Following a disappointing last quarter losing hundreds of thousands of customers and its failure to snap up T-Mobile due to regulatory issues, Sprint tries to take the ball back into its court and change the game with the announcement of its most aggressive pricing for family plans to date.
The move, though disruptive, comes expected as newly installed Sprint chief executive Marcelo Claure announced last week in a company meeting that his strategy has three core components: aggressive pricing, network improvement and cost reduction. The first of these components comes as early as Monday, when Sprint announced the Family Share Pack plan, which allows customers to get up to 10 lines and 20GB of data for only $100. That is much less than the $160 AT&T and Verizon charge for a similar amount of data with four lines. T-Mobile, on the other hand, charges the same amount but only for 10GB of data and four lines.
"Sprint is offering the best value to data-hungry consumers. Period," says new CEO Claure in a statement announcing Sprint's "new day for data" campaign.
To sweeten the deal, Sprint also offers an additional 2GB of data for every line for up to 10 lines. For instance, if a family gets four lines under the new plan, they receive the standard 20GB of data plus another 8GB. For those who would like to get 10 lines, they receive the 20GB of data and another 2GB more for each line. All in all, they get 40GB of data for the 10 lines.
The plan also includes unlimited texting and calling for smartphones and feature phones. It also accommodates tablets and other mobile broadband devices. Customers can avail of the new plan starting Aug. 22 through 2015. Sprint is also offering to pay customers' contract termination fees in other networks to switch over to the new Family Share Pack with a $350 Visa Prepaid Card, a risky move for Sprint as can be seen from the same results T-Mobile experienced when it pioneered paying for early termination fees.
"The focus is on giving away more data for the same price, rather than lowering prices per se, and with all the capacity available on the Sprint network, Sprint can afford to do so," writes analyst Jan Dawson, founder of Jackdaw Research. "Most customers will not come anywhere near using 20GB in a month even across four lines, so there's little risk involved for Sprint."
Customers can expect more news coming out of Sprint's headquarters as the company begins to roll out new pricing plans for individuals later in the week, Sprint's new chief says.