Data has become the battlegrounds for the U.S. wireless industry. Sometime back Sprint Corp and T-Mobile US Inc. were contemplating a merger and now they are out to poach each other’s customers.
In an effort to reverse the fortunes of the ailing carrier, Sprint's new CEO Marcelo Claure this week unveiled individual and a new family service plan that offers more data and come with incentives to grab customers from competitors. Starting today, new and existing Sprint customers can get an unlimited data plan for talk and text for $60 a month.
While rival T-Mobile offers an unlimited data plan for $80 a month, industry heavyweights Verizon and AT&T don’t offer unlimited plans at all with Verizon's new $60 offer is limited to 2 gigabytes of data only.
In order to qualify for $60 per month plan, customers must buy their device via Sprint Easy Pay, bring in their own compatible device or pay complete retail price.
Also available from today a new family plan that offers 20GB of shareable data and unlimited talk and text for $100 per month. This offer is available beginning today through Sept. 30 for customers switching to Sprint. The monthly line access fee of $15 will be waived through 2015. Pricing for the Sprint family plan starts from $20 for 600MB and goes all the way up to 60GB for $225. The carrier also got a couple of limited time promotions to pair with its new Family Share Pack. People signing up for the 20GB for $100 offer will receive an extra 2GB per line for up to 10 lines.
Sprint’s new pricing plans are largely aimed at enticing customers away from other carriers. It also is offering to buy out the contracts of customers switching to Sprint with a Visa Prepaid Card worth up to $350 and also waiving the requirement that customers sign a long-term service contract.
The move comes on the heels of Sprint's failed merger with rival T-Mobile US because of the difficulty in getting the deal approved by antitrust regulators. That merger would have created a consolidated entity with a subscriber count to rival that of Verizon and AT&T. Since then, Sprint brought in Claure, who formerly headed wireless equipment and service company Brightstar, as the company's new chief executive to lead its turnaround effort.
However, Sprint faces a difficult road ahead. Despite its improving speeds, it is still the slowest 4G network among all carriers. According to last year’s Consumer Reports, Sprint was rated the worst cell phone service in the U.S. and it also landed the fourth position in a new ranking this week from market research firm RootMetrics.