For the last five years, Sprint has carved out a niche as the cheap-and-cheerful postpaid phone carrier. Its network isn’t as comprehensive as the competitors, but it makes up for it with absurdly cheap plans and good family deals. But with the coming advent of 5G and fresh investment from its Japanese owner, Sprint is hoping to play with the bigger carriers. That means plans with more features and better service, but it’s also going to mean price hikes.
As spotted by Fierce Wireless, Sprint has been testing new unlimited plans in a handful of markets over the last few weeks. The plans feature new promotional pricing, premium features like additional hotspot data, and a $5-per-line price hike compared to Sprint’s current pricing.
The plans vary a little depending on the specific market, but there are some constants that are worth noting. In Atlanta, Phoenix, New Orleans, and St Louis, Sprint is offering some kind of introductory deal (with caveats) that lowers pricing to $35 per month for four lines. After 12 months at the promo price, customers will pay $65/month for the first line, $45/month for the second, and $25/month for lines three and four.
That’s a $5-per-line increase over Sprint’s current non-promo pricing nationwide for the first two lines, which runs $60 for the first line, $40 for the second, and $30 per line for lines 3-5. If this trial pricing rolls out nationwide, it would keep the four-line price the same, but punish users on smaller accounts.
The new plans don’t just include a price hike, however. Sprint is giving all customers in trial markets a bunch of perks, including a free Hulu subscription, a six-month trial to music service Tidal, and 15GB of hotspot data. There’s also new global roaming options.
Sprint spokesperson Kathleen Dunleavy confirmed the details of the trial plans, and said in a statement that “Sprint periodically trials different pricing options to ensure that our service continues to provide customers with the services and features that they need, while also staying competitive within the industry.”