In a move aimed at "stepping past" rivals' calling circles, Sprint Nextel unveiled a new calling plan that offers unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling to any wireless number on any U.S. wireless carrier at any time. The feature, called "Any Mobile, Anytime," will be added to Sprint's Everything Data plan, which starts at $69.99 per month, excluding taxes and surcharges.
The Everything Data plan includes unlimited text, video and picture messaging, mobile data, GPS and services like Sprint TV, along with 450 anytime calling minutes to landline numbers. Sprint said that current customers who have an Everything Data or Everything Data Family plan will get the new unlimited wireless calling feature automatically on the first day of their next billing cycle.
While the other major carriers trumpet unlimited calling plans to select numbers, either wireless or wireline--indeed, just yesterday AT&T Mobility launched a new unlimited calling feature to a handful of numbers--Sprint appears to be taking a step further with the new feature, which allows unlimited calling to the nation's 250 million wireless users. Sprint has been focusing on the value proposition of its Simply Everything data plans, and its new Any Mobile, Anytime plan dovetails with this approach.
The action comes as Sprint attempts to stem millions of postpaid subscriber defections. Though Sprint's prepaid business has been booming, its postpaid operation lost 991,000 subscribers in the second quarter, contributing to a net loss of 257,000 wireless subscribers for the period.
But don't expect other carriers to follow Sprint's lead. According to Roger Entner, senior vice president for research and insights in Nielsen's Telecom Practice, Sprint needs this plan to stop customers from leaving its service. "AT&T and Verizon will not follow until Sprint stops losing customers. Until the bleeding stops, there is no need to react."
- see this release
- see this Sprint website
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