21
Aug
sprint-logo

Pricing changes don't usually happen this fast in the wireless industry. It seems like T-Mobile and Sprint both have multiple contingencies in place to attack one another based on what goes down each day. Following T-Mobile's announcement of the free LTE upgrade for one year, Sprint has revealed a new unlimited data plan that's only $60 per month. There are a few caveats, though.

Sprint__60_Unlimited_Compeititive_Comparison

In order to be eligible for the $60 plan, you need to purchase a new device on Easy Pay (Sprint's no-contract financing arrangement). You can also bring your own device or pay full price up-front. At $60, Sprint's plan is $20 cheaper than T-Mobile's. In fact, it's only $10 more than T-Mobile's basic 1GB LTE plan. You could grab a Nexus 5 for a relative pittance and hop on Sprint's plan as soon as it goes live tomorrow.

Service quality is still important, and Sprint has had issues getting it new LTE network up and running. If you've got good coverage, though, this sounds like a fantastic deal. Seriously, this is a good old fashioned price war, and it wouldn't be happening if the merger had gone through.

[Sprint]

Ryan Whitwam
Ryan is a tech/science writer, skeptic, lover of all things electronic, and Android fan. In his spare time he reads golden-age sci-fi and sleeps, but rarely at the same time. His wife tolerates him as few would.

He's the author of a sci-fi novel called The Crooked City, which is available on Amazon and Google Play. http://goo.gl/WQIXBM

  • remister

    Damn, I was only 10$ off. I am glad to see competition, as I am a Tmobile Customer!

  • xero1

    Unlimited data as in unlimited, or unlimited till XGB is reached?

    • remister

      As usual, need to look for fine print.

    • joser116

      Really unlimited.

  • Edwin Rodriguez

    They offer a cheaper plan but no good service at all, this is the age of LTE & LTE - A . Why is Sprint service still coming out 3G

    • bearballz

      All depends on where you live. Sprint is pretty decent here in Chi-town.

      • Doakie

        Is Chi-town really easier to say than Chicago? Quit trying to be Gangsta.

        • bearballz

          Chi-town, a gangsta term? LOL!

          • Brendan

            He just doesn't understand us Chicagoans!

          • bearballz

            Better than saying Chi-raq..

    • firesoul453

      Where I live sprint lte is more than double the speed of the fastest interent at our house.

  • Alex Blair

    It may be $20 cheaper but it doesn't include the tethering option that T-Mobile includes.

    • hp420

      Every carrier includes that when you use the right apps.

      • RainMotorsports

        Tethered on Sprint just fine never got a cut off letter. But I have to use a VPN on MetroPCS just to not have to hassle with what is and isn't blocked.

      • monkeybutts

        And they are able to kick you out for violating terms of service while still charging you for the equipment or ETF

        • Solust

          They are able to, but I've never heard of anyone getting kicked because of it. I was in a rural area and used nothing but tethering for a few months without paying for it. My lowest month of usage was around 20GB.

  • http://www.fullmoonblog.com/ Flatlinebb

    I wonder how current customers can take advantage of this new plan...

    • george

      Knowing Sprint you cant.

    • WHO?

      This is for new and existing customers. Sprint requires you to bring your own device, pay full retail price for existing smart phone, or sign up for sprint easy pay. So if you currently have a subsidized phone you're not eligible.

  • Alexis Urena

    Loving my service here in NYC, Sprint Spark is no joke!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      This morning I got my first taste of Spark. Sprint's testing it in my home market. 63 down/8 up while connected to band 41. They turned it off an hour later, but hopefully we'll see a permanent launch soon.

      • Alexis Urena

        Cant wait till they turn on all those shiny new 8t8r antennas, what market are you in?

        • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

          I'm in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, NC market. They rolled out Spark to a small part of the Greensboro & Winston-Salem area (about an hour away) recently, so I figured Raleigh and Charlotte had to be next.

          What I'm really hoping is that the launch of Spark will mean that they'll upgrade the 10 or so remaining 3G-only towers that exist in this metro area (two of which are less than 10 minutes from my house). That causes a lot of bouncing between 3G and LTE when I'm out and about. And of course, phones will drop back to 3G at the drop of a hat, but they take a while to ramp back up to LTE. Putting my phone in and out of airplane mode gets really old, really quick.

