Comparing Sprint's new family plan to others like it

Los Angeles TimesAugust 25, 2014 

With a new chief executive at the helm, Sprint announced an aggressively priced plan that launched last week and heavily caters toward families of four or more who use large amounts of data.

Under the Sprint Family Share Pack, a family of four will get unlimited talk and text and share 20 gigabytes of data for $160 a month. The company said it will also offer to pay up to $350 in early-termination fees for new customers who leave their current carriers for Sprint before October.

Here's a comparison of Sprint's new plan and similar unlimited talk and text plans from its rivals.

Sprint Family Share Pack: Customers choose how much data they want to share, starting with 600 megabytes for $20 per month and going up to 60 GB for $225. They can add as many lines as they want. For plans with 16 GB or less, each noncontract line costs $25. For plans of 20 GB or more, the price falls to $15 per line. In all plans, phones on contracts cost $40 per line.

Sprint boasts a family of four using noncontract phones pays $160 per month, which is less than what customers pay for similar plans from AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile. But the price will be even less for customers who sign up before October because Sprint will only charge them for data, not the additional fee for each line, until the end of 2015.

T-Mobile Simple Choice Plan: In terms of value, T-Mobile comes closest to Sprint's new plan. Under T-Mobile's Simple Choice Plan, customers pay $50 per month for their primary line for unlimited talk and text and 2.5 GB of high-speed data. The price of each additional line falls as customers add more lines. But the price goes up if customers opt for more data per line.

For a family of four with the basic 2.5 GB per line, customers will pay $100 per month. For 3 GB each, the plan goes up to $140, $180 for 5 GB each and $220 for unlimited data for each user.

AT&T Mobile Share: This plan ranges from 300 MB of shared data for $20 per month to 50 GB for $375. Customers then pay $25 per month per line for noncontract smartphones or $40 per line for smartphones on contracts.

At those prices, a family of four with noncontract phones sharing 10 GB pays $200 per month or $250 if they go with 20 GB.

Verizon More Everything: This plan is structured similarly to the others. Customers first choose how many lines they want — $40 per line — and then how much data they want to share, ranging from 250 MB for $15 per month to 100 GB for $750. Customers on Verizon Edge, meaning their device is off contract, get a $15 discount per line.

Based on these rates, a family of four on Verizon Edge sharing 10 GB on the More Everything Plan pays $160 per month. If they choose to share 20 G,B the price becomes $210 per month.

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