Sprint’s As You Go attempt to build an in-house and branded flat-rate monthly service product that doesn’t require contracts has been substantially reconfigured to behave almost identically to the offerings in the Prepaid Group, making the new Sprint Prepaid substantially less attractive to those that would have easily considered the previous offering in As You Go.
For the new offering, Sprint has decided to add more smartphones to the equation, but still refuses to allow full support for the entire Sprint device lineup. The new service plans also do away with truly unlimited data access, but now include all taxes and fees, whereas the previous As You Go plans featured up to $25 in additional taxes and fees tacked onto the base monthly rate, making them more expensive than even Verizon’s previous and current prepaid offering.
Now, Sprint Prepaid will consist of a voice and text messaging only plan that starts at $45 monthly meant for people that want smartphones without additional data access, while those that do want data access will now have to make do with a $60 monthly plan with 2.5GB of monthly data before being throttled, with the additional caveat of having multimedia streaming throttled to 3G speeds, regardless of device type. Below, the plan slate:
- Smart $45/month – Unlimited talk and text, no data or MMS
- Smart Plus $60/month Unlimited talk, text and data, throttled after 2.5 GB/month. Video streaming is limited to 3G speeds.
Basic Plans for Featurephones
- Basic Plus $50/month Unlimited talk, text and data
- Basic 500 minutes unlimited text and data. Additional minutes are 10¢/each
In addition, where As You Go offered full roaming support, Sprint Prepaid will be limited to native coverage only, just like Virgin and Boost Mobile. Below, the initial slate of smartphones compatible with the new Sprint Prepaid
- Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini $349.99
- Samsung Galaxy S3 $299.99
- Certified Pre-Owned Apple iPhone 4S $199.99
- Motorola Moto G $99.99
Whether the above changes will bring more attention to Sprint Prepaid remains to be seen, but it seems that Sprint still hasn’t figured out how to develop a compelling in-house branded prepaid service, as it has ignored months of feedback from prospective customers looking for an alternative to MVNOs and Boost/Virgin Mobile as well as feedback from current customers.