Sprint doubles the data in $100 Family plan, ups the ante against rivals

Summary:New Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure promised to get aggressive on pricing, and so far, he's delivered -- which could be a deciding factor in Sprint's future.

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Sprint has unveiled new pricing plans to better compete against rival T-Mobile, doubling data to cater for the rising popularity of date-driven mobile devices and applications.

The US carrier announced the new shared plans on Monday. Sprint said that the family share plan, dubbed the Family Share Pack, doubles the amount of data subscribers get for the same or lower price as its competitors, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon.

Up to ten lines can be signed up for the pack with 20GB of shared data between them, catering for data use by handsets, tablets and other mobile devices.

In addition, to try and increase the Sprint customer base, the firm is also offering unlimited talk and texts within the plan until 2015, and an extra 2GB of data per line is available until this year.

In total, the pricing plan costs $100 a month for new customers who switch services between Aug 22 and Sept 30, and $160 for existing customers. The plan is available from this Friday.

The US carrier also took a leaf out of T-Mobile's book, and is offering to reimburse consumers for early termination fees, up to $350, if they choose to switch to the Sprint network.

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Such an announcement has been expected since the hire of new Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure earlier this month. The chief executive took over from Dan Hesse  once the firm's plans to merge with T-Mobile fell flat due to regulatory hurdles. Sprint has lost millions of subscribers in recent years, and Claure said at the time he planned to try and stem this loss through aggressive, competitive pricing to make sure Sprint gets "back in the game."

In Q1 2014 , Sprint reported quarterly profit of $23 million, or one cent per share, on revenue of $8.79 billion. This result met analyst expectations, but an estimated 245,000 subscribers jumped ship -- joining 383,000 net contract subscribers who vanished in the previous quarter.

See also: Sprint CEO on the hunt for more spectrum in a data-hungry marketplace

Claure said in prepared remarks:

"Sprint is offering the best value to data-hungry consumers. Period. We are doubling the high-speed wireless data because today's customers rely so much on their smartphones and tablets. 

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."

The Sprint CEO also said more news will be coming this week concerning plans for individuals, and "we want customers to think twice before choosing another wireless carrier." The "Framily" plans, which offers family-like discounts to groups of friends signing up together, are being discontinued.

Sprint is the third largest carrier in the United States, and is a subsidiary of SoftBank.

Topics: Mobility, 4G, Data Roaming Charges, Networking

About

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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