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Offbeat Sprint's new $15 per month unlimited offer hopes to lure in switchers

09:54  08 june  2018
09:54  08 june  2018 Source:   usatoday.com

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The nation's fourth largest wireless carrier has a new offer to get people to switch from rival Verizon: Free unlimited service for one year. You can keep your number when you switch and you will get Sprint ' s regular unlimited plan, currently per month for one line and per month for up to

Like most other unlimited plans and promotions, some strings are attached: Autopay is required, hotspot data is limited to 10 GB a month per line Sprint executives said the carrier isn’t planning to market the promotion aggressively, but instead hopes to lure new customers without spending vast

a man standing in front of a computer: Jeffrey Quintana a sales rep at a Sprint store works on a cell phone display on Aug. 1, 2017 in Miami, Fla. © JOE RAEDLE/GETTY IMAGES Jeffrey Quintana a sales rep at a Sprint store works on a cell phone display on Aug. 1, 2017 in Miami, Fla.

At a time when wireless carriers are battling on price, Sprint raised the stakes Thursday, offering a $15-a-month plan for unlimited talk, text and data.

The new deal, available online starting Friday, promises significant monthly savings for up to five lines for those who switch from another carrier to Sprint. At $60 for four lines, it is $40 cheaper a month than the $100 Sprint currently charges for four lines of its Unlimited Freedom plan. Rivals AT&T and Verizon each charge $160 for their cheapest unlimited plans.

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With its new Unlimited Freedom deal, Sprint is offering unlimited data, talk, and text for per month for a single line. Two lines will cost per month , three lines will be 0, and four lines will cost 0 per month .

All you pay each month are the taxes and fees, the overall plan itself is free. Sprint is optimistically hoping to lure in customers with a year of free service, hoping some will get hooked on their But since this offer is for switchers only, you need to have a suitable line available to transfer into Sprint .

T-Mobile, which is in the process of merging with Sprint, also charges $160 a month for four lines, though that price also includes the taxes and fees.

For those who only want a single line, Sprint is far cheaper than AT&T's $65 a month, T-Mobile's $70 and Verizon's $75.

The deal is a limited-time offer, available for a few weeks, though an end date was not specified. And just how long Sprint's $15-a-month "Unlimited Kickstart" plan will last for those who sign up for it isn't clear. For now, Allan Samson, Sprint's senior vice president of acquisition marketing, says consumers who take advantage of the deal will be able to keep the low monthly rates for the foreseeable future.

"Once you're on the promotion there is no step up," Samson says. "You get in during this limited time window, you are going to enjoy that rate for a very, very long time."

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And in New Orleans and St. Louis, Sprint is offering one month of free service when customers bring their existing phones to Sprint . Switchers can get four lines of Sprint ’ s “ Unlimited ” service for / month per line.

U.S. Cellular is countering Sprint ’ s latest promotion by offering a free iPhone 7 to users who switch U.S. Cellular’s unlimited -data plans start at a month for a single line and top out at 0 a To be eligible for the new iPhone, switchers must trade in an iPhone 5s or Samsung Galaxy S6 “or

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This is not the first time Sprint has aggressively attempted to try and attract customers. Last year, the company offered Verizon users a free year if they switched. Unlike that deal, however, Sprint will not be raising the price after year one.

Also, unlike last year's Verizon-targeted promotion, this new deal is open to anyone on any non-Sprint carrier so long as they port their number to Sprint. This includes the other big three national wireless carriers as well as smaller and cheaper options such as MetroPCS, Cricket Wireless and Mint Mobile.

"Those that are still sitting on the couch not sure if they want to give Sprint a try, this is an invitation to come do that," Samson says.

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Those ads have been a bit of a hard sell, but a new plan from Sprint is hoping to lure in more new subscribers: a month for unlimited talk, text and data. If you don't have home internet, it' s quite easy to rack up a huge data bill without an unlimited plan

Talk includes unlimited U. S . long distance calling and Sprint Global Roaming. Calling while roaming is charged at 20 cents per minute and covers 165 countries. In that light, we can either look at this new unlimited offer for switchers as a desperate attempt at increasing subscriber user base, or as a

Now for the caveats.

This deal doesn't include a mobile hotspot feature for tethering several devices. Free Hulu, HD video streaming and the ability to lease phones on monthly installment plans from Sprint are also not included. For those features, users will need to pay Sprint's full unlimited plan price.

Sprint will also not be buying those who sign up for this deal out of their current installment payment plans with a rival carrier. And if the device, such as an older iPhone, isn't compatible with Sprint's network, users will need to procure a new one.

There are no new phone discounts like on other plans, and Sprint is not offering discounts for those who want to trade-in their older device and purchase a new handset directly from the carrier.

Consumers will, however, be able to upgrade their device as they want, so long as they are not purchased on an installment plan from Sprint. This includes buying 5G phones as they become available next year.

Current Sprint customers, including those at its Boost or Virgin Mobile subsidiaries, are also not eligible.

What happens to the plan if T-Mobile completes its merger with Sprint? Samson couldn't say, though he did note that both companies are committed to lowering prices.

"We're obviously mindful that a merger is coming, and we're obviously doing this plan ...  We have no intention of having the result of a merger be that people get a big rate increase or that people get in any way harmed."

Follow Eli Blumenthal on Twitter @eliblumenthal

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