updated 12:40 pm EDT, Fri March 14, 2014
Prepaid service relaunch accompanied by Sprint Money Express
Sprint will offer its customers a revamped third prepaid mobile phone service, alongside existing brands Boost Mobile and Virgin. Sprint Prepaid will apparently offer a similar service to what customers receive under its existing contract plans, with most options offering unlimited talk and text, and while there is a plan to provide unlimited data, it does come with some potential deal-breakers.
A total of four possible plans will be offered under Sprint Prepaid. For feature phones, the $35 Basic plan provides unlimited data and texts, with 500 minutes, while the $50 Basic Plus bumps the minutes to unlimited. The plans for smartphones are relatively similar, with the Smart Plus providing unlimited calls, texts, and data for $60 per month. Smartphone owners wanting to just use Wi-Fi for data can opt for the cheaper $45 plan, which retains the unlimited talk and text aspects.
While the plans are an improvement on the Sprint "As You Go" plans it launched last year, Sprint Prepaid still has a few issues. While they do come with unlimited data and can be used on Sprint's LTE network, Sprint reserves the right to throttle users down to 3G speeds once they pass 2.5GB of data, as well as for instances of video streaming. Potential customers may also prefer the range of devices and plans offered on Boost and Virgin, with Sprint Prepaid offering the Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, the Galaxy S III, the Moto G, and a pre-owned iPhone 4S on the network.
At the same time as relaunching its prepaid brand, the carrier is offering a banking service. Similar to T-Mobile's Mobile Money, Sprint Money Express will let customers manage an account via a mobile app, including paying bills and sending money, with a Sprint-branded prepaid Visa card also supplied for purchasing items in stores.