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Smartphone plans cut back on unlimited data

Smartphone plans from providers like Sprint and Verizon are planning to increase data fees and even do away with unlimited data plan all together.

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Smartphone plans for phones like this Droid X are increasingly less likely to include unlimited data starting this year. Sprint is applying an additional $10 per month data fee, AT&T abandoned unlimited data plans, and it looks like Verizon may be doing away with unlimited data plans as well.

Jeff Chiu/AP/File

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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.

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Data consumption from smart phones is growing along with the availability of streaming audio and video services.

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Competitor AT&T Inc. last year abandoned unlimited data plans in favor of limited, but cheaper dataplans.

Verizon Wireless is trying out a cheaper limited plan as well.

Sprint already applies the $10 data surcharge on smart phones that have "4G" capability for faster downloads.