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, Franklin R850, or Warp mobile hotspot, and these plans are only for data usage.
- Data Roll Over: No roll-over, as data is unlimited.
- Overage Charges: There are no overage charges - all plans are unlimited.
- 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.
Options (members see plan detail further down page):
Testing Status: We tested a plan from 4GCommunity.org in October 2016. We've confirmed that that plan worked and successfully used it while in Sprint 4G signal areas. We have seen tons of reports that the other Sprint non-profit providers work similarly. 4GCommunity terminated their plans in October 2017, but our members can read our review of the plan (and can expect similar experiences on similar non-profit plans). We do not currently plan to test any other non-profit plans.
- 4GCommunity Ending Internet Plans Posted on: October 23, 2017
- PCs for People Offering $10/Month Unlimited LTE Data for Low Income Households Posted on: October 21, 2016
- Calyx Institute Offering Unlimited & Unthrottled Sprint Service Posted on: September 26, 2016
The Rest of this Review is:
Member Only Content
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If you're a member, please log in above to read the in-depth review for this product and/or leave your own review. If you've not joined yet, learn more about membership at:
- 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.
- Jump Wireless - Jump Wireless recently reopened membership. Unlike the other options, Jump only offers month-to-month plans for $15.75 a month (after a $50 activation fee and hotspot purchase). The higher-end hotspot includes 3G service.
Calyx Institute Ratings
Very affordable option for Sprint based unlimited data plans.