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Sprint on Monday announced new family rate plans allowing up to 10 lines to share 20 gigabytes worth of data for $100 per month.
It’s the first move in what is expected to be far more aggressive pricing under newly named CEO Marcelo Claure. Sprint is also offering to reimburse up to $350 of the costs of ending a contract with another carrier, a move first tried by rival T-Mobile. The plans will be available starting Friday.
There are a bunch of caveats on Sprint’s new plans, with some of the pricing being offered only for a limited time. Also, to get the cheapest pricing, all customers must be coming from another carrier and bringing over their number. Even for those customers, the $100-per-month pricing is good only through the end of 2015 and requires signing up before the end of September.
“Sprint is offering the best value to data-hungry consumers. Period,” Claure said in a statement. “We are doubling the high-speed wireless data because today’s customers rely so much on their smartphones and tablets.”
AT&T has been advertising up to four lines for $160 per month, while T-Mobile has been offering four lines for $100 per month, though that price is being offered for less than two years.
Sprint noted it will have news on new individual rate plans later this week.
Family plans are some of the most competitive parts of the market, with carriers valuing the low turnover that comes with signing up an entire family. Until the latest move, Sprint had focused on “framily” plans, which allowed customers to join with friends and family for group discounts without being combined onto a single bill.
These new family plans are of the industry standard variety, with a single bill covering all included devices.
“We wanted to go with plans that were head-to-head (with the competition) and take the gloves off,” Kevin Kunkel, Sprint West region vice president, told Re/code. The company will continue to allow people to add members to their framily plan but intends to stop heavily marketing such plans.
Kunkel noted that it is a “new day” for Sprint with new rates, a new CEO and an improved network.
Claure was named to replace Dan Hesse earlier this month, with Sprint parent SoftBank also saying it was ending — at least for now — its bid to try to acquire T-Mobile US.