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What We Learned from Sprint’s Brief Unlimited Plan Offer

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Dec. 4 2020, Updated 10:52 a.m. ET

$15-per-month offer terminated after a week

For a period of one week in June, Sprint (S) offered an aggressively priced unlimited wireless plan. The plan had unlimited data, talk, and text for just $15 per month, which was cheaper than its own flagship unlimited plan and the starting unlimited plans of its rivals.

Sprint introduced the plan in order to lure customers from rivals Verizon (VZ), AT&T (T), and T-Mobile (TMUS). Sprint didn’t reveal how many people defected from its rival networks to take advantage of its cheap unlimited plan, but it said the offer had an overwhelming response.

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Giving rivals’ customers a taste of its service

Sprint has traditionally lagged the competition in terms of network speed, according to various third-party measurements. The company has been working to improve its network performance. Perhaps it’s using short-term offers such as the $15-per-month unlimited plan to give customers of its rivals a taste of its network performance and hopefully give them a sense of how it has caught up to the competition or narrowed the gap with the leaders.

Sprint’s wireless customer base grew slightly to more than 54.6 million subscribers at the end of its fiscal Q4 2017, which ended in March 2018.

T-Mobile and Sprint looking to wage price war

Sprint’s cheap $15-per-month unlimited plan drew overwhelming interest from consumers. That shows how competitive pricing and unlimited plans are in the US wireless competition.

In its public interest statement to the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), T-Mobile said that if the merger is approved, it will have competitive lower prices to reduce Verizon’s and AT&T’s market shares.

Comcast (CMCSA) and Charter (CHTR) are also bidding for revenues in the wireless market. T-Mobile and Sprint have indicated that they could use a price war as a key competition tactic.

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