Review: Non-Profit Unlimited 4G Data Plans on Sprint (Cellular Data Plans)

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Calyx's Instructions to determine the coverage areas on Sprint's maps: 1) Click on the data tab 2) Zoom in on your area of the map 3) Look at the yellow and orange – Spark and 4G LTE

Calyx's Instructions to determine the coverage areas on Sprint's maps: 1) Click on the data tab
2) Zoom in on your area of the map
3) Look at the yellow and orange – Spark and 4G LTE

Sprint bought Clear in 2013, and stopped providing service in 2015 - shutting down the legacy WiMAX network entirely to make more space for LTE. But the obligations behind the scenes that were attached to Clear's cellular spectrum requiring that discounted service be offered to non-profits remained, and the old contracts were inherited by Sprint.

Since then, several non-profits have popped up offering different flavors of unlimited data plans on the Sprint network taking advantage of this clause .

The reason this is possible is thanks to this loophole in the terms of service for the non-profits:

"You are permitted to use of the Service as long as you are a user, recipient or beneficiary of a non-profit programs or services, but not thereafter."

To sign-up for these plans, you generally become a member of the organization (listed below), which includes service prepaid for at least several months and a mobile hotspot device.

Their weaknesses: Sprint's network is not nearly as large as Verizon or AT&T, and this plan is restricted to just Sprint's native 4G/LTE coverage maps - there is no domestic roaming or even Sprint 3G service included. For mobile RVers who travel outside of major cities, this plan is likely to disappoint.

Policies & Perks:

  • Domestic Roaming: Non-profit plans include no data roaming.
  • International: No international coverage is included.
  • Mobile Hotspot Use: Membership generally includes purchase of a Fuse or Franklin R850 mobile hotspot, and this plan is only for data usage.
  • Data Roll Over: No roll-over, as data is unlimited.
  • Overage Charges: There are overage charges or data speed throttling.
  • Streaming: There are no restrictions or blocks on video streaming.
  • Unlimited Data Plans: Usage is described as 30GB+ per month for legal purposes, but at present time, the plans really are unlimited.

Testing Status: We ordered the plan from 4GCommunity.org plan in October 2016, and have received a Fuse mobile hotspot from them. We've confirmed it works and have been successfully using it while in Sprint 4G signal areas since. Our members have a preliminary report below.

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The Rest of this Review is:
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Purchasing Options

  • 4G Community - Open to all, membership for the first year is $325 and $231/year thereafter for LTE only service, or $398 upfront and $255/year thereafter for 3G/LTE/Spark service. There is also a $35 membership fee.  They also offer 6 month and 3 month options.
  • Calyx Institute - Requires a first year membership fee of $500, which includes the mobile hotspot use. Additional years are $400, resulting in a cost of about $33/month.
  • PCs for People & Connectall.org - Available to only qualifying low income households. Monthly service comes out to about $10/month if prepaid for a year.
  • freedata.io - Open to all, three tiers of service are offered with pricing schemes from $449 - $679 for the first year, then a renewal fee of $249 for the next year. Unlimited, un-prioritized and un-throttled Sprint based data. Premium and Ultra packages offer 3G data in addition to 4G.
Calyx Institute Ratings
  • Overall Ratings

Quick Take

Very affordable option for Sprint based unlimited data plans.

5
Comments Rating 3 (1 review)

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