Sprint Cuts Its Phone as a Modem Rate

Sprint CentroIn a rather unsurprising move, beleaguered wireless provider Sprint Nextel has slashed the cost of their "Phone as Modem" PAM (aka Dial-up-network) service. The plan now is only $15/month, down from the steep $40 and $50/month previous prices. While any service discounts are always welcome from the perspective of the company's users, this is mostly likely an attempt to possibly stem some of the substantial user churn the company is experiencing. Sprint's customer turnover problems are widely documented in the industry, as indicated by this New York Times article from June.

Sprint has also seen fit to reshuffle some of its rules and restrictions for the service in the process. It must be combined with a data plan for data-capable feature phones and smartphones. An EVDO Rev. 0 or Rev. A handset is required to utilize the service and either wired or wirelesss Bluetooth connectivity can be used.

Amongst Palm's current Sprint offerings, compatible handsets include the Windows Mobile-based Treo 700wx and Treo 800w, with the Palm OS-based Treo 700p, 755p and the Centro. In order to keep users from using the PAM service as their primary ISP and overburdening Sprint's network, the 5 gigabyte monthly data cap is still being imposed. Long-time Palm OS users will note that Bluetooth DUN on Treos has long been a notoriously contested issue between users and their providers, especially as far as Sprint and Verizon have been concerned.

As far as related software, Mobile Stream's USB Modem and the recently-updated June Fabrics' PDA Net apps are helpful apps for Palm OS users looking to tether their PCs to their Treos/Centros, regardless if they subscribe to a PAM/DUN plan from their carriers or not. As always, utilizing any such software to establish a DUN connection is at the user's own risk of violating their wireless provider's TOS and incurring additional charges.

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