C Spire promo doubles data for some prepaid users as Cricket kills 2 midrange plans

The prepaid market has become increasingly heated in the last two years.

Cricket Wireless quietly dropped a couple of its midrange prepaid plans, leaving customers with only two data packages other than its unlimited offerings. But C Spire—a much smaller regional carrier—is moving in the other direction, loudly touting a new promotion that doubles data allotments for two of its midrange prepaid plans.

Droid Life reported today that Cricket killed its 8 GB and 12 GB plans and now has only four offerings with data: a 2 GB plan for $30 a month, a 5 GB plan for $40 a month, an unlimited plan that caps speeds for $55 a month and a premium unlimited offering for $60 a month. The service provider’s basic talk and text service costs $25 per month.

The two former plans were killed Nov. 8, five days after the carrier added more data to its two lower-tier options. That move created pricing overlaps, Droid Life reported, which may have made the former plans expendable.

A Cricket representative confirmed the move. "In order to give our customers a great experience in the ever-changing mobile environment, we're constantly evaluating the needs of our network to meet customer demand," said Cricket spokesperson Gretchen Schultz. Customers on the $50 and $60 unlimited plans will be grandfathered and remain on those plans until they make changes, Schultz said.

The move also highlights increased competition for prepaid users, who were once an afterthought in the wireless market. Cricket maintained its ultra-low-end plans, but its new rate card indicates the company is focused on higher-end users—which, generally speaking, is where the majority of customers are and where the money is in prepaid.

Meanwhile, C Spire launched a promotion doubling the data allowance from 3 GB to 6 GB on its $40-per-month plan, and from 8 GB to 12 GB on its $55-per-month plan. The offers—which are available only to new prepaid customers—also include the choice of a free Samsung Galaxy J3, LG K8, Motorola Moto E or Moto G4 Play with a new activation.

“Both plans come with unlimited talk and text, and taxes and fees are included as part of the monthly rate,” Suzy Hays, senior vice president of consumer markets for C Spire, said in a press release. “Prepaid consumers want the convenience, reliability and predictability of a network and plans that work for them, and that’s exactly what we provide.”

The article was updated Nov. 15 to add comment from Cricket.