Sprint Promises Unlimited Data For Life

Thursday, 11 Jul 2013 | 6:05 PM ET
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Sprint on Thursday offered its customers unlimited data services for as long as they keep their account with the No. 3 U.S. operator, as it looks to steal customers away from bigger rivals Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

The announcement came just a day after SoftBank closed its $21.6 billion purchase of 78 percent of Sprint and two days after Sprint closed its buyout of Clearwire, which has a vast amount of wireless airwaves licenses.

The guarantee of unlimited talk, texting and data services adds a new wrinkle from Sprint, which already offers unlimited data services for a flat monthly fee, while its rivals charge consumers depending on the amount of data they use.

Sprint Chief Executive Dan Hesse told Reuters the new guarantee would help reassure customers who were worried about leaving AT&T or Verizon Wireless and then having Sprint eventually pull the offer of unlimited services.

Sprint-Clearwire Deal Is About Getting Spectrum
Charles Sizemore, CIO of Sizemore Capital Management discusses the Sprint-Clearwire deal and also analyzes the Microsoft-Oracle cloud partnership.

"Our research has shown that is a big issue for us in attracting AT&T and Verizon customers," he said, adding that the guarantee "clearly differentiates" Sprint from its rivals.

Hesse, who has been battling customer losses at Sprint since he took on the top job in December 2007, said he needed to complete the Clearwire deal to know that Sprint would have "the capacity to be able to offer an unlimited guarantee for life."

Without Clearwire's airwaves Hesse said that in a few years Sprint "would have run out of gas."

He declined to comment on any more changes Sprint and SoftBank will put in place now that the deals are closed. SoftBank waged a bitter battle with Dish Network to buy both Sprint and Clearwire.

Analysts have said they expected the SoftBank and Clearwire deal to amp up competition in the U.S. wireless market as Japan's SoftBank is famous for aggressive pricing in its home market.

Sprint also made some small pricing tweaks on Thursday to simplify family plans and service plans for individual smartphone users.

Under its latest offerings Sprint said that its smartphone customers would pay $240 less per year than customers of market leader Verizon Wireless, a venture of Verizon Communications and Vodafone Group and $120 less per year than No. 2 U.S. operator AT&T and smaller rival T-Mobile US .

Shares in Sprint, which changed its name from Sprint Nextel to Sprint Corp after the deal, will trade on a "when issued" basis until Friday when it will begin trading again under the S ticker symbol.

  Price   Change %Change


Contact Technology


    Get the best of CNBC in your inbox

    › Learn More
  • Matt Hunter is the senior technology editor at CNBC.com.

  • Cadie Thompson is a tech reporter for the Enterprise Team for CNBC.com.

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.

  • Jon Fortt is an on-air editor. He covers the companies, start-ups, and trends that are driving innovation in the industry.

  • Lipton is CNBC's technology correspondent, working from CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau.

  • Mark is CNBC's Silicon Valley/San Francisco Bureau Chief covering technology and digital media.