Sprint quietly lowers 3G/4G pricing plan

Sprint Nextel quietly lowered its monthly service price for its CDMA/mobile WiMAX plan by $10, research and consulting firm Current Analysis has learned. The price fell from $80 to $70 per month, and Sprint is including a free month of service as a bonus.

The price cut comes a week after Sprint introduced service in Las Vegas, Atlanta and Portland. Including Baltimore, the carrier now offers its Sprint 4G-branded service, which includes roaming onto its 3G CDMA network, in four markets. The operator resells Clearwire's mobile WiMAX service. Current Analysis said the move is more attractive to prosumers and consumers facing tough economic times; it also helps reduce the cost barriers to adoption.

"Sprint's new data plan pricing and its promotional initiatives will increase the service's attractiveness and awareness to new user segments, namely consumers, prosumers, SOHOs and SMBs; until AT&T's HSPA 7.2 plans and Verizon Wireless' LTE trials later in the year sap some of Sprint 4G's momentum, the carrier can bask in the glory of its innovator data services leader status," wrote Current Analysis analyst Kathryn Weldon.

Sprint is also offering its 3G/4G USB modem U300 for free with a two-year contract and a $50 rebate. The price of the modem was $150 back in December.

The heat is now on for Clearwire, which is 51-percent owned by Sprint, to deliver on its promise of offering mobile WiMAX service in more than 25 markets by year-end, reaching approximately 30 million people. Sprint has promised that it will roll out markets in tandem with Clearwire.

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