Sprint gives 12 months of Amazon Prime free to customers on 40 GB plans

Sprint (NYSE: S) said it will give a year of Amazon Prime -- worth $99 -- for free to new or existing customers who sign up for the carrier's 40 GB shared data plan. The offer comes weeks after Sprint offered its customers access to Amazon Prime for $10.99 -- a price that Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) itself began offering just a few days later.

Under Sprint's new offer, announced today, the carrier said it will provide a 12-month Amazon Prime membership with its "Better Choice XXL" plan that provides 40 GB of high-speed data alongside unlimited talking and texting -- Sprint also pointed out its XXL plan provides twice as much data as Verizon does for the price. For a single line of service, Sprint charges $150 for 40 GB of data.

"The Amazon Better Choice XXL Plan gives customers sharable data to maximize the benefits of Amazon Prime's full entertainment package," Roger Sole, Sprint's chief marketing officer, said in a release. "Combining America's fastest LTE network with Amazon Prime's array of quality entertainment is an amazing benefit for our customers."

Customers can sign up for the option online, via phone or in a Sprint retail store, and can confirm their Amazon Prime membership via a text message.

Amazon Prime offers unlimited free two-day shipping on more than 20 million items, unlimited streaming of tens of thousands of movies and TV episodes with Prime Video, and access to ad-free streaming of over a million songs, among other benefits. Amazon doesn't provide the exact number of its Amazon Prime subscribers, though Consumer Intelligence Research Partners earlier this year estimated the company may count as many as 54 million Prime customers in the United States.

Sprint's new offer is clearly geared toward encouraging customers to sign up for the carrier's more expensive pricing plans, as well as potentially getting them to use more data via streaming video services like Amazon Prime Video. However, Sprint likely will take a financial slap from the offer due to the $99 value of Amazon Prime -- an expense Sprint likely hopes to recoup in the year following the expiration of the Amazon Prime service, assuming customers stick with the same plan.

Sprint's latest offer is notable considering the carrier in late March announced it would offer its customers access to Amazon Prime for $10.99 per month, a charge customers could pay via their Sprint bill. At the time, Amazon only offered its Prime service for $99 per year, meaning that Sprint customers would have to pay roughly $33 more per year for Amazon Prime than they would if they purchased it directly from Amazon. However, Amazon at the time didn't offer a monthly pricing option for its Prime service, making Sprint's offer unique.

That quickly changed, however. Amazon on April 17 began offering its Prime service for $10.99 per month itself, matching Sprint's offer. Amazon also that day began offering its Prime Video service for $8.99 per month.

Sprint isn't the only carrier working to sweeten its wireless service options with the inclusion of other content and services. For example, T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) in March began offering MLB.TV Premium, a $110 value, for free for this baseball season, likely related to the carrier's marketing agreement with Major League Baseball. And AT&T (NYSE: T) only offers its unlimited data plan to customers who also subscribe to its DirecTV service.

For more:
- see this Sprint release

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