Sprint As You Go prepaid service. The price of the unlimited smartphone plan has been cut from $70/month to $60/month (plus taxes and fees) and there are two new plans. Here's the new plan lineup:
- $60/month (was $70) unlimited voice, messaging and data, including LTE, for smartphones
- $50/month (no change) unlimited voice, messaging and data for feature phones
- $45/month (new) unlimited talk and messaging only (data blocked) for smartphones
- $35/month 500 voice minutes, unlimited messaging and unlimited data for feature phones only
The $35, $50 and $60 plans include limited off-network data roaming and truly unlimited on-network data without caps or throttling. Conditional call forwarding and no extra cost off network voice and text roaming is included with all plans. Data roaming is 2G (1xRTT, 144 Kbps max) only and roaming is limited to 400 minutes and 100 MB per month.
A Sprint As You Go phone is required. There are only five choices
- Kyocera Kona flip phone $19.99
- Samsung Array QWERTY slider $49.99
- LG Optimus Elite Android phone $99.99
- Samsung Galaxy Victory 4g LTE Android phone $99.99
- iPhone 4 8GB (pre-owned) $199.99
While the lower prices and new plans are welcome, I don't consider As You Go a good choice for most users. The high taxes and fees make it an expensive proposition. Unless you need the combination of unlimited, unthrottled data, off network roaming and call forwarding, there are better values elsewhere.
For example, T-Mobile owned MetroPCS has a $60 plan that has no added taxes and fees and includes unlimited, unthrottled data and off network voice and text (but not data) roaming. For users who don't need unlimited data, Verizon MVNOs Selectel and NextG have $40/month (including taxes and fees) unlimited talk and text plans with off-network voice and text roaming and call forwarding.
But the weakest aspect of As You Go is probably the very limited phone selection. Potential customers who can afford to spend $76-$86/month for unlimited smartphone service are not going to put up with a 3 year old iPhone or an entry level Android LTE device. If Sprint expects customers to flock to As you Go they need to offer a wider range of higher end phones including current iPhones and a couple of the latest top of the line Android phones.
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