Hot on the heels of Clearwire accepting Sprint’s bid for a complete purchase by the carrier comes the news that it is testing increasingly common usage based pricing in 10 markets while it attempts to shore up short-term financial issues.
The first 10 markets where the new pricing tiers are being tested include Boise, Idaho; Boston; Charlotte, N.C; Cleveland; Miami; Minneapolis; Philadelphia; Trenton, N.J.; Salt Lake City; and Wilmington, Del. with no immediate plans to expand the trial outside of the aforementioned test markets.
The plans being tested include 2 GB of data for $20 per month, 40GB of data for $40 or an unlimited plan for $60 outside of the currently offered $35 and $50 unlimited plans in other markets.
In a statement regarding the new tests and plans, Clearwire spokesperson Mike DiGiola elaborated on the initiative:
“We believe that these plans will give customers greater control of their broadband options by allowing them to select the plan that best fits their budget,” DiGioia said. “It’s important to note that we plan to continue offering unlimited usage plans and this is intended to expand the range of options and reach a broader base of potential customers with a wider variety of needs.”
As Clearwire starts its transition to becoming a wholly-owned Sprint subsidiary, the news of the new plans and test markets is now being seen as a hedge while it reorganizes its business to better react to the marketplace and its current issues, most centered around the lack of immediate capital and soon to be resolved with the new purchase deal, which is expected to be completed by next March, around the same time as the Sprint-Softbank deal.