Sprint hopes to woo business customers with new all-inclusive pricing, value-added services

Sprint (NYSE: S) is unveiling a new pricing structure for business customers that includes in one price point the cost of devices and service as well as a host of new value-added services and customer support.

The goal, according to Sprint, is to make it easier for both small businesses and enterprises to get devices into their employees' hands, and not worry about how much it will cost per employee per month. Additionally, Sprint is hoping that the services it adds on top of the offering will be enough to entice businesses and bolster its subscriber figures.

The new offering, called Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS), lets businesses simply choose the device for their employee, the appropriate data packages and then whether the term of the agreement will last for 12 months or 24 months. The service can scale down to businesses that have as few as 15 lines, and up to businesses with 5,000 lines, but it is designed for corporate-liable accounts.

Karen Freitag, Sprint's president of Enterprise Solutions, said in an interview with FierceWireless that Sprint recognized the frustration that businesses had with wireless pricing, which they found complex and unpredictable. Additionally, she said, it takes a long time to provision devices, especially those with corporate applications.

"How can we make that easier and differentiated for them?" she said. "It's highly competitive from a pricing play, but it's really more of a value-added play."

The plans include unlimited voice and texting, a range of pooled data plans, including 100 MB, 1 GB, 2 GB and 5 GB, with prices ranging from $20 per month up to $70 per month for the 5 GB bucket. There is also an unlimited data option that costs between $65 and $75 per month. Sprint also has five different device tiers on the plans, including from iconic premium smartphones, iconic smartphones, smartphones, premium tablets and tablets and feature phones. All of the devices come with extended warranties.

Basically, a higher-tier device will cost more per month than a lower-tier device, and the more data an employee has, the more it will cost. So, for example, an employee on a 24-month plan with a 16 GB iPhone 6, which is in the iconic smartphone tier, would be on a plan that costs $50 per month for 2 GB, $65 for 5 GB and $70 for unlimited data. Adding more internal memory would tack on an extra $5 per month per memory upgrade.

Additionally, there are volume discounts. At 25 lines, the cost per employee drops $5 per month and at 100 lines it drops by $10 per month.

If customers are put on the 12-month plans, prices are generally $10 more per month, since the cost of device is more per month. At the end of the 12 or 24 months, employees can either turn in their device for a new model or hold onto it and Sprint will work with the businesses.

Sprint is hoping the value-added services are what set MaaS apart. In addition, businesses purchasing wireless through MaaS will receive a dedicated care team to provide 24/7/365 white-glove technical support, meaning each account will have a dedicated customer care representative.

Sprint will also help business customers with device configuration and preloading of existing business applications at no extra cost. However, if business need to develop new applications, Sprint will work with them to develop those apps for a separate fee.

The plans also include Sprint "International Value Roaming," which offers free unlimited 2G data and texting and calls at 20 cents per minute in 16 countries.

Sprint will also include on-site implementation support on orders of 25 devices or more.

Additionally, each business can name a number of "VIP" subscribers such as business owners or C-level executives to receive an additional level of customer service (for example, if a CEO lost their phone, Sprint would move to replace it within hours). For every 50 lines, businesses will get one "VIP" account.

Sprint is aiming to also include free cloud storage and anti-virus capabilities to the MaaS offering, probably by September, according to John Tudhope, director of product marketing at Sprint. He declined to say which providers or partners would be offering those services.

For more:
- see this release

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T-Mobile aims to steal business customers from Verizon, AT&T with cheaper, simpler pricing
Sprint unveils 'Workplace-as-a-Service' platform aimed at simplifying enterprise communications
T-Mobile plans new 'uncarrier' event on March 18, reportedly aimed at B2B market
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