic and deliver a good experience to all customers while offering a range of customer choices. You can always check the usage threshold amount relevant for a rate plan by speaking with a representative or by reviewing rate plan info here or My Sprint.
The term "Heavy Data User" does not apply to customers activating on Sprint’s Unlimited for All Premium plan beginning February 24, 2021, a new customer choice we are offering as we explore the expanding capacity of our 5G network. Our average speed and latency ranges are based on analysis and projections from third-party, crowd-sourced data. The ranges are projections based on roughly the 25th and 75th percentiles of these network test results. 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. You may notice slower speeds while tethering, especially during network congestion, as described further below.
Additionally, Sprint offers other services to its customers that use the same network infrastructure and resources as its Broadband Internet Access Services and are given priority over other traffic on the network. These other services currently include calling-related services: Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), and Voice over LTE (VoLTE); more may be added. These services may affect the availability of network resources for Broadband Internet Access Services in times of congestion
5G Network: Sprint customers with capable devices have access to T-Mobile’s 5G network in areas also supported by T-Mobile’s 4G LTE network. T-Mobile’s 5G network layers millimeter wave, mid-band, and low-band spectrum over T-Mobile’s LTE network. Currently, T-Mobile's 5G millimeter wave network is available on capable devices in select areas (see https://www.t-mobile.com/devices/samsung-galaxy-s10-5g#maps). The low-band 5G network is available nationwide, although coverage may not be available in some areas (see https://www.t-mobile.com/coverage/5g-coverage-map). Sprint devices operating on T-Mobile's nationwide 5G network currently use multi-band dual connectivity; customers with 5G-compatible devices will receive service via both T-Mobile's 4G LTE network and its 5G network to support their connectivity.
Based on initial analysis and projections from third-party, crowd-sourced data and subject to the factors described above and below, typically, you can expect to experience on your capable Sprint device download speeds of 38 – 111Mbps and upload speeds of 10 – 34Mbps with average device to network edge round-trip latency of 21 – 35ms. The average speed and latency of T-Mobile’s 5G network is suitable for video and audio streaming, web browsing and other general Internet usage consistent with Sprint's terms and conditions.
Sprint will provide additional information here regarding speed and latency as the 5G network is further deployed and more crowd-sourced user data is collected. Please review this page for updated information as the 5G rollout is ongoing. Note that the network architecture providing dual connectivity could result in instances where your device indicates a 5G connection even though you are temporarily utilizing only 4G LTE.
4G LTE Network: Typically, you can expect to experience on your Sprint device download speeds of 4-35Mbps and upload speeds of 1-5Mbps with average device to network edge round-trip latency of 30-56ms. While tethering, you can anticipate download speeds of approximately 4-30Mbps and upload speeds of approximately 1-5Mbps with average device to network edge round-trip latency of 29-69ms. 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 are good for streaming audio, email, and web browsing.
Information concerning Sprint's coverage can be found at: sprint.com/coverage.
Do different Sprint plans have different performance?
Yes. To help ensure that our customers may choose the services that best suit their needs, Sprint offers a wide variety of different plans. Depending on the plan you selected, you may have a fixed amount of high-speed data per billing period after which your data access speeds may be reduced or suspended. Your plan 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, within a bill cycle. You may have the option to add additional data.
Other factors can also affect the speed and performance that customers experience such as network prioritization, whether you are using your device for tethering or if you are a Heavy Data User (as described above, for most Sprint-branded rate plans, a using more 50GB of data in a billing cycle). This threshold number is periodically evaluated, may change over time, and may differ for other brands (see your brand’s Open Internet page for details).
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 (typically 480p), sometimes called streaming video optimization. This improves overall data usage management of the network, resulting in greater network speeds and throughput for other customers using data because less network payload is dedicated to video. For customers on limited high-speed plans, optimization also helps customers stretch their high-speed data while streaming video. Some of our plans offer a higher definition video, e.g., HD video at up to 1080p, or higher. Similarly, Sprint may offer plans with gaming or audio streaming at standard or at high definition.
Please review your rate plan details for more information, or for details on the performance characteristics of current plans, please refer to the following pages:
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. 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 and choices 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.
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, Sprint incorporates network management for extremely high data usage and tethering.
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.” Some Sprint plans optimize video to a typically 480p experience, as described above, for example. Sprint may work with 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.
Prioritization for Heavy Data Use and Tethering:
Unlimited high-speed data customers do not have a specific high-speed data allotment on their device. Some network management is required, however, because very heavy data usage at times and places of competing network demands can affect the network performance for other customers.
To provide the best possible experience for the most possible customers on their Sprint-branded plans, and to minimize capacity issues and degradation in network performance, we manage significant high-speed data usage on the vast majority of our unlimited data plans through prioritization.
Customers on the vast majority of our unlimited data plans and that use more than 50GB of data during a single billing cycle are considered Heavy Data Users for that billing cycle and will have their data traffic prioritized after other customers’ data (including tethering) for the remainder of that billing cycle at times and places of competing network demands. This may result in slower data speeds. At the start of the next bill cycle, the customer's usage status is reset, and this data traffic is no longer prioritized lower. Customers who use data in violation of their Rate Plan terms or our Terms and Conditions may be excluded from this calculation. Data used for customer service applications such as the My Sprint Account app and Sprint.com do not count towards customers' usage for this calculation. To help avoid application of this practice, and reduce mobile data consumption, customers can set automatic updating of apps, podcasts and file downloads to run off Wi-Fi (making sure to connect to Wi-Fi to update applications and system periodically).
Similarly, while we permit tethering pursuant to the terms, conditions and allotments of your data plan, tethering can affect on-device network performance for all customers. To ensure the best possible on-device experience for the most possible customers, and to minimize capacity issues and degradation in network performance, we prioritize on-device data (except that of Heavy Data Users, as described above) over tethering data at times and at locations where there are competing customer demands for network resources, which may result in slower tethering speeds.
Where the network is lightly loaded in relation to available capacity, a customer whose data is prioritized higher than other traffic will notice little, if any, effect from having higher priority. This will be the case in the vast majority of times and locations. Customers may notice reduced speeds and increased latency in comparison to customers with a higher priority during network congestion. At times and at locations where the network is heavily loaded in relation to available capacity, these customers will likely see significant reductions in data speeds, especially if they are engaged in data-intensive activities. Customers should be aware that these practices may occasionally result in speeds below those typically experienced on our 5G or LTE networks, including a greater likelihood of reduced speeds in the lower end of the speed ranges. Depending on the extent of network congestion, these customers may notice more frequent impacts to some video streaming, file downloads, and other high-bandwidth activities. Some locations may also notice more frequent heavy loading of the network than in other locations. When network loading goes down or the customer moves to a location that is less heavily loaded in relation to available capacity, the customer's speeds will likely improve.
Unlimited data customers will be notified when their individual data usage reaches approximately 75% of the Heavy Data User threshold so that they may choose to modify their usage to avoid network management practices that may result in slower data speeds. We will also notify customers if they have reached the threshold and are subject to heavy data user prioritization until the next bill cycle. You can check your data plan usage at any time by signing in to sprint.com or using the My Sprint app and clicking on the usage tab. Your total data is the number used for purposes of heavy data usage prioritization.
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.