Sprint joining the movement to kill contracts, will ditch them by the end of 2015

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Years after T-Mobile was the first US carrier to kill the contract, the other major US carriers are finally following suit. First it was Verizon, and now Sprint has said that it, too, plans to stop offering two-year contracts.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure has said that his carrier plans to stop offering contracts by the end of 2015. When that happens, Sprint customers will have two options for buying a phone: on lease or at full price. Claure added that last quarter, 51 percent of Sprint’s customers bought their new phone on a lease plan.

Ever since T-Mobile launched Simple Choice and killed its contracts, we’ve seen the other carriers slowly backing away from them. For example, Verizon launched Edge and AT&T launched Next. Those operators have been highlighting its installment offerings and downplaying contracts for a while, but now they’re finally starting to see what’s up and deciding to kill them altogether. Verizon did earlier this month and Sprint will by the end of the year. Now we just have to wait for AT&T to do the same.

These contract-killing moves from other carriers back up T-Mo’s decision to end contracts two years ago, but the news is also notable because it marks a big shift in the US wireless industry. For years, customers have relied on contracts to help them upgrade at a low price. Now a lot of folks are going to have to get their phone a new way, and these installment plans should help them to realize the true cost of a smartphone.

Via: Fierce Wireless
Source: WSJ

Tags: , , ,

  • steveb944

    The difference is that T-Mobile actually DROPPED the price of service when they did this. These companies on the other hand are removing contracts and subsidiaries, but maintaining the same price. Horrible.

    AT&T has the closest variation to T-Mobile, as they offer you a lower price for service if you BYOD.

    • Fabian Cortez

      To this day, Sprint still releases things half-baked.

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    • Daniel Darnell

      Sprint actually did lower the price. Before it was unlimited with a two year contract for $80 a month. Under the new plan it’s $60 for Unlimited Voice/Data/Text plus whatever your phone lease payment is if any. So if you have paid a device in full or have a phone to use you are only paying $60 a month vs the former $80 or whatever your rate plan may be if you choose to lease a device.

      • JB

        Though if I remember correctly, sprint still have those per line access fees, right?

        • Daniel Darnell

          I’m not sure but they do have a family plan now that is 10 GB of shared data for four lines $100. No access line fee and while it’s a promotion plan the rate stays the same as long as you are on it. Sprint’s new plans and offers are pretty much an exact copy of T-Mobile.

        • Bklynman

          Not really,TMO,has no single line plan for $60.00,for everything,unless I miss it some how. Once they start there new network sometime this year I will how it goes,then I might be jumping ship to Sprint,plus with my job discount,I can maybe 20 pct.off,my bill,I have friends who has Sprint,the only reason they have Sprint is because the big discount they get.

        • Daniel Darnell

          From what I understand on the new plans Sprint has went the T-Mobile route and stopped with the corp/employee discounts.

        • Bklynman

          I didn’t know they did that,but if Sprint gets their act together this time,go with one system,instead of having 3 or 4 different ones,still might leave,I am paying now,$60.00,for 3 gigs,when I can get everything for $60.from Sprint.

        • Mike Palomba

          T-Mobile hasn’t stopped Corp discounts. I’m in the newest plan $120 for 10GB per line and still have it

        • Daniel Darnell

          Existing customers get to grand father in corp discounts but no new customers can get corp discounts. The only corp offer they have now is a small gift card amount and that’s if you refer another person. The percent off corp discounts are completely gone if you are coming aboard T-Mobile now.

        • Mike Palomba

          You can probably get money off your T-Mobile bill too, I get 15% off everymonth from a corporate discount

      • steveb944

        That’s only one rate plan, they’ll need a lot more to compete once they drop contracts altogether. Keep in mind that other 49% love subsidies or don’t know any better. As far as I can recall T-Mobile discounted across the board to actually make it an incentive to switch.
        Only time will tell where this goes, but we can all agree Verizon is the greediest at this point, giving no benefit to dropping contracts.

  • Raiterio Patterson

    Good job on the article Alex! I’m so hot for you! You brought up an interesting point; consumers will finally “Take the red pill”. You should see the topics on Reddit about smartphone subsidies. “I paid $199 for this phone, why can’t I pay that for a replacement?!” HAHAHAHA

    • randypower

      While I agree Alex did a nice job on the article, I’m pretty sure you succeeded in making us all uncomfortable learning that you’re hot for him. I didn’t think this community was this tightly knit.

      • Raiterio Patterson

        I’ll admit my comment was a little overzealous but I’m pumped today, T-Mobile is literally rising to the top and raising the bar in telecommunications. I’m calm now

        • randypower

          That’s cool. I thought it was funny and meant my comment as a joke, so I hope it was taken that way.

