Sprint Bolsters Cellular Data With New Family Share Pack Plans

The new plans promise twice the shared data of comparable plans from AT&T and Verizon Wireless at the same prices, according to Sprint.

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After replacing its CEO two weeks ago, Sprint is now reshuffling its cellular plan offerings, offering new Sprint Family Share Pack plans that promise twice as much shared data as competitors' plans for the same prices.

The new Family Share Pack plans were announced by Sprint on Aug. 18, will be available starting Aug. 22 and will offer, for example, four lines with 20GB of shared data for $160 per month, which is what competitors AT&T and Verizon Wireless offer for 10GB of shared data, according to the company.

Sweetening the deal, Sprint is also offering customers who take them up on the new Share Pack plans special lower pricing through 2015 at $100 per month for up to 10 phone lines with 20GB of shared data and unlimited talk and text, according to the company. In an added bonus, customers who participate in this offer will also receive an extra 2GB of data free per month per line through 2015, which doubles the amount of free data during the promotional period.

For a family of four, that means they'd pay $100 per month for 20GB of shared data plus 8GB of extra free data, for a total of 28GB per month through 2015. A family of 10 users would pay $100 per month and receive 20GB of shared data plus another 20GB of free extra data through 2015.

"Sprint is offering the best value to data-hungry consumers. Period," Marcelo Claure, Sprint's new CEO, said in a statement. "We are doubling the high-speed wireless data because today's customers rely so much on their smartphones and tablets. We make it simple and easy for wireless consumers to get the data they need at affordable prices to make their lives easier, more productive and enjoyable."

Earlier this month, Sprint ended its long-rumored attempt to acquire T-Mobile USA and simultaneously replaced its CEO, Dan Hesse, with Claure.

In January, Sprint launched its shared Framily plans for up to 10 friends or family members, with competitive prices and individual billings, which have been the theme of frequent media ads.

The existing Framily plans will continue to be offered alongside the new Family Share Pack plans, according to an email reply from Sprint spokeswoman Kristin Wallace. "Framily Plan is still available and we haven't made any announcement about them going away," wrote Wallace. "We think customers will find the new Family Share Pack easy to compare, understand and give them the best value with the ability to share data not only among wireless phones, but also tablets and mobile broadband devices."

The individual billing option will not be part of the Family Share Pack plans, she added.