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 It only carries the Moto X (and soon, the Moto G), but that selection is arguably better than the predominantly outdated or underpowered phones Sprint Prepaid requires: the Galaxy S III, Galaxy S4 Mini, Moto G, or, for Apple fans, a pre-owned iPhone 4S.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.