          I agree with you. It’s exciting to see all the changes brought by the uncarrier movement. I’ve been experimenting with Google Fi on a separate line, and while it’s great service, I’m not quite ready to give up my unlimited data and other tmo benefits.

  • ric

    Can believed 4 news today? Tmonews is dying

    • randypower

      Huh?

    • Paul

      Apparently grammar and the basic grasp of the English language.

  • jj201367

    umm sprint will always be behind

    • Ascertion

      Someone should look at the new RootMetrics results for 1st half 2015.

      • gmo8492

        Those results don’t mean jack. I can’t remember the last time I had a dropped call or connection issues on T-Mobile. My friend who has Sprint drops calls at least 4 times a day. He still stays with them because he has a really cheap grandfathered family plan or he would have left a long time ago. Its not like T-Mobile has issues but its really location specific. Root metrics info is already outdated before they even publish their results. Network performance changes everyday.

        • Ascertion

          By your logic, looking at any statistics yields inaccurate data, since not all statistics update daily. I’m sure if T-Mobile had better results, your stance would have been different.

        • Mike Palomba

          He should double check that his grandfathered plan is a cheap as he thinks it is. I was on the grandfathered sprint unlimited family plan and it was actually quite expensive compared to T-Mobiles and Sprints more current offerings

        • Ascertion

          My current plan is 6 lines, coming in at a total of $48/line after taxes, unlimited everything with device subsidy. T-Mobile was at least $100 more a month for the same plan with new phones.

        • Mike Palomba

          that’s actually not a bad deal. Depending on the phones you could probably have them unlocked by sprint and just use them on T-Mobile. If you did that I believe you’d pay about the same each month

      • orlando duran

        No, he is right. Sprint is dead last. I read the report. It’s written like how cnn would treat obama

        • Ascertion

          Sorry, I was unaware that 87.5 scored below an 82. Carry On.

  • Shaun Sweeney

    I had a Sprint Wireless Advantage Club line for $40 with unlimited talk, text, and web for iPhone. This is one of those friends and family plans my buddy helped me get. Since I have TMO I still decided to port that number to TMO because of the bad customer service I always experienced with Sprint. I worked there for 7 years before being laid off twice. I also had my phone number with Sprint since 1998. That’s been a long time commitment with them. Goodbye and hello TMO.

  • Jrunner

    Would still never consider sprint considering all I’ve heard. Am likely looking at leaving T-mobile for AT&T. Just married and if I BYOD the family plan unfortunately better fits my needs (slightly cheaper since we don’t need to upgrade at this time). T-mobile I still think missed the boat in convincing apple to put band 12 in the iphone 6. By having to upgrade to the more expensive 6S (with presumably band 12) on t-mobile, it would be more expensive for less (worse coverage, and a network that seems to congest faster during big events- was down at holiday world last weekend in SW indiana and 4G was unusable due to congestion, 2 weekends before that, was wandering indy during gencon and again, data network overloaded, need to add more small cells or something in large gathering/pop dense areas). Glad I could be a part of something (got in before uncarrier announcments in July of 2013) and may be back when it’s time to upgrade her iphone 4 and my 5c. Am a little annoyed AT&T just killed the 3 GB family plan leaving only the 2 GB or 5 GB plans though and will definitely miss the “throttle when you hit the data cap vs overages” :-/

    • Acdc1a

      Enjoy your overages.

      • Spanky

        I’m sure the coverage he’ll be enjoying will help make up for the overages.

        • Kiwini
        • Acdc1a

          Yeah…that’s it.

          At least if you’re going to ditch T-Mobile Cricket is the less evil AT&T brand.

        • Spanky

          Just out of curiosity, what exactly makes AT&T evil? This is a completely serious question.

        • Acdc1a

          Actively eliminating competition, milking customers with additional fees at every turn, OVERAGES, reactive pricing (which means they’ll get every last cent out of you for as long as possible), a special partner of the NSA proactively offering customer data on a silver platter, etc.

      • Jrunner

        Honestly, I’m only on the tmobile 1 GB plan now. That plan works well for me, as I usually don’t use it all until the last couple days of the month. My wife has the 300 MB AT&T plan. So overages really aren’t likely in my future. Again, the big question is whether to do 2 GB plan and figure there’ll be some overages (even 1 GB overage less than the 5 GB plan) or get the 5 GB plan knowing that will give me all the data I’ll ever need. And yes, network coverage in rural areas is heavily playing into my decision, however, I’ve noticed in the past month that t-mobile has definitely been busy increasing LTE coverage and seemingly has more coverage in rural areas in general than in the past, even without having a band 12 capable phone. Hence why assuming t-mobile continues their trajectory, likely will be back in the future.

