14
Mar
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Out with the old, in with the new. Today Sprint has retired its no-contract As You Go service and replaced it with the more straightforwardly branded Sprint Prepaid. The new offering is something Sprint customers or no-contract shoppers should almost want to consider, but the monthly prices still aren't low enough for the limited number of phones supported.

SprintPrepaid

Sprint Prepaid introduces two smartphone plans: Smart and Smart Plus. The former offers unlimited talk and text for $45 a month. What about data? It's blocked. That's right - zilch, zero, none. Customers willing to forgo data entirely might be better off considering Republic Wireless, which is willing to sell a data-less plan on Sprint's network for a low $10 monthly fee. It only carries the Moto X (and soon, the Moto G), but that selection is arguably better than the predominantly outdated or underpowered phones Sprint Prepaid requires: the Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4 Mini, Moto G, or, for Apple fans, a pre-owned iPhone 4S.

SprintPrepaid2

Alternatively, you can throw in unlimited data as part of the $60 Smart Plus plan. 4G is supported, as long as you have a device with the proper hardware. The Moto G is 3G-only, while the S4 Mini, on the other hand, manages to take advantage of Sprint Spark. This price still isn't particularly compelling compared to Sprint's pre-existing no-contract brands Virgin Mobile and Boost Mobile, but it does come without a credit check. That's something, at least.

Sprint Prepaid

Sprint Expands No-Contract Plan Offers with Sprint Prepaid
Sprint Prepaid offers smartphone plans as low as $45 per month for commitment-phobic fans seeking the control that comes with prepaying each month
Sprint LTE and Sprint Spark devices included

OVERLAND PARK, Kan.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sprint (NYSE: S) is launching Sprint® Prepaid today, a new branded offer for those customers who want the control that comes with prepaying for their wireless service each month, the savings that come with paying for the device up front with no long-term commitment contracts, and the benefit of being with the Sprint brand.

“Our goal is to respond to customers’ shifting demands by featuring a variety of wireless plans that meet different needs”

“Our goal is to respond to customers’ shifting demands by featuring a variety of wireless plans that meet different needs,” said Jeff Hallock, Sprint chief marketing officer. “This new Sprint Prepaid offer allows us to play more competitively in the monthly prepaid space. Prepaid plans are a viable solution for many consumers, and we’re now making these available to people who have an affinity for the Sprint brand, are looking for savings, and desire no-contract options without compromise.”

Similar to Sprint’s popular prepaid brands – Virgin Mobile USA and Boost Mobile -- Sprint Prepaid is specifically designed for the Sprint customer who doesn’t want to go through a credit check or has hit other spending or line limits. With a prepaid plan, the customer pays in advance for the device and for each month of service and does not receive a monthly bill.

Devices

Sprint Prepaid expands on the “As You Go” no-contract plan introduced last year with new pricing, including smartphone plans for as low as $45 per month, expanded merchandising and a stronger device lineup that includes LTE and Sprint Spark™-capable options. At launch, top-selling smartphones eligible for Sprint Prepaid plans are:

Sprint Spark-enabled Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini

4G LTE-capable Samsung Galaxy S3

3G Moto G

Apple iPhone 4s Pre-owned is also available on Sprint Prepaid. Hallock said that the list of available devices will grow throughout the year and that feature phones will be added soon.

Sprint Prepaid customers will be able to participate in the popular Sprint Buyback program which allows them to trade in an eligible device to earn account credits. At launch, Buyback will be available to Sprint Prepaid customers online only and customers will receive a credit to their account. Customers can find more information at www.sprintbuyback.com including devices accepted and amounts paid for each device.

Plans

Sprint Prepaid customers can choose from two affordable plans for smartphones:

Smart: $45: Unlimited talk and text, Wi-Fi enabled data only1

Smart Plus: $60: Unlimited talk, text and data2

The Smart Plus plan is for smartphones and includes unlimited talk, text and data while on the Sprint network. Sprint Spark enhanced LTE capable devices will also be available at launch and when in a Sprint Spark coverage area3, will allow users to experience Sprint’s fastest data speeds available. Basic plans for feature phones will be introduced next month.

Accounts can be replenished, or Reloaded, in Sprint stores (cash or credit card), online at Sprint.com/prepaid with a credit card, or by calling *3 from the Sprint Prepaid device.

Sprint Prepaid is available in Sprint branded retail locations and through Telesales at 855-639-4644. Visit the Sprint store locator at sprint.com/storelocator. Customers can also find out more about Sprint Prepaid at www.sprint.com/prepaid.

Services

Sprint Money Express™ is one of the great features available with Sprint Prepaid, allowing Sprint Android-powered smartphones to serve as cash-based vehicles to access cost-effective financial services. The Sprint Money Express app is an easy way for customers to send money, load checks and pay bills, and it also includes a personalized, reloadable, Sprint-branded Visa prepaid card to make purchases anywhere in the world that Visa debit is accepted.

