Sprint May Cap Data Roaming on Laptops

Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) said laptop customers using an excessive amount of mobile data while roaming could have their accounts temporarily suspended, though the carrier still doesn’t plan to limit the wireless connection for its high-volume smartphone customers.

Sprint is changing its policies for data service for laptops users with mobile broadband cards or USB modems, a spokesman said. The changes won’t apply to smartphones, he added. Sprint declined to break out how many customers are on one of the $59.99 monthly mobile broadband plan.

Sprint already has a cap of five gigabytes of data usage within the network, and 300 megabytes of roaming data. Starting July 11, excessive data roaming by mobile laptop users could lead to Sprint suspending the off-network service until the customer’s next billing cycle, unless the customer opts into a plan with extra charges for off-network usage.

Sprint will be able to notify broadband customers through a text message or e-mail when they hit 75 and 90 percent of the roaming data limit. The plans include five cents per megabyte on the Sprint network and 25 cents when roaming.

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