But, even Sprint's All-In plan isn't quite all-in. Customers are not getting the full picture. While Sprint makes much of the fact it clearly spells out the two main costs — phone lease and monthly service — its All-In plans don't include taxes and fees, which often add 10 percent or more to a monthly bill.
Most other carriers do the same, but Sprint missed an opportunity to really go all-in if it wanted.
AT&T's Cricket prepaid brand, for example, includes taxes and fees in many of their monthly rates.
There's a second issue with Sprint's All-In plans. They aren't necessarily a bargain. For iPhone buyers, the rate actually represents a $10-per-month increase over a prior plan, known as iPhone for Life.
Crull acknowledges the hike, but says the move allows the company to have similar pricing for the two flagship smartphones — the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Apple's iPhone. Plus, he says, Sprint remains far below T-Mobile when combining either phone with an unlimited data plan, while AT&T and Verizon no longer offer such plans.
Finally, there's the issue that Sprint continues to flog unlimited data in all its major smartphone plans, even as the company acknowledges that it will eventually need to hike prices or eliminate such plans altogether.
"There's a segment of the consumer base that really values unlimited," Crull said. "I think that need will be met. The pricing will probably move around a little bit."
Regulators are more closely scrutinizing wireless carrier deceptive practices including promotions that promised unlimited data. The FCC earlier this month said it would fine AT&T $100 million for its handling of unlimited data plans.
—By Ina Fried, Re/code.net.
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