Not to be outdone by T-Mobile's big cellular pricing shake-up, Sprint just made its rumored Unlimited phone plans official. Essentially customers can now purchase all-you-can eat voice and text for one phone line starting at $50 per month. Prices decrease though as you add additional lines, but of course there's a catch.
As you might have guessed, that sticking point is data. While Sprint will lop off $10 for each phone line you bring into your account, $40 for line No. 2 and $30 for line No. 3, and so on, data is accounted for separately. Indeed attaching a data bucket to each smartphone line costs an extra $30 per month which to be fair includes unlimited access. Selecting the 1GB option, however, tacks a lesser $20 fee on to your monthly bill.
Want your smartphone to act as a mobile hot spot and share its 4G LTE-fueled access to other gadgets over Wi-Fi? This luxury costs $10 a month more on top of everything else.
For those who are feeling like Daddy Warbucks and have money to burn, well, Sprint has a plan for you, too. The All-In plan adds up to a cool $110 per month but includes a bottomless supply of voice, text, and data, plus it throws in the mobile hot-spot abilities for good measure.
One big aspect of Sprint's new plan is the blatant promise to "lock" you into "unlimited text, talk, and data" with a lifetime guarantee. It sure sounds great but it begs the question, will Sprint phase out its all-you-can-eat data access shortly for existing customers? Perhaps timed with the carrier's strengthened LTE roll out?
Sprint confirmed with CNET, however, that it has no plans to eliminate the unlimited data access which current smartphone subscribers enjoy. In fact a Sprint representative explained the situation to me further, saying that the strong guarantee language is really meant to highlight the carrier's commitment to providing unlimited plans to new customers.
Sprint says this new pricing structure will go into effect starting July 12. Sound interesting? Take a look at Sprint's press release for more details.
Updated on 7/15/13 at 5PM ET to provide comments from Sprint and Unlimited Guarantee details.