        • Mike Palomba

          If coverage is your main concern I would go with Verizon. They have a better network then ATT and prices aren’t much more. Of course, Verizon won’t support your T-Mobile phones so you’d have to sell those on eBay or something and either buy used Verizon phones or finance new ones and use the money from the old ones to pay for the new ones. Also, check with your employer to see if you’re eligible for a discount on you’re cell phone bill, if you work for the city, state, or government you most likely are eligible. Someone in my family works for the city so we get 15% off out T-Mobile bill each month, if we switch to sprint it’s 20% off each month and I believe Verizon and ATT are 20% as well.

          Also, as someone else said, cricket sounds like it may be a very good option for you. No contracts, ATT coverage, and you can BYOD

    • Paul

      The whole point is to find the carrier that meets your needs. If it’s AT&T then I hope that works great for y’all.

      Congrats on the marriage.

    • Mike Palomba

      There current promotion is very good for families, $120 for 10GB per line (40GB total) and you can BYOD. As for coverage, it will eventually get better but if you can’t handle it then switching would probably be your best option. I live in Staten Island and have absolutely no problem with coverage but everyone has different experiences. I will tell you, I considered switching to ATT and there is a very large difference in price, at first there prices don’t seem so bad but then you add in the $15 fee for each line every month and it’s suddenly very expensive. That means for 4 lines it would cost $60 and that’s without any add ons such as data, insurance, or phone payments (if you chose to get new phones). With 4 lines, 1EIP 2JOD and one fully paid off phone we pay $225/mo. That includes $8 insurance on each line, 10GB data on 3 lines and 20GB on one. A compatible plan on ATT would cost a lot more

  • Kiwini

    According to an article in n CNET today, Sprint killed Tmobile on most categories in the latest Root Metrics report with Verizon running away in most categories. Tmobile again saddled as the urban area network

    • Jrunner

      In their defense, the 700 mhz band 12 network was not tested for the results. From what’s being reported, and again what I’ve seen come online in indiana in the past month or so with band 2 LTE now firing on all cylinders finally, t-mobile should do much better in the second half of 2015 when they test again.

  • Doel

    T-Mobile needs to raise its base plan to 2.5GB… not 1GB

    • Mike Palomba

      If they did that less people would need a data upgrade which would mean they would loose money

  • notyourbusiness

    It’s amazing how everyone else ultimately ends up copying T-Mobile, even the mighty Verizon, which once claimed it would never “lower prices” just because of the shakeup among the US wireless carriers. Well, look at them now. As for Sprint, so much for Claure’s tweet in response to John Legere a couple of months back: “T-Mobile like h e l l,” whatever that was supposed to mean. So, how long before T-Mobile becomes the no. 1 carrier since everyone else is following its lead with all these big changes?

  • Paul Garrison

    Funny, Sprint CEO bash these moves just a few weeks ago. At&t and Verizon CEOs mocked these moves when they were first announced. Times has surely changed.

  • calvin200

    What is wrong with choices Sprint?

  • Melissa

    Yeah, everyone is copying t-mobile but don’t forget who also has better coverage. Verizon and at&t. So, for them to follow suit with t-mobile I’d say they are doing the smart thing. As far as sprint goes.. well when the heck has sprint ever been good at doing anything? They change their plans and pricing more then any other carriers do. They can’t do crap right. T-Mobile only has one issue. Coverage. They got great deals and the right attitude most definitely! But, I’m sorry I don’t want to be with a carrier that doesn’t even receive coverage in my home when their coverage map states that it does. I had t-mobile and I fought with them for months about it and they came to the conclusion that it was buyers remorse. Which was a load of cap to me. Don’t advertise that you have great 4G LTE coverage in my area and then fail to provide it and then say it’s buyers remorse. Just get your network up to par. And, provide service where you say you do. Especially since I live .6 miles from their LTE tower.

    • Bklynman

      I have agree with you,I was in the movies last night,this one mega movie house,with like 25 screens,I was on the 3rd floor,near class outdoor roof,they have open sometimes,last night it was close,if I face one way,move like 4 feet away,no signal,or very little signal,if I put up my phone against the glass door,great signal,just couldn’t understand that,I live in NYC. To me that didn’t make no sense.

      • Melissa

        Yeah, I mean they got the right idea as far as pricing and other stuff goes. Just I really think they need to invest in coverage first before they start offering all these crazy good ideas. You can offer all these amazing deals and stuff but when your network just fails to compete with the bigger carriers it doesn’t make it really worth it. You know?

      • Melissa

        I’m on AT&T now and I never have issues with coverage. Like ever. I go up to my parents house in the middle of no where and I mean the least I get on coverage with them is edge. But, it’s still coverage where as T-Mobile is no where to be found.