Sprint Cuts Price of Family Mobile Plan to Take On T-Mobile

To counter T-Mobile's latest discount offering, Sprint is pricing a 4-line Family Share Plan for $100 a month, including 10GB of shared data.

Sprint, wireless carriers, mobile carriers, T-Mobile, Family Share Plan, AT&T, shared data plans

Sprint unveiled a new 4-line Family Share Plan mobile package featuring 10GB of shared data for $100 a month for new customers who switch to Sprint from another carrier.

The plan, which also includes unlimited talk and text and eliminates per-line access charges forever on the first four lines, is available starting July 31, the company announced. As part of the deal, Sprint will also pay off existing wireless contracts and old phones for new customers to help them make the transition to Sprint. The company has not announced the ending date for the promotion but said it is a limited-time offer.

New customers can also choose Sprint's 40GB shared data plan for an additional $20 a month if the 10GB monthly package isn't enough for families, giving them four times the data for an extra $20.

"Family members have differing data needs: music downloads, emails, movies," Kevin Crull, chief marketing officer for Sprint, said in a statement. "You have to supply the right amount of data to keep everyone under the same roof satisfied, deliver it at a price that works with the family budget, and offer to refill data affordably if the family runs low."

Sprint's latest Family Share Plan arrives just in time to take on T-Mobile's recent offer earlier in July that provides T-Mobile customers with unlimited talk and text as well as 10GB of data for each family member for $120 per month, according to an earlier eWEEK report. T-Mobile's special offer is available through Labor Day, Sept. 7.

In June, Sprint unveiled another new mobile phone plan, called All-In, which gives customers one monthly $80 price for a smartphone as well as unlimited text, talk and high-speed data, all for one fee that includes everything but taxes and fees. The All-In phone plans are meant to provide clearer pricing for consumers who have to price their smartphone payments, data plans and basic monthly mobile service plans individually, which makes it harder to figure total costs in a straight-forward manner, according to Sprint. The new mobile plan is notable because it includes unlimited high-speed data, which is hard to find from major carriers nowadays.

Under the All-In plans, consumers pay $20 a month to lease a smartphone, plus $60 a month for unlimited text, talk and high-speed data while on the Sprint network. Customers also must pay a one-time $36 activation fee for their new phone. Customers can choose from an Apple iPhone 6 or a Samsung Galaxy S6 smartphone. Monthly phone payments can vary slightly, depending on the phone that is chosen. A basic 16GB iPhone 6 and the 32GB Samsung Galaxy S6 are $20 per month, while a 64GB iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6 are $25 each per month, which would make the All-In monthly price $85. A 128GB iPhone 6 or Galaxy S6 would be $30 per month, which would make the All-In price $90 per month.

All phones under the All-In plans are available under Sprint leases, which provide 24 monthly payments and let users get a new device every 24 months.

Sprint, the nation's third-largest mobile carrier behind Verizon Wireless and AT&T, often promotes new phone plans as it battles with its competitors to lure new customers with more data and lower monthly service rates.

In February, Sprint unveiled a $90 monthly Family Share Pack with 12GB of shared data for up to 10 lines of service, according to an earlier eWEEK report. That promotion also waived the plan's $15 monthly mobile access fees for one year for new customers who ported their mobile numbers from another carrier. The 12GB shared data package also included unlimited talk and text for up to 10 lines.

Earlier in February, Verizon announced a special deal to give a free 1GB monthly data boost to customers who have 1GB to 3GB More Everything mobile plans, or to provide a $10-per-month price drop if they keep their current data package. Customers had to contact Verizon to ask for the free data boosts, which were not automatic.

AT&T and T-Mobile moved recently to offer rollover data features that allow their customers to keep unused data and roll it over for future use. In December, T-Mobile unveiled its "data stash" program, which lets customers keep any unused data in their monthly data plans and roll it over for future use, giving customers more control and fuller potential use of the data allocations that they pay for each month. AT&T is only allowing rollovers into the following month.

The rollover data offers followed a special half-price promotion launched by Sprint in December 2014. Under that deal, Sprint's "Cut Your Bill in Half Event" sliced existing Verizon or AT&T wireless bills in half for customers who move their service over to Sprint's network. The deal also matched a customer's data plan caps at half their existing rates for new customers who make the service transfer. The Sprint half-price offer was not extended to T-Mobile customers, which is intriguing because Sprint tried and failed to acquire T-Mobile earlier in 2014.