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Plan provides consumers with unlimited talk, text and data for $60 per month.

Sprint Unveils $60 Unlimited Plan

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Light Reading
8/21/2014
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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- It's a new day for unlimited data in the wireless industry as Sprint (NYSE: S) announces the best unlimited wireless plan available from a national carrier with the Sprint $60 Unlimited Plan. This plan provides consumers unlimited talk, text and data while on America’s Newest Network for just $60 per month, a $20 savings compared to T-Mobile's $80 per month unlimited plan. Simple, easy, affordable – the Sprint $60 Unlimited Plan is available to both new and existing Sprint customers starting tomorrow, August 22. To qualify for the plan, customers must purchase their device through Sprint Easy Pay, pay full retail price or bring their own compatible device.

Whether communicating via email or text, socializing via picture-sharing or tweeting, or navigating with GPS, consumers rely on their smartphones for all of their daily needs. Last year U.S. wireless consumers devoured 3.23 trillion MB of data, according to CTIA’s annual survey1, which equates to watching more than 153 billion five minute cat videos on YouTube, or streaming more than 53.8 billion hours of music on Spotify. Meanwhile, millions of American consumers restrict their usage, fearful of data limits with overage charges. With the Sprint $60 Unlimited Plan, consumers no longer have to worry about high bills based on how much data they are using. Enjoying daily life with the unlimited support of a smartphone has never been so easy.

“People know Sprint for Unlimited,” said Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO. “We have long been the leader in offering customers unlimited data and that leadership continues today with our new $60 unlimited plan. Unlimited talk, text and data for $60 is the best unlimited postpaid plan available. And, we’ve listened to our loyal customers; we’re making the Sprint $60 Unlimited Plan available to both new and existing customers.”

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S)

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briandnewby
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briandnewby,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/16/2014 | 1:18:42 PM
Re: Not quite the deal it seems for Sprint customers
It's always been a device-driven marketing proposition.  I think the smartest thing (or dumbest thing) would be to go all Blackberry and have devices unique to the network.  They don't really work network to network anyway.

Nextel's push-to-talk seemed that way, but really, Nextel was superior at targeting small businesses and government offices.  That's another way--own a market segment (and it can be done without a trendy device).
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/11/2014 | 8:46:06 AM
Re: Not quite the deal it seems for Sprint customers
Not to mention that being excessively cooperative with surveillance plans helped ingratiate the megacarriers to the same government that regulates them.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/11/2014 | 8:44:20 AM
Re: Not quite the deal it seems for Sprint customers
@brian: Indeed, the two problems are 1) it's become a market of commodities, and it's hard to market YOUR brand of paper clips, and 2) it's become what Scott Adams dubs a "confusopoly" -- where consumers are so confused about the differences in a market where the product is pretty much the same that all players are guaranteed at least *some* healthy slice of the pie.

But for Sprint to overcome the two heavyweights?  They need that Godinesque "Free Prize."  They already offer unlimited data...but that's not enough.

I'm not sure what the solution is, but I think it has to be something totally unheard of.
mhhf1ve
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mhhf1ve,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/5/2014 | 1:48:42 PM
Re: Not quite the deal it seems for Sprint customers
I'd have to say.. it's not just perception that the two megacarriers provide a better product. If you look at coverage, Verizon and AT&T are objectively better. And I've heard that Tmobile's spectrum isn't as good at penetrating walls, so indoor coverage can be spotty.

Monopolies grant certain advantages... and it's hard for upstarts to actually disrupt when billions of dollars of infrastructure investment is needed to compete.

Maybe if cell tower drones were approved by the FAA, then we'd have some competition b/c it'd be cheaper to fly drones where wireless coverage was needed.... 
briandnewby
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briandnewby,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/4/2014 | 9:55:44 AM
Re: Not quite the deal it seems for Sprint customers
Joe, true.  And, if wireless is a commodity, then it's harder to differentiate.  Technically, they all have the same phones and the same service (wireless--not going deeper on quality, just saying any of these companies sell, say, an iPhone and voice/data).  I'm not even buying the T-Mobile's positioning is good or sustainable, but there has to be a way to position Sprint.  More so, maybe positioning to the base should be different than to prospects.  If I have Sprint, why should I stay?  It probably/might be/should be a different reason than why I would switch to Sprint.

In the end, though, if disruption is what is needed, then disrupt.  Sprint's plan is like someone clearing his throat for attention in a crowded room of loud talkers.
Joe Stanganelli
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Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/3/2014 | 10:59:20 AM
Re: Not quite the deal it seems for Sprint customers
@brian: They don't just have to step up their messaging; they need to cultivate brand advocates.

Right now, the narrative among consumers is endless kvetching about how awful AT&T and Verizon are...but why are they kvetching so?  Why are they still sticking with AT&T and Verizon, even when their contracts are up?

Because the perception is that those two megacarriers provide the best product -- despite at-times frustrating customer service.

Sprint needs to change the market-wide narrative from how awful those two guys are to how great Sprint is.

Or, to put it another way, you don't defeat the incumbent -- however perceivedly unpopular -- by running on a platform of "I'm not the incumbent."
MikeP688
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MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
9/3/2014 | 7:12:10 AM
Re: Not quite the deal it seems for Sprint customers
It appears that Softbank is trying to leverage the Sprint Retail Network somewhat thru this--which confuses folks even more.   Sprint is trying to actually figure out what it is in business for   I know I'd be going into a store to actuallly check it out--will that entice me to actually sign up for Sprint's Service?  Probably not. 
briandnewby
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briandnewby,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/31/2014 | 6:35:31 PM
Re: Not quite the deal it seems for Sprint customers
True, but the transformation either has to be either real price disruption, to actually make users switch (how many things would you change if the price was just 5 percent lower and it required significant effort to change)?  Or, Sprint needs a differentiator.

When business users hear Sprint, what do they think?

When consumers hear Sprint, what do they think?

These are rhetorical questions, of course, but I can't come up with possible, common answers that aren't negative.
MikeP688
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MikeP688,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/31/2014 | 3:24:47 PM
Re: Not quite the deal it seems for Sprint customers
I am with you there in that we need competition and choice.  Hopefully the new CEO will be able to be the transformational agent that we all wish for.  :-)
briandnewby
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briandnewby,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/31/2014 | 2:57:25 PM
Re: Not quite the deal it seems for Sprint customers
Yeah, Sprint's stock, for years really, has ridden many merger bumps.  It's now falling from one, and that makes it difficult to really know its value in the market.  Norgan Stanley has their forecast in the mid $6 range, but Morgan Stanley has generally proven to be a bit pessimistic, so $7?

The death spiral simply is the fact that at some point the cash has to run out.  Free cash flow will only take you so far with debt, and the debt is financed at very low rates.  That being said, Softbank can absorb losses and maybe Sprint putzes around for a few years and become the "Intel Inside" of some must-have (such as the robot the Softbank CEO is pushing).

Sprint tried that by being the network behind the Kindle and AT&T took that business from them.  That's the other issue-- creating new market space sometimes simply enables your big competitors to take that new space from you.

I was at Sprint when we faced the death spiral and we ignored it.  Overall, I think Dan Hesse (who came after I left) failed because a CEO's number one goal should be to profitably grow faster than the industry average, and he didn't do that.  Sprint does feel more stable than it did 10 years ago.  Sprint has fewer wireline assets and positions, but a more robust wireless network that really is pretty good.  Customer service isn't great, but it is much improved.

I'm pulling for Sprint for many reasons, so I'm very impassioned about it, but it's hard to watch a "blocking and tackling" effort being cast as aggressive or transformational.  
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