Oof. Even if you’re right, calling out someone publicly might not be the best way to win hearts and minds.
We’ve covered the war of words often fought between fourth place carrier Sprint and third place carrier T-Mobile. Usually reserved for press releases, those digs can be a fun way to shake up otherwise dry industry news. It’s rare though that the public face of a company takes the gloves off on a platform like Twitter.
Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure, after responding to a somewhat snotty question about T-Mobile’s yearly phone upgrades, decided he needed to call out Lil Magenta’s CEO directly over what he considers to be a deceptive pricing scheme.
It is super frustrating when there’s a market perception of a product or service which isn’t quite, though we don’t often see figures like these lose their cool. T-Mobile set the standard for making headlines by calling out Verizon and AT&T. Could this be a new era of tough talk for Sprint?
The times they are a changing.
We’ve gone years with “Unlimited” plans which have restrictions on data usage or speed throttling based. In light of recent concerns facing AT&T and T-Mobile unlimited plans, Sprint reacted quickly to customer complaints regarding their new All In plan, which offers unlimited talk, text, and web for $80 a month.
The issue? A video streaming throttle of 600Kbps. With more consumers streaming high quality video, watching Youtube and Netflix, or broadcasting with apps like Periscope, it makes sense why the nation’s fourth place carrier would want to put some limit on the bandwidth people might use. However, we’re all a bit more sensitive about what the word “unlimited” means. We’ll have to see how Sprint might manage potential network congestion issues moving forward…
You can read Sprint’s brief press release below.
Continue reading Sprint Removes Video Streaming Limit on ALL IN Unlimited Plans
Maybe a surprising way to wrap a week full of Net Neutrality news, but the country’s fourth place carrier yesterday sent a letter to the FCC explaining its position on reclassifying the internet as a common utility under Title II.
They’re stance? It probably wont affect their products and services much.
Now to be sure, the letter does support a “light touch” regulation, where the FCC through forbearance might opt out of regulating certain aspects of the wireless industry, and give “mobile carriers the flexibility to manage our networks and to differentiate our services in the market”.
Of course, drawing that regulation line is a sticky subject between Title II supporters and opponents. Still it’s refreshing to see a carrier buck current industry trends to point out that it’s entirely likely reclassification might have only a small impact on the way broadband business is currently handled, and drawing on the history of the wireless industry, would probably be a positive move for the industry in allowing more competition.
When first launched, the mobile market was a licensed duopoly. This system was a failure, resulting in slow deployment, high prices and little innovation. In 1993, Congress revised the Telecommunications Act to allow new carriers, including Sprint, to enter the market. This competition resulted in tremendous investment in the wireless industry, broader deployment, greater innovation, and falling prices. It is absolutely true that this explosion of growth occurred under a light touch regulatory regime. Some net neutrality debaters appear to have forgotten, however, that this light touch regulatory regime emanated from Title II common carrier regulation, including Sections 201, 202 and 208 of the Communications Act.
Well done Lil’ Yellow. You can read the whole letter from Sprint’s Chief Technology Officer, Stephen Bye here (PDF Download).
We seem to be in the middle of a carrier price war.
After landing a new CEO, Sprint has been focused on appropriate pricing, after admitting their network can’t quite compete toe to toe with VZW or AT&T. The first step was offering up a new Family Shared Data plan which undercuts the big carriers.
Now they have T-Mobile in their sites with a new unlimited data plan. At $60 a month per line, it’s $20 a month cheaper than T-Mo’s unlimited offering.
“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.”
The beauty of this announcement is how it catches T-Mobile by surprise. John Legre snarkily announced a new “Free Data” promotion meant to upset Sprint’s Shared Data Plans. Sprint’s move here goes completely un-addressed. Looks like Sprint’s new CEO Marcelo Claure is already making moves to change the perception of the company.
…customers can save $120 over two years versus T-Mobile’s promotional price…and they don’t have to jump through T-Mobile’s hoops and recruit their friends.
While Big Blue and Big Red duke it out in the major leagues, Lil’ Yellow and Lil’ Magenta are getting scrappy.
