Sprint jacks up the price for two new unlimited data plans
The golden days of bargains are over, my friends.
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Roger Cheng (he/him/his) was the executive editor in charge of CNET News, managing everything from daily breaking news to in-depth investigative packages. Prior to this, he was on the telecommunications beat and wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal for nearly a decade and got his start writing and laying out pages at a local paper in Southern California. He's a devoted Trojan alum and thinks sleep is the perfect -- if unattainable -- hobby for a parent.
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SABEW Best in Business 2011 Award for Breaking News Coverage, Eddie Award in 2020 for 5G coverage, runner-up National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award for culture analysis.
The nation's fourth-largest wireless carrier, awaiting a merger with No. 3 T-Mobile, on Thursday unveiled two unlimited data tiers to replace its single Sprint Unlimited Freedom plan. The first is a $60 Unlimited Basic plan, which costs the same as Unlimited Freedom, but reduces hotspot capabilities to 500 megabytes and reduces video streams to standard definition. It also comes with Hulu and 5 GB of roaming data in Canada and Mexico. The second line costs $40 and the subsequent lines costs $20 a piece per month.
Unlimited Plus starts at $70 a line and includes 1080p HD streaming, 15 GB of mobile hotspot access, Hulu, Tidal and 10 GB of data roaming in Canada and Mexico. A second line costs $50 and following lines are $30.
At five lines, the Unlimited Basic costs $160, while the Plus plan costs $180, above the $100 promotion of its current Unlimited Freedom plan. The new plans take over on Friday.
Watch this: Verizon gives heavy data users a new unlimited plan for a price
The new plans also have their own promotion. For an unspecified limited time, customers who bring their own phone or buy a phone outright will get $20 knocked off each line per month.
With all of these options, is this too overwhelming for customers? Former Verizon guy and current Sprint pitchman Paul Marcarelli doesn't think so.
"It doesn't have to be that complicated," he said. "We all want great service at best price. Sprint seems to get that."
Sprint is raising its prices amid improvement in its service in some markets, including recognition for improvement in things like voice calls. The company argues that its service is nearly as good despite a more affordable price, although the bigger carriers would debate that point.
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