Sprint is applying an additional $10 per month data fee on new smart phones, starting Jan. 30.
Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint Nextel Corp. says it needs to apply the fee to maintain its network while offering unlimited data consumption.
Data consumption from smart phones is growing along with the availability of streaming audio and video services. Competitor AT&T Inc. last year abandoned unlimited data plans in favor of limited, but cheaper data plans. Verizon Wireless is trying out a cheaper limited plan along with an unlimited plan.
Sprint already applies the $10 data surcharge on smart phones that have "4G" capability for faster downloads.