As its new CEO promised, Sprint has rolled out a new aggressively competitive price plan. Dubbed Sprint Family Share Pack, the new shared data plans promise twice the high-speed data -- and at lower prices -- than AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
Kicking off on Aug. 22, the new plans cover smartphones, feature phones, tablets and other broadband devices. A family with four lines can get 20 GB of data for $160 a month. At AT&T and Verizon, that $160 only gets you 10 GB.
Sprint is sweetening the pot with a special promotion that gives a family with up to 10 lines 20 GB of data, plus unlimited talk and text for just $100 a month through 2015. If that’s not enough, the company is also offering a $350 pre-paid Visa gift card to buy out existing contracts so you can switch without cost.
Marcelo Claure, Sprint's CEO, said his company is offering the best value to data-hungry consumers -- period. Sprint, he said, is doubling the high-speed wireless data because customers rely so much on their smartphones and tablets and he wants to make it simple and affordable to stay mobile.
Paying You To Switch
“We are so certain that this is the best value on wireless today that for any customer who wants to switch to our new Sprint Family Share Pack, we will reimburse them for the cost to end their contract with another carrier,” Claure said. “We have more news coming later this week about plans for individuals. We want customers to think twice before choosing another wireless carrier.”
Sprint is letting customers build their own plans in a three-step process that includes choosing data allowances, adding the number of lines they need with unlimited talk and text, and adding tablets or other mobile broadband devices to the mix. Sprint is promising no early termination fee and no annual service contract with non-discounted phones.
“Customers are seeking a strong network experience, and at a good value,” said Rich Karpinski, a principal analyst at 451 Research. “The price and amount of sharable data associated with this new Sprint offering plays to that next wave of mobile demand.”
Rising Above the Noise
We caught up with Jeff Kagan, an independent technology analyst, to get his take on the new Sprint deals. He told us it appears Claure is working to make Sprint the low cost leader with the data doubling.
“This is an innovative plan, taking a key service that customers know about and tweaking it to make it extra attractive,” Kagan said. “This is the kind of move that Sprint needs to make at this point to attract the attention of customers. In fact, I suspect we will see more of this from Sprint as we go forward.”
Of course, slashing prices and doubling data doesn’t make an overnight market leader. In order to make a long-term impact, Kagan said Sprint will have to make more moves like this one to stay on consumers’ radars.
“Sprint needs to regularly introduce new pricing and service plans to challenge the industry. They need to really focus on staying on page one,” Kagan said. “If Sprint can do that, it will make a big difference with their longer-term growth. The wireless industry is very loud. Every successful carrier is part of that noise.”
Posted: 2014-08-19 @ 1:57pm PT
I hate Sprint so much. I can't wait for when my contract is up with them. I'm tired of paying for "Premium Data Service," and it's total garbage. 3g speeds are a joke, and even when I do get 4G/LTE, I walk 20 feet...then back to 3g. Even LTE is light years behind Verizon and AT&T from a performance standpoint. All this nonsense about "better data packages" mean nothing when your data network is the laughing stock of wireless providers. Heck, Sprint's data network makes a 28.8 baud rate dial-up connection look sexy. Finally, while this is not just Sprint but greedy companies in general, I don't know why they continue to advertise prices on plans and services. Example being, Sprint is $100 then $15 per line. OK, so you have a bill of $160 right? Wrong, once they get done nickel and diming you (taxes and bogus surcharges, again this is not all on Sprint), that $160 now becomes over $200! Either way, you get what you pay for, and Sprint may be cheaper than AT&T and Verizon, but far less reliable. The costs for AT&T and Verizon are worth the upcharge if you ask me.
Posted: 2014-08-19 @ 10:41am PT
I have some helpful tips for anyone looking to try Sprint.
First, just beware the trial period, and some places have a restocking fee, which can be substantial!
Trust neighbor's reviews over what the salesperson says. Sometimes, Sprint pays them $50 in AMEX Gift Checks per line, above their hourly wage.
If your dropping calls during the first week, trust me- by the 100th week, you'll breathe a sigh of relief when the contract is almost over!
If you're even one day late returning your phone to BestBuy, or RadioShack's return policy, you might as well have invested into a boat anchor.
Also, be sure to call Sprint to cancel service before 3:00 if you can. When 5:00 rolls around, people get off work to complain about coverage issues, (including disappearing coverage). After 5:00 the call center wait-times are much longer.