The wireless pricing wars continue; this week it's Sprint's turn to mix things up.
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Starting April 7, Sprint will start to phase out plans with data allowances for unlimited data plans. To kick things off, new Unlimited Freedom customers will pay $50 for one unlimited line, $80 for two, $100 for three, and $120 for four, which Sprint is quick to point out is currently less than you'd pay for unlimited data on Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile.
Sprint first tried this out in February, offering one line of unlimited service for $50 and two lines for $90 during a four-day deal; those who signed up get that rate until March 31, 2018. The $50 option now returns for new customers, but the catch is that it's only good through June 30, 2018. After that, the price of service will go up $10 for each line on the account.
Also, keep in mind that unlimited isn't truly unlimited: Sprint may throttle users if they consume more than 23GB of data a month. Rivals AT&T and Verizon throttle after 22GB; T-Mobile does so after 26GB. Average smartphone users likely won't hit those limits, though, particularly if you connect to Wi-Fi while at home. Sprint says "more than 90 percent" of customers are currently on an unlimited plan.
On the down side, Sprint is getting rid of a recent promotion offering five lines of unlimited data for $90 a month and a longtime promo offering 50 percent off competitors' plans to those who switch.
In its announcement, Sprint specifically took aim at rivals AT&T and Verizon. "During the past few months, we've seen other national wireless carriers offer unlimited plans, but their offers don't match the value we provide," Sprint's Chief Marketing Officer Roger Solé wrote in a blog post. "Within the first year, Verizon's and AT&T's unlimited plans will cost consumers at least 50 percent more!"
AT&T, however, made its unlimited plan a little more attractive this week with the addition of free HBO.
Sprint's announcement came the same day Comcast unveiled a new wireless service called Xfinity Mobile, which will be sold to existing customers for $12/GB of data or up to $65/line for an "unlimited" plan.