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Sprint Cuts As You Go Plan Prices, Makes Phones Free For Port-ins

Sprint has made some changes to its little known and under advertised 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
Sprint adds post-paid style monthly taxes, surcharges and fees to all As You Go plans. Depending on state of residence,  these charges add between $10 and $16 per month to the cost of the $35 plan and $16 - $26 to the $60 plan's cost.

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
Sprint is running a promotion for new users coming from other non-Sprint based operators. Until Nov 11, 2013 Sprint will give customers an instant credit of up to $100 off the the price of a new smartphone if they port their number from another operator (Boost, Virgin and Assurance excluded). That makes the LG Optimus Elite and Samsung Galaxy Victory free and the iPhone 4 $99.99 for customers porting a number.

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.

Source: Sprint

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  1. I do not understand Sprint's goal with this plan. I am trying to convince a young friend to switch to prepaid from his Sprint contract ending in Feb, but this plan does not work at all.
    First, his iPhone 4S cannot be used on As You Go or any Sprint MVNO plan.
    Second, he is only paying $76.02 on contract, including $4 taxes (I saw the bill) and his work discount for the 450 minute, unlimited sms and data plan. He will get a $99 iPhone 5S in Feb, they say, and keep his contract plan. If you want Sprint with a late-model iPhone, they make you sign a contract.

  2. So once your port your number over do you the $99 plus $60?

    1. If you port a number the iPhone 4 is $99. The unlimited plan is $60/month plus taxes and fees.

  3. Sprint waisted a plan seriously. I don't know why or who they are trying to target with a $45 unlimited talk and text plan on Pay As You Go. Sprint already did this on Boost. Hey Sprint wake up I know people want to save a few dollars but I doubt anybody is signing up really for this plan. Most people will either pay the extra $5 for data or go to a MVNO where you can get unlimited talk and text for $35 or less.

  4. If you live in area well-served by T-Mobile, then MetroPCS may be one of the best options. I recently switched from Page Plus to MetroPCS and I'm quite satisfied with the data speeds and really like unlimited, uncapped, and unthrottled data. I think this represents a much better deal than Aio Wireless. Of course, Aio Wireless' (AT&T) coverage is better at the moment but MetroPCS (T-Mobile) is catching up quickly.

  5. i am a sprint as you go customer he is a moron the samsung victory he is def not entry levelphone its like samsung s3 smaller verison u dont pay for the plan upfront u pay at the end of the month

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