Sprint often differentiates itself from its rivals by touting its “unlimited data” offering. If you happen to be one of the carrier’s most demanding data consumers there’s bad news for you. Starting next month Sprint will throttle the top 5 percent of such users. The carrier doesn’t say how badly the speed will be hit, but does explain that users will only be throttled when they’re in a congested area. This change applies to both prepaid and postpaid subscribers.

Some Sprint subscribers have already started receiving text messages explaining the change. Once users are no longer connected to a congested cell site or the site is no longer congested speeds will return to normal. Sprint says it is making this change “to provide more customers with a high quality data experience during heavy usage times.”

The carrier also says that it has developed “fairness algorithms” on both of its CDMA and LTE networks to dynamically allocate available bandwidth to all users in a fair way. This marks the first time that Sprint is going to throttle its own brand subscribers. Boost Mobile and Virgin Mobile, prepaid services that use Sprint’s network, already throttle subscribers when they pass allotted data caps.

Subscribers who are not in a congested area wouldn’t face any throttling. Though it might bother those who’re attending a game or an event with large crowds. Sprint isn’t alone in this, similar network management practices are used by Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile as well.

Filed in Cellphones. Read more about Sprint.

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