          • Alexis Urena

            Awesome to see them firing up B41, most likely they are 8t8r, I know NC was a very limited Wimax state, so I doubt that's where your picking up B41 from. I have a buddy down in NC, and I know they also recently just started deploying Band 26, and initially a lot of those sites are missing eCSFB, and causing issues with it skipping B26 and forcing the device to 3G. Over time that will subside as they update all the towers, and of course finish the remaining 3G only towers.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

            Yep. I have no doubt it'll get better, but until it does, I'll keep my Sprint SIM active as a backup but I've got to go elsewhere for daily service.

      • Daniel Marcus

        8 Up? Sounds like they're doing some pretty extreme throttling there. On Verizon or T-Mobile LTE, 50/50 seems fairly normal in most places. I think Verizon has been throttling their up a little, I'm seeing speeds like 50/30 or 50/20 more often, but I suspect that is in areas where the network is getting put under high load.

        • Alexis Urena

          No Throttling, Sprint uses TDD-LTE with 6:3 ratio. So theoretical max is around 100mb/s (real world are closer to 80mb/s) down max and 15mb/s up...

          • Daniel Marcus

            Interesting. The up speed is still a little low in my opinion, but overall, not bad. If only they could manage to get more than a few markets to actually work right. I've seen some phones with the Spark icon around here, and the data speed is still rather sorry.

          • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

            The spark icon shows on all recent phones whether there's actually spark live in the market or not. It's a branding thing, not an indicator of spark service.

  • dude

    If I need unlimited, I'll get MetroPCS $60 (which is unlimited, not throttled after a certain GB). Same network and speed as T-Mobile, just lacking some of the post paid benefits.

    Rather than using a CDMA Sprint phone that is sim and bootloader locked and very poor to no updates (except for Nexus 5, but that's a single exception).

    • dude

      Also Sprint here in South Florida is atrocious, what's the point of unlimited if you get 0.5mbps.

      • Doakie

        0.5 Mbps?! Lucky dog! Right before I left them I had 0.2 Mbps downloads here in Seattle.

        • hp420

          Luckier than me still....80kbps for me 18mos ago with my Nexus S

          • MaryJane

            Still luckier than me. My phone was somehow faster when it was off.

    • remister

      I am glad that I was able to get Tmobile unlimited when it started. Everything for 70$

      • ProductFRED

        Same plan, grandfathered @ $70.

    • Evan Anderson

      Sprint doesn't lock the device bootloaders like AT&T/Verizon

      • hp420

        No, but they do use a CDMA network

        • Evan Anderson

          So what? CDMA is technically superior to GSM/UMTS with regards to spectrum usage. Also, devices like the Nexus 5 that support GSM/UMTS/CDMA/LTE are going to become more common, basically nullifying the disadvantage of being stuck with CDMA or GSM/UMTS netwotks

          • hp420

            Oh, right....let me just dump my perfectly working Nexus 4, pick up a Nexus 5 and jump on over to the carrier who can't get LTE off the ground and just became the 4th cafrier in the country instead of staying with the carrier who is actually working to change the ecosystem and make its customers happy while expanding an LTE network that practically blankets the whole country in the span of a year.

            Right....the CDMA one sounds way better when I put it like that, huh? lol

          • Evan Anderson

            Not trying to convince anyone to switch here... Sprint is still #3 in terms of subscribers. T-Mobile only took the #3 spot in performance based on RootMetrics. Also, T-Mobile hardly "blankets" the country in LTE. They have so much edge outside of cities it's comical. Sprint, on the other hand, actually has LTE along major interstates and in rural areas

          • Daniel Marcus

            Actually in my experience (At least here in NC) It's sprint that has the worst edge coverage. Sure, outside of the cities and main roads, it's about the same, but there are buildings WITHIN the city and main roads that Sprint doesn't cover that T-Mobile does just fine. Also, T-Mobile's HSPA+ network is pretty significant as well, and is a very acceptable 3.5G speed, where Sprint's data speed is absolutely horrid if you are on anything other than their struggling LTE network.

