Sprint Nextel reduced the monthly price of its CDMA/mobile WiMAX service by another $10, down to $59.99, a Sprint spokeswoman confirmed. The price cut is the second $10 cut in less than five months; Sprint made a similar change to its unlimited 3G/4G mobile broadband package in August.
The price cut, which was outlined by research and consulting firm Current Analysis and confirmed by Sprint, is part of Sprint's more aggressive approach to mobile WiMAX this year. Clearwire, the mobile WiMAX operator in which Sprint owns a majority stake, plans to cover 80 markets and 120 million POPS by the end of the year. Sprint resells Clearwire service under the Sprint 4G brand.
The price cut is "just to make it a no brainier for our customers to choose 4G," Sprint spokeswoman Stephanie Vinge told FierceWireless. She said the action also reflects increasing economies of scale, as Clearwire launches more markets.
"While Sprint seems to have some momentum on its side, it remains in a difficult position when it comes to retention (let alone growth) of its subscriber base, and it cannot afford to fail to reap all of the benefits that it can in this period where it has no real high-speed competition," Current Analysis analyst Deepa Karthikeyan wrote in a research note. "The carrier should also be able to draw some large enterprise customers with its affordable rates and 4G speeds, although enterprise pricing tends to be ultimately based on the high volume and commitment levels that can provide steeper discounts on services and equipment."
Vinge also addressed a rumor that Sprint would be partnering with retailer Wal-Mart to put mobile WiMAX equipment on Wal-Mart locations nationwide, which was first noted in the blog Android Guys. Vinge declined to comment on the specifics of the rumor, but said Sprint was "talking to a lot of companies across the U.S. about how 4G could help them manage large amounts of data more cost effectively."
- see this Android Guys post
Sprint debuts Overdrive, mobile WiMAX hotspot
Sprint's Hesse commits to Clearwire, hints at new 4G pricing scenario
Clearwire confirms $1.5B in new funding
Sprint's plan of attack
Sprint cuts price on mobile WiMAX service