Competitive data packages are taking the lead as Sprint updates its family plan offerings to include 20GB of shared data for $100 a month. These new cellular options, described in an August 18th press release, also come with unlimited talk and text for up to 10 lines on a single family plan. This can lead to significant savings for groups that rely heavily on data usage.
The Spring Family Share Pack launches on August 22nd, set to end on September 30th. This limited offer is likely a response to changes made by T-Mobile, which recently updated their own family plans to include 10GB of shared data across four lines for $100. The limited time period to enroll may serve to drive family signups on Sprint. However, it’s difficult to say how long families can secure these special monthly rates for, since the promotion is set to run “through 2015.” Sprint will also be waiving the $15 line access fee throughout 2015.
How the Plans Compare to the Competition
Currently, Sprint’s Family Share Pack provides the biggest bang for the buck, unless other carriers decide to make moves and offer comparable deals. Both Verizon and AT&T provide 10GB to share at a price of $160 per month for a maximum of four phone lines. Sprint’s press release states, “We will have more news coming later this week about plans for individuals,” which may lift some of the financial burden from single line users.
However, users must keep network speeds in mind before committing to a new cellular plan. In 2013, Root Metrics conducted a study demonstrating that AT&T’s 4G LTE service clocked in with average download speeds of 18.6 Mbps. Verizon followed with 14.3 Mbps download speeds, and Sprint straggled along with 10.3 Mbps. Sprint currently claims to have average download speeds of 6-15 Mbps. Consumers will need to take these factors into account, since download and upload times can influence the overall quality of your 4G LTE experience.
Shifting Consumer Trends
These carrier pricing battles serve as a clear indication that data is king. Web services, such as Skype and free messaging apps have been cutting into the demand for telephone minutes and SMS for the past few years, and this is becoming abundantly clear as carriers fixate on increasing data bundles while providing users with unlimited access to telephone minutes and text messages. Several carriers offer unlimited talk and text even with entry-level plans, showing how these services have taken the back seat to data. It will be interesting to see how public usage continues to drift away from traditional cellular plan offerings in favor of data-heavy experiences.
In order to boost enrollment, Sprint will even compensate families switching from other company contracts with a Visa Prepaid Card of up to $350 in credit to offset cancellation fees. Keep an eye out on the Sprint website for more details about the Family Share Pack promo and upcoming individuals plan updates.