          • Itchy_Robot

            I am in Raleigh, NC sitting in a brick building. I just did a speed test and 18.69Mbps down, 7.41Mbps up. Same goes for my house and at Emerald Isle, NC. I honestly wasn't expecting much when I switched from Verizon 3 months ago, but I have been pleasantly surprised at the coverage. For me it has been great in Raleigh, Greensboro, Charlotte NC, along the main highways, and all around Nashville TN. It can be lacking in rural areas, but plenty good enough to pull some small quick data off the internet, email, or Google Maps/Nav. I use Ting.com though, a MVNO of Sprint ... highly recommended if you are not a big phone user, but from time to time still need all the bells and whistles they allow. My first months bills was (after tax/fees) $35, the next $33, and last was $40. I am saving $500 a year from switching to Ting from Verizon.

          • Jorge

            Each person has different experiences. I live in Winston-Salem and I use AT&T. Sprint sucks here, even with Spark but its funny how my cousin (who uses Sprint) was able to load Vine videos much faster than my att service or my friend's Verizon. It all depends on the time of day and where.

          • Fadakar

            Doesn't seem like you have a clue. Verizon uses CDMA and they're #1 in the nation. Explain that please.

          • Ichi

            Verizon has the most expansive coverage because they have so many more towers than the others, followed by AT&T, then Sprint, and of course T-mobile come up last because it doesn't have towers where the others do, such as outside cities and freeways.

          • Fadakar

            Verizon using CDMA and Verizon having great coverage are completely unrelated. He puts some blame on Sprint's performance because of CDMA, but that argument's invalid because Verizon has a great network despite also being a CDMA carrier.

            This guy is using words he doesn't even know.

          • topgun966

            Verizon USE to use CDMA. If you have a phone from the past 2-3 years, it is GSM. Anything that is on their LTE, is GSM. (LTE is based on GSM technology). Majority of their network is now on GSM. CDMA is only around for the older phones but will be phased out soon.

    • RainMotorsports

      I am currently on MetroPCS and for the most part happy with it. But since I am on a Nexus 5 it would be an option to switch. My main worry is actually just the 3G fallback which sucks. I just got off Sprint no real reason to go back.

    • JC

      You beat me to it, and yes Metro's Unlimited is way better than Sprint's. Also I can bring my own device (Nexus for me)

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      That's why the Nexus 5 is good in this case. You can use Sprint, or any GSM network, so it's one more option for choosing what works best for you. :D

    • ProductFRED

      You can't even credit Sprint for Nexus 5 updates because they're coming straight from Google. Don't forget that even when Sprint unlocks their phones for you, they're purposely programmed to reject US SIM cards other than Sprint's. I used to work for them; this is a fact.

      • jonathan3579

        Quick note: That's supposed to change in 2015.

        • ProductFRED

          Yeah I know. I'm the one that found it in their FAQ and sent it to AP.

    • kamiller42

      Ron Amadeo (Remember that guy?) @ Ars did a story on this 2 days ago. All carriers except Verizon were essentially tied on upgrade speed. Look it up.

  • Porknaut

    I get unlimited (3gb fast) LTE data on Straight Talk for $45.

  • John Smith

    I get 1 to 2 bars at West Lake Sammamish in Bellevue, WA. What's the point of a cheap plan when I can't even talk on the phone without interruption ??!!

    • Doakie

      Lol. That's pretty much everywhere in the greater Seattle area. I lived in the East Renton Highlands right south of Cougar Mountain and unless you were on this one rogue LTE tower that not even customer support knew about you'd get 200 Kbps downloads and consistent dropped calls. Seemed like every 3 minutes your call would drop. However when connected to that single LTE tower I'd get 25 Mbps connections, but being that LTE doesn't do voice I'd still drop calls...

    • CellMan

      Sprint us unusable anywhere around Seattle. They won't have 800 Mhz lower frequency signals for 2+ years.
      Sprint doesn't space or place their towers in the correct locations, spread too thin. T-Mobile place their towers correctly.
      [I don't use T-Mobile btw]
      Unlimited data means nothing if you can't use it.

  • Bryan Pizzuti

    Let's see, 1 GB of HSPA+ and LTE with T-Mobile, or unlimited EVDO with Sprint. Decisions decisions....well, no, not really. ;)

    • blindexecutioner

      8-10Mbps average for me on Sprint. You're right, it really is no question.

