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Sprint confirms unlimited data plan for iPhone 4S

The plan gives it an edge over its competitors who no longer offer unlimited plans to new customers.

Sprint Nextel confirmed today that its iPhone 4S will come with the option of an unlimited data plan.

Sprint representative Michelle Leff Mermelstein said the company wouldn't change its plans, which range between $69.99 and $99.99 a month.

The $69.99 plan comes with unlimited data, text messages, 450 calling minutes and unlimited calling to any cell phone in the country. An $89.99 plan comes with 900 minutes on top of the data, text and mobile-to-mobile calls, while a $99.99 plan features unlimited access to all services.

The company is banking that the lure of an unlimited plan--something AT&T and Verizon Wireless no longer offer to new customers--will be enough to reverse its trend of contract subscriber losses, revive its revenue and help it back on to the road to profitability. It has long used unlimited as an additional sales tool beyond price, running campaigns that mock its competitors' tiered plans or willingness to slow down their customers' connection speed.

Apple said yesterday that Sprint would be getting the iPhone, putting its product lineup on par with AT&T and Verizon. The company reportedly bet heavily on the iPhone, committing to $20 billion for an order of 30 million iPhones over the next four years.

The other carriers have already come out swinging. Verizon yesterday sent an e-mail to reporters touting its network quality, which it believes set its iPhone apart from the others. AT&T, meanwhile, also said yesterday that its iPhone 4S would be the only one to connect to the faster HSPA network, and also touted the availability of the free iPhone 3GS (with contract).

(Related: Apple's next iPhone makes its debut)

The presence of Sprint, meanwhile, will only drive further iPhone sales for Apple. Sprint will sell both the new iPhone 4S and the older $99 iPhone 4.

Updated at 2:49 p.m. PT: to include additional details on Sprint's existing plans.