The Sprint Prepaid Phone Insurance program provides four peril coverage (loss, theft, accidental damage, out of warranty mechanical or electrical breakdown). Customers have a 30-day window from the time they purchase a new phone with an eligible rate plan to enroll in the Sprint Prepaid Phone Insurance program.

Customers also have the option to purchase additional services, such as directory assistance, international calling, and texting while on the Nationwide Sprint Network and premium services or content by Reloading an amount greater than their monthly payment to prepay for those services.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. The only things he likes sweeter than his tea are his gadgets, and while few objects burn more than a metal phone on a summer day, he prefers them that way anyway.

  • Peter Oliver

    I do wonder if this is just the beginning of a larger pre-paid move. Didn't Sprint recently announce they were going to shut down and consolidate all of the other pre-paid networks using their infrastructure?

    • Scott

      First I've heard of anything like that.

    • Doakie

      Nope they've never said that...

  • ProductFRED

    So for the cost of going to, say Straight Talk ($45 month for unlimited talk, text, and 2.5GB of unthrottled LTE on AT&T), you get unlimited talk, text, and no data...Why would anyone ever choose Sprint?

    • Dakota

      I have Straight Talk and the only problem is despite their commercials their ATT Sim doesnt exactly provide the same results as a direct ATT customer. Ive tested it with friends in ATT customers on same locations - and same device - and my Straight Talk coverage is always worse. Contract customers get prority and St is an after thought, but they won't admit that.

      • ProductFRED

        I won't dispute that speed, but coverage is exactly the same. I was with them for a year, before they even announced their 2.5GB cap (I would get throttled to 256 kbps for no reason, with no removal of the throttle even when I paid the next month's bill). I recommended the service to my dad, and although you're right about service being slower than on AT&T, the fact is Sprint's normal, first-party service is as slow or slower, and this plan comes with 2.5GB of LTE for the same price (with unlimited throttled data afterwards), whereas Sprint's plan at the same price comes with no data.

  • Mystery Man

    nope

  • h4rr4r

    BYOD or GTFO.

    • RainMotorsports

      Well you can BYOD a Nexus 5 as long as you bought it from the play store instead of say T-Mobile. I guess its GTFO I know I did.

      • h4rr4r

        The T-Mobile and play store N5s are identical, I thought?
        Why could you not bring one to Sprint?

        • RainMotorsports

          ESN/IMEI is not in the database and unlike say AT&T, Sprint is whitelist only. Play Store IMEI 3rd digit is an 8, T-Mobile is a 9. This has also been the case with Ting which is restricted to this exact whitelist policy from Sprint.

          • h4rr4r

            So they are just being jerks?
            The IMEI being a little different should not stop anything tech wise.

  • domahman

    wow... I didn't think sprint can get worse. Expensive and useless at the same time.

    • Doakie

      Hell yeah. The Sprint network sucks hard. I couldn't stand it any longer, I had to leave and go to AT&T.

      • HotInEER

        So did I. Best move EVER.

  • skeeterfood

    Sprint couldn't pay me to come back to their pitiful network, let alone charge more than their competitors that have better networks and better phone options.

  • Michael Samsara

    ..."and desire no-contract options without compromise.”

    Thank God! I don't have to write or spout things like this. Who do they think they are kidding? ...without compromise? A phone selection that qualifies as last years crumbs from the table; pricing that definitely can be beat(en) by just about every which way it can by everyone out there and plans that don't even offer as much as their Virgin Mobile/Boost wholly owned subsidiaries - which are on exactly the same Sprint network.

    But, if one will try to have it both ways at the same time - and is in the position of needing to appear as though they are addressing an issue without even beginning to seriously address it - one has no choice I suppose save to "do the ol keep your feet moving and razzle dazzle 'em" dance.

    Sprint is facing the same conundrum that Verizon and AT&T have, much to their collective dismays, been forced to face and been fighting (badly) since T-Mobile unleashed its "Uncarrier" flanking attack and decided to dispense with the Cell Phone Carries Roberts Rules of Order - wherein was written as The First Commandment,

    "Thou shalt focus little (preferably no) attention on the fact that the main beneficiaries of our contract system are we who offer the contracts; not those we are doing our level best to lock into our contracts."

    Sprint's problem - as well as their compadres in contract nightmareland - is that they are - as long as they insist on trying to sell what people in general view as a losing proposition - making you pay for the privilege of giving up your freedom to choose and move whither thou wilt when it serves your purposes - forced to try to sugar coat said losing propositon.

    As Abraham Lincoln said: "You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of
    the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time."

    But, perhaps before you can understand that concept, you must first stop fooling yourself?

  • Dakota

    Unless you want the Sprint network, go to Straight Talk where for that $45 you'll get 2.5gb of data

  • Cherokee4life

    And this is why I switched from Sprint to T-Mobile!

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