There are some organizations with access to a special Sprint based plan intended for non-profits. These operators are qualified to tap into an old legacy plan that Sprint inherited during its acquisition of Clear in 2013, and these particular plans are administered by master agents Mobile Beacon & Mobile Citizen behind the scenes.
Last Update: November 18, 2020
Sprint is now part of T-Mobile, as per the merger that closed on April 1, 2020.
New Sprint customers are directed to T-Mobile to sign up for their plans, however, some of Sprint's legacy plans are still available in-store or over the phone. Customers on existing direct Sprint plans will be able to retain those plans for three years following the merger without price increases or changes to features.
The two networks still operate mostly independently with their own towers and frequency bands but are systematically being integrated. As of May 2021, most Sprint phones, Tablet, and mobile hotspots will freely roam onto the T-Mobile network thanks to network changes behind the scenes as well as roaming list updates pushed to Sprint devices.
T-Mobile is also offering most Sprint smartphone customers the ability to choose the "T-Mobile Network Experience". In short, TNX allows Sprint network customers with compatible devices to trade in their Sprint SIM card for a T-Mobile SIM card and move their plan to the T-Mobile network while retaining the features, billing, and terms of their original Sprint plan. You can read more about what this means here.
At present time - aside from Boost being sold to Dish Network - there are no changes to 3rd party, reseller, or MVNO plans sold on the Sprint network. However, we are continuing to monitor the situation and will update as appropriate.
Policies & Perks:
Top Pick Plan Notes: These plans are truly unlimited data for the included hotspot device, with no caps or throttling. However you are not the plan owner, and are instead receiving the plan as a benefit of your membership to the non-profit. The terms of the merger with T-Mobile should include keeping this plan around into the future, and roaming onto T-Mobile towers is already activated when there is no Sprint signal (these plans may also become direct T-Mobile plans in time). Pricing ranges from $12 - 50/month depending on the non-profit you are qualified for, and if you choose monthly, quarterly or annual memberships.
- Carrier Networks Used: Sprint
- Carrier Relation: Non-Profit Reseller
- Plan Types Available: LTE Data Only
- Device Types Permitted: Hotspot - Device Specific (Officially)
- Device Purchase Required: Non-profit dependent, but typically, yes.
- Mobile Hotspot Use: Yes - all
- 5G Access: Yes - on specified device/plan
- Throttling: None
- Network Management: 50 GB
- International Roaming: No international coverage is included.
- Domestic Roaming: Roaming onto T-Mobile towers when no Sprint signal included. No other domestic roaming or 3G Sprint coverage included.
- Plan Period: Monthly, Quarterly, Annual
- Data Roll Over: No
- Overage Charges: No
- Streaming: There are no restrictions, throttling or blocks on video streaming.
- Unlimited: Yes
News, Video, & Status:
Members of our team have kept these plans over the years, confirming the plan works as intended. Our team currently has Calyx and PCs for People in active service.
Note: As of Sept 14, 2020 Calyx is no longer offering the 8000L or Coolpad Surf shown in this video.
- Calyx Institute Introduces Sustainer Membership Level with 5G Hotspot & Unlimited Sprint Data Included Posted on: May 17, 2021
- Sprint Non-Profit Unlimited Hotspot Plans Gain Access to T-Mobile Roaming - Calyx, PCs for People Posted on: November 18, 2020
- Calyx Institute Introducing Quarterly Pricing on Unlimited Sprint Hotspot Offering Posted on: March 10, 2020
- 4GCommunity Ending Non-Profit Sprint Based Unlimited Hotspot Benefit Posted on: October 23, 2017
- Calyx Institute Offering Unlimited & Unthrottled Sprint Service Posted on: September 26, 2016
Potential Alternatives to Consider:
Some of our TOP PICK Cellular Data Plans to also consider:
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- Calyx Institute - A long time non-profit dedicated to protecting internet privacy offers these plans as part of their membership, which are open to all (no income verification needed). They offer a 'Sustainer' membership level for $750 for the first year that includes a M2000 5G T-Mobile hotspot device, and then service is $500/year for renewals. Their 'Contributor' membership level is $500, which include a basic level LTE mobile hotspot device and 1 year of unlimited service - additional years are $400/yr. They also offer quarterly payment options for the Contributor, which works out to $600/year. This makes the range in cost $33-50/month depending on the option you select.
- PCs for People - Available only to qualifying low-income households. Monthly service comes out to about $15/month, plus equipment purchase.
- ConnectAll - Qualified members (presumed to be a non-profit or low income status) can order service for $11.95/mo plus equipment purchase.
Shopping for Cellular Data Plans
Finding the right plans for your needs is no easy task - quite simply mobile travelers using cellular data as their primary way online is not how most carriers have designed their plans. Many of us want plans that provide copious amounts of data.
Understanding the different plan terms (like network management, throttling, hotspot data, video resolution) is key to determining if a plan will meet your needs or not. You also need plans that are suitable for use in the device you want to use them in - such as smartphone, mobile hotspot device or cellular embedded router.
To learn more about shopping for dataplans, check out these key guides:
As heavily as the carriers push their "Unlimited' data plans - you'll quickly discover that most have limits. Here's a video going over what you need to know about unlimited plans, including 3rd party resellers plans that you might find on the internet:
But a data plan alone will not keep you online - it's only one part of the equation. You also need the right gear and signal enhancing strategy.
For more education on assembling a cellular centric mobile internet setup, head on over to our collection of guides: