updated 02:25 pm EDT, Wed July 2, 2008
Sprint Forcing All In Plan
Sprint may be shifting all its customers who want discounted data to opt into all-in-one plans that in many cases cost more than what they originally had, say reports from subscribers attempting to renew their contracts. The US carrier already requires a $70 monthly Simply Everything plan for the Samsung Instinct to use both its voice and data features but is now reportedly asking owners of Palm Centros and other data-centric phones to accept the same plan when they renew service, in many cases increasing the costs of using the phones regardless of the customer's actual intent.
The move if true would effectively shut out customers attempting to buy new phones just for data or voice use or who don't require the full 450 phone minutes or messaging of the Simply Everything plan. Concerns also exist that the move may also phase out Sprint's well-known SERO plan, which for $30 gives unlimited data and a large number of minutes to customers who are supposed to be referred by Sprint employees.
The company doesn't currently list any of its previous data packs and doesn't list data alone outside of PC cards.
Sprint last month launched a complete overhaul of its plan structure as part of a move to bring in more customers with simpler plans. The provider has previously sold many of its data-related services, including GPS and Internet video, in separate packs that some have charged were too confusing and limiting.
AT&T and similar providers have already had similar combinations of services but also regularly allows some data-capable phones to be sold with voice-only service. [via BGR]