      This is on a good day.
      http://i112.photobucket.com/albums/n181/Shifted1/2014-06-11235247_zps81d6c870.png

      • Evan Anderson

        What are you going to do with that speed? Typical smartphone activities only need a consistent 8-10Mb/s. You can even stream Netflix in HD with 8-10Mb/s.

    • hp420

      Let's see...buy a phone wearing a chastity belt (cdma), or one I can take out of the box (to another carrier) and play with.....hmmmmm.....

  • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

    Their press release isn't clear, and I'm arguing about this on another site: can anyone confirm that this includes LTE? I agree it would be absurd not to, but the press release mentions it NOWHERE except in the section that talks about Sprint as a company, and not this service specifically.

    • Simon Belmont

      That would be hilarious if it didn't offer LTE. EVDO is so slow.

      I mean, seriously, EVDO is painful compared to HSPA. Back when I had my G'Nex on T-Mobile, being that it could only use HSPA+ and not LTE, I was still astounded at how much faster the speeds where than Sprint's EVDO.

      • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

        I remember well. I moved from Sprint to T-Mobile. I honestly liked Sprint, and I always thought their data speeds were "fine," (not great, but they worked, so why all the fuss?). On a Nexus 4 that supported only HSPA+, it was frequently outpacing my home and office Internet speeds. That changed my impressions of Sprint in a heartbeat.

        • Simon Belmont

          Oh, don't get me wrong. I actually had good speeds (for EVDO and WiMAX, no LTE here from them at the time) on Sprint, and I was pleased with their coverage.

          But when I went to T-Mobile, it was like a "seeing the light" type of moment with speeds. Also, BYOD and being able to swap my phones out on a whim by switching SIMs out was a big thing for me on T-Mobile.

          • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

            Yep. Definitely haven't looked back since that change. Completely new dynamic for me.

    • WHO?

      I am not saying thats a dumb question but you have to admit thats a pretty dumb question. lol This is not mom and pop prepaid service.

      • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

        Thinking that is exactly how carriers manage to screw us over and over again. As long as we assume they're incapable of doing something like that, they manage to bury it successfully in the fine print.

    • Rob

      The #legalese on their page also fails to say anything about LTE. All they reference is unlimited #data which could easily mean non-LTE data.

      "$60 Unlimited Plan: Includes unlimited domestic Long Distance calling, texting and data. Third-party content/downloads are add’l charge. Int’l svcs are not included. Pricing may vary for existing customers. Excludes discounted phones. Plan will appear on your bill as $30/Unltd Talk & Text and $30/UnlimitedData. Includes unlimited on-network data. Customers under a 1 or 2 year Service Agreement and moving to the Sprint $60 Unlimited plan have a higher monthly rate of up to $25/month until they reach upgrade eligibility."

      • http://turbofool.com Jarrett Lennon Kaufman

        Thank you. That's also what I picked up on.

  • Simon Belmont

    I'd rather have HSPA+ as my 3G fallback than EVDO. I get 10-20+Mbps on that versus Sprint's 500Kbps to 1.5Mbps on EVDO.

    Sprint might have more coverage because of roaming agreements with Verizon, but I've been plenty pleased with T-Mobile's in the areas that I've traveled to. Mostly LTE, with a smattering of HSPA+. Plus I'm on the old unlimited plan so I'm only paying $10 more, not $20. No brainer for me.

  • lisaboconnerr

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  • Brad

    you don't NEED unlimited on T-Mobile because streaming music is included... I am missing google play music, though.

    • Evan Anderson

      All people are not huge music streaming buffs...

      • Doakie

        Only other thing I used my T-Mobile unlimited for back in the day was P2P, now that's out the window. I think ripping YouTube videos is the only data intensive thing I do these days.

        • hp420

          P2P is a large blow to me too, but direct download isn't bad if you can find what you want from the right host.

        • dude

          If I need to do that I use my Comca$t landline.

        • monkeybutts

          VPNs are pretty cheap like $40-50 a year for a decent one.

      • dude

        I used to be until I got my OPO with 64gb internal, whole library fiys in it.

    • hp420

      Right...because music is the only thing you can do with internet on a smartphone.

