Light Reading

Sprint Launches No-Sharing 'Framily' Plans

Sarah Thomas
1/7/2014
50%
50%

Its bigger rivals have introduced family data-sharing plans, but Sprint is taking a unique approach -- offering "Framily" plans where members don't have to share data or, for that matter, anything else.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) CEO Dan Hesse talked up the new plans at the Citi conference in Las Vegas on Tuesday. He cited US Census statistics that show 60% of American households now have one or two people. The new plans cater to these non-nuclear families by letting a Sprint customer share an account ID with up to 10 friends, family members, co-workers, neighborhood mooches, or whomever.

That person pays $55 for unlimited talk, text, and 1 GB of data. Each person added to the plan reduces the cost by $5 to as low as $30 per month. Any user can pay $10 extra for 3 GB of data or $20 more for unlimited, uncapped data. Each participant also gets an individual bill and doesn't have to share data with the other plan members.

Hesse said he thinks the plans will reduce churn for Sprint by committing so many people to a plan, even if they end up reducing average revenue per user. The postpaid plans also require Sprint customers to pay up front for their mobile device or in 24 monthly payments, so they could reduce subsidy fees.

He also reiterated his sort-of commitment to unlimited service. He said he expects it to be around for a long time -- at least as an option -- at the carrier. He didn't promise it wouldn't come at a cost, but he still sees a significant portion of Sprint's customer base wanting to pay a premium for that peace of mind. A home run for Sprint would be if everyone on the Framily plans paid the $20 extra for unlimited data.

"Our overall economics are better served by people who use more and are willing to pay more for unlimited usage," Hesse said.

Also Tuesday, Sprint announced Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and five Texas cities -- Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio -- as tri-mode Spark markets. The curved LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) G Flex smartphone, unveiled at CES, will be the latest Spark-compatible smartphone. (See: Sprint Sparks It in Chicago and Sprint Sparks Up Vendors for Faster 4G LTE.)

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/13/2014 | 10:37:32 AM
Framily plans one up One Up?
Looks like Sprint is abandoning its short-lived One Up early upgrade plans in favor of the Framily plans, which is weird because Hesse talked up how well they were doing at the Citi conference. Plus, I thought they were linked to the Framily plans, ie you have to pay up front or be a One Up subscriber to take advantage of Framily?

 http://news.cnet.com/8301-1035_3-57617119-94/sprint-kills-one-up-in-favor-of-framily-plan/
Kruz
50%
50%
Kruz,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/9/2014 | 7:02:45 AM
Re: Mooches
It is already hard agreeing on a package with another "friend". 7 will be just too much to follow-up on...
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/8/2014 | 11:47:19 AM
Re: Mooches
He said neighbors, but -- seeing as I'm not close with any of my neighbors -- I figured they'd have to be real moochy to try to get on my plan. No one has ever even tried to borrow sugar.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/8/2014 | 11:44:53 AM
Re: Good deal
That's true, and it comes down to the original guy to keep all his other people on the plan. First he has to find 7 people in 14 days (for max discount) then convince them to stay on. It could be a lot of work. I'd just want to be one of the people that latches on late.
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
1/7/2014 | 8:50:10 PM
Mooches
Did Hesse actually suggest neighborhood mooches as possible "framily" plan members? I want to believe he did.
R Clark
50%
50%
R Clark,
User Rank: Blogger
1/7/2014 | 6:57:27 PM
Re: Good deal
Sounds like a good way of adding subs, although the problem with chasing price-sensitive customers is they're easily lured away at the end of the contract.

In HK, I just upgraded to 4G for an extra $10 a month and the operator threw in a free extra 4G SIM card.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
1/7/2014 | 5:39:15 PM
Good deal
I think this is a good model for Sprint. Creates sticky customers because the more they have on the plan, the lower the cost, plus no fighting over the data, which could be ackward if you don't know these people well.

There is a catch -- you have to pay up front for the phone or pay in installments, but the plans are cheap enough to offset that initial pain.

What do you think? Would you be able to get 7 people on board for a plan like this? Sprint says you have two weeks to do so after signing up before your plan is locked in.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
Hot Topics
Choosing a Technology Supplier? Consider Changing Your Selection Criteria
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 5/18/2015
Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Smarter 'Dumb' TVs Will Drive OTT Adoption
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/18/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones