Sprint increases low-end shared data plan from 600 MB to 1 GB for $20/month

Trumpeting its new offering as providing a significant value over rivals Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) and AT&T Mobility (NYSE: T), Sprint (NYSE: S) announced it will offer 1 GB of shared data for $20. The carrier previously offered 600 MB of shared data at that price.

"This entry-level sharable data allowance reinforces Sprint's commitment to offering customers the best value in wireless," said Marcelo Claure, Sprint's CEO. "We're offering customers a choice--whether they need a small amount of data or are a high-end data user."

Sprint said its new offer of 1 GB for $20 is double the data offered by Verizon and more than three times the data offered by AT&T at the same price point. Verizon offers 500 MB of data for $20 per month under its More Everything plans, and AT&T Mobility offers 300 MB of data for $20 per month under its Mobile Share Value plans. Verizon charges $40 for 1 GB of shared data and AT&T charges $25 per month for 1 GB. Sprint, AT&T and Verizon all include unlimited talking and texting in their shared data plans, and charge customers for each device they add to their plan--Sprint for example charges $25 per month for customers to add a smartphone to their plan shared data plan (that price doesn't include the cost of a buying a new phone).

For its part, T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) doesn't offer shared data plans; instead, the carrier offers per-line data allotments and discounts to customers who add additional lines. T-Mobile's low-end family plan charges $50 for unlimited talking and texting and 1 GB of high-speed data (speeds are throttled after that cap) and $30 for a second line with the same services. Those prices also don't include the cost of a new phone.

Sprint's new price for 1 GB of shared data is just the latest pricing tweak from the carrier, which earlier this summer saw Claure replace Dan Hesse as CEO. In conjunction with the launch of Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) new iPhones, Sprint introduced a $50 unlimited plan for customers who buy one of the new phones. In August, the carrier introduced new shared data plans that essentially offer double the amount of data offered by similar plans from Verizon and AT&T.

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