Light Reading

Sprint's New Family Plans Double Down on Data

Sarah Thomas

Sprint introduced new pricing plans on Monday that give customers switching to a family -- not Framily -- plan twice the amount of data AT&T and Verizon offer at a lower price point.

Light Reading broke the news that Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) would be dropping prices this week after new CEO Marcelo Claure shared his strategy for the company in a "town hall" meeting last Thursday. (See Sprint CEO: Price Cuts First, Best Network Next .)

At the time Claure admitted that Sprint's previously launched "Framily" plans were confusing to customers and that the carrier would have to drop prices to make up for its poor network quality. Today's plans accomplish both goals -- they get rid of the Framily name and drop prices, but with more bang for your buck.

For customers that switch between August 22 and September 30, they will get 20GB of data for up to 10 lines for $100 a month. That applies whether they have four lines or 10, and Sprint is also throwing in an additional 2GB per line for up to 10 lines. After September 30, the price will increase to $160 for four lines. Adding a tablet to the plan is an additional $10 per month or $20 for a mobile broadband device.

Source: Sprint
Source: Sprint

The $160 plan from AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Wireless only includes 10GB of shared data. T-Mobile US Inc. does offer a $100 plan, but it only includes 10GB of data and limits a family to four lines. (See Sprint, T-Mobile: The Price War's On.)

Under Framily, Sprint offered a $160 monthly plan for 4GB of data. It didn't confirm if it would stop offering Framily all together, but it's simply calling its new plans "Sprint Family Share Pack," and, for a limited time, is offering to buy out switching families' contracts up to $350 if they sign up for Sprint Easy Pay. The company also appears to be kicking off an "It's a new day for data" campaign that could replace its Framily messaging.

Bill Ho, an analyst with 556 Ventures, thinks the new plans are the right move for Sprint on several levels. First, the $100 price point is easy to understand and easy to compare across carriers. Second, it undercuts AT&T and Verizon on price, while beating T-Mobile on data, demonstrating both price and value. And, third, it encourages switchers to sign up for Sprint Easy Pay, its device installment payment program. AT&T's comparable program, Next, has been a big churn reducer for it. Now, the analyst says, it all comes down to execution. (See AT&T's Next to Shorten Wait for Device Upgrades.)

"There is that call to action: 'It goes until the end of September, so get in now, and if you're worried about leaving, we'll pay your switching fee,'" Ho says. "It'll be interesting to see how they market this call to action and how urgently they push it."

Claure seems to get the urgency, at least. In a release on the new plans, the new Sprint boss promised further bold moves to come. Echoing statements he made last week, he said, "We have more news coming later this week about plans for individuals. We want customers to think twice before choosing another wireless carrier."

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/20/2014 | 10:05:20 AM
Re: bye bye creepy hamster dad
I agree, commercials are creepy and the creative was a little out there.

The new Sprint plan makes sense in light of T-Mobile's recent move, though the question still remains whether such plans can be offered profitably or not. Of course if there's enough compelling data out there that customers continue to incur overages, these could be quite profitable.

That's what the banking industry found with Totally Free Checking and similar offerings. BY offering low fees and no balance limits, it became much easier for people to bounce checks and incur bounced check fees that provided far more revenue than monthly balance fees.
User Rank: Blogger
8/19/2014 | 6:42:15 PM
Re: bye bye creepy hamster dad
They basically just confirmed it as the event in NYC. Innovative but confusing for customers.
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
8/19/2014 | 12:05:14 AM
Re: family time
It isn't called Framily anymore but it's still cornfusing.
User Rank: Blogger
8/18/2014 | 9:28:48 PM
Re: bye bye creepy hamster dad
Seems like Sprint is still advertising the Framily plans quite a bit--that hamster is still everywhere. Or should I call him Mr. Frobinson?
From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (9) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.