Full Sprint PR below.
Continue reading Sprint Slashes Prices on Unlimited Plans to $60 a Month
No longer pushing unlimited plans, Sprint looks to be creating the 21st century equivalent of the party line with their new Framily plans. Get a group of people together to sign up for service and everyone pays less per line.
Now, if you’re porting your number over and recycling your current phone Sprint will offer up $300 in credit and also hand you a Visa pre-paid card worth up to $350. It’s the same experiment tried at T-Mobile and AT&T to varying levels of success. Sprint’s been a little quieter about their plans and deals, but their new slate of Framily plan commercials are quirky even if they don’t tell you as much about the service as they showcase talking hamsters.
Get it? Talking hamsters? Because you talk on your phone? And you’re probably not a hamster? Random!
The deal is good through May 8th, so if you were thinking of signing up you and your favorite eclectic mix of friends and family to Lil’ Yellow, the full PR is below with more details on the Switching Bonus.
Continue reading Sprint Offers up to $650 for Customers Switching to a Framily Plan
Broadband improvements are somewhat stagnant here in the states. Many areas are under-served with few choices and high prices. While some areas are looking at Google and other companies to roll out Fiber to the home, many communities are hoping to see improvements over basic DSL. If it’s not economically feasible to roll out fiber or new wired service, the next best option is to provide service over the air.
Sprint and Dish are teaming up to test a 4G LTE to home service which could be a compelling solution for those needing more speed, but are ignored by traditional ISPs. Served over Sprint’s 2.5GHz spectrum, you would expect speeds comparable to Sprint’s current LTE offerings. Like Dish’s TV service, this should be a bit more stable than the LTE served to our phones, as your home is not a moving target. You shouldn’t even have to worry about poor building penetration of the higher frequency connection as an external receiver on your house will feed the connection indoors.
These trials will roll out in Corpus Christi, Texas next year. If you already have access to fast broadband options, this probably wont be your jam, but for those of you waiting out better options and services, this might be a good solution in the future.
Full PR after the jump.
Continue reading Sprint and Dish partner for Fixed Wireless Broadband Service Trials
Sprint has been working on improving their network through their Network Vision initiative, consolidating and removing outdated legacy technologies so they can push forward with faster and more powerful connections. Sprint Spark is the next stage of their LTE network. To over simplify, cannibalizing the old Nextel 800MHz spectrum and slapping LTE on it. Part of Sprint’s network woes in the past, their LTE was broadcast over higher frequency bands with poor building penetration. Moving LTE to 800MHz should mean much better connections for customers indoors and farther away from their towers.
Sprint currently offers limited Spark connection in five cities: LA, New York, Chicago, Tampa, and Miami. They will be adding an additional 100 markets to this list over the next three years. Network consolidation takes a little time apparently. Spark aims to deliver up to 50Mbps connections, and there’s the potential for it to support up to 2Gbps in the future.
Of course, what good is new network connectivity if your phone can’t use it?
In the “coming weeks” a new version of the GS4 will be made available with tri-band support for Sprint’s various LTE channels, and it will be able to hand off connection between those bands with little or no interruption to the user. As far as the customer is concerned, it’s just a normal GS4, but with faster data in select markets. Whenever it’s actually made available, it’ll drop for $200 on a two year contract.
Hit the jump for the full PR!
Continue reading Sprint debuts Samsung Galaxy S4 with support for Sprint Spark enhanced LTE
Are you on Sprint? Do you want a phone with a big BIG screen? Well now you have options.
Along side the Galaxy Note 3, it’s now official that Lil’Yellow will carry the HTC One Max phablet for $249.99 on a two year contract ($749 off contract). It stands as the main opposition to Samsung’s offering at this tier, and might be a nice alternative for folks looking at a bold multi-media device. We covered the One Max following its unveiling, if you want more details on the phone.
Sprint is only taking “pre-registers” at the moment, but it’s expected to have a proper launch this Friday November 15. I’d also expect to see units in Best Buys around that date as well.