      • Brad

        Eh, I use my phone a good deal and haven't touched my 3 gigs... I know people do other things, but a good chunk of people can get by without unlimited. Sorry to ruffle your panties.

    • Dyre Straights

      Missing it here as well.

      Pandora with the restriction-removing xposed mod is where I get to sit until (if?) they add GPMAA to the list.

      • Brad

        oh? maybe i _will_ root... I've been doing spotify...

  • digiblur

    So it's like the 3 SERO plan lines I had to drop but $10 more and no subsidy. All in all though, not a bad deal if you use a lot of data and live/travel in the few areas where Sprint LTE works.

  • hp420

    Make this available for prepaid. Then we'll talk about an actual battle. Until then I'm penalized in some way if I leave Sprint, so I'm not willing to even give them a shot. I won't pay them to leave just because I realize their network isn't as good as a competitior's.

  • bearballz

    I've had my issues with Sprint and have looked at other carrier plans since my contract expired back in July. But $60 unlimited everything is a great deal.

    I was wondering though if AT&T or Verizon will do anything to counter this and T-Mo's new plans.

    • dude

      They will do nothing until someone can compete enough with their amount of subscribers.

  • cabbieBot

    It's not a price war until Big Red and Ma Bell get sucked in completely and have no choice but to respond in kind. Sprint and TMo going at it is like watching two urkels fighting with Nerf guns in the losers consolation bracket.

  • firesoul453

    So if I am an existing customer do i still need to buy another device?

  • Dick Brown

    T-mobile has terrible coverage I had switched to them from att and after using for almost a year I had to switch back I live in New York state and service is spotty in westchester county
    and barley there north of westchester

  • SirGed

    Tmobile is $30 a mo for unlimited data. I'm a fairly new customer too.

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Shawn De Cesari

      That's fine as long as you never actually talk on the phone. With as much business as I conduct on my phone, I burn through 100 minutes within a day or two.

      • SirGed

        Sorry, its $60 a mo per phone for unlimited talk, text and data on tmobile. We have 2 phones (S5) and pay $120 even every month. Its $30 for unlimited data.

        • monkeybutts

          They raised prices in march now 2 phones is $140. You can still get $60 taxes included on MetroPCS though

  • Cael

    So how much of that unlimited do you get before they throttle you to 3G/2G?

  • tehboogieman

    Anyone know if this this requires a contract if I bring my own device?

    • monkeybutts

      No you can take your own device

      • firesoul453

        But does it require a contract?

  • http://www.youtube.com/#/mrjlwilliams J. Williams

    No matter what sprint does, people are not leaving tmobile for them. The network is just not there, nor is their customer service.

  • GazaIan

    Hm, so this is what competition is like.

  • Shawn

    Was going to go back to Sprint for this in a heart beat since the only reason I left is the whole 2 year contract thing. When I called I was told my Nexus 5 was not compatible with Sprint. No wonder why they're losing the battle...

    • uodii

      Where do you live and what model is your Nexus 5? I'd call again and ask another rep because I'm using the Nexus 5 (Model D820) with no problems on Sprint.

      • Shawn

        I'm in the US (MA to be exact) and was told my Nexus 5 was incompatible with Sprint. When I explained that there is only one version of the N5 (D820) for the US, the rep said I had to purchase the Nexus 5 directly from Sprint. I bought mine from Swappa so I'm not sure where it was purchased but I'm guessing the MEID wasn't added to Sprint's database so they won't activate the phone. Guess I'll stick with my Cricket Pro plan until Tmo puts towers where I live.

        • maverick7526

          I live in MA and have a N5 on Sprint. It works, but you have to go to a corp store, or a repair store. They will then enter the IMEI manually, and the phone will activate. I bought mine directly from Google last Halloween when the phone came out. If you live near Boston, there is a corp store in Saugus on rt-1 and I think another one in Burlington on 128. If you use sprints store locator it will tell you what type of store it is.

          • Shawn

            Thanks. There's one in Shrewsbury that is a corporate/repair store. I'll give them a try tomorrow. Thanks!

  • dcap

    It would take all month if I started today to use enough data on sprint to equall one day of t mobile's data speed.

  • firesoul453

    Sprint is terrible

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