Sprint announced Tuesday a new family plan, which the company claims will help customers save money the more people they add to their plans.
The new Sprint Framily Plan is available to new and existing customers. and it allows customers to add up to 10 individuals to a given plan. The more customers are added to the plan the bigger the savings.
Under the new plan, the first customers pays $55 a month for the first line of service, which gets unlimited voice service, text messaging and 1GB of data. For each additional new Sprint customer that joins the family plan, which the company is calling a framily group, the cost per person for the service goes down $5 a month up to a maximum monthly discount of $30 a month.
A group of at least seven people will mean service costs $25 per month per subscriber. This is a big savings compared to other service plans for individual customers. For instance a similar plan on AT&T for a single subscriber would cost $70 a month and a similar plan on Verizon is $90 per individual. T-Mobile subscribers who get a 500MB data plan with unlimited voice and text messaging would pay $50 a month on a comparable individual plan.
Sprint says the plan is customizable, and that customers who want more data can pay an extra $20 a month per line to add unlimited data. They also are eligible for a new phone every year at this price point.
And to help alleviate the problem of sharing the same bill with several people on one family plan, Sprint says that each subscriber can be billed separately and receive their own bill.
The Sprint "Framily Plan" will be available in Sprint company-owned stores and Sprint third-party dealers beginning Friday, Jan. 10.
"The Sprint Framily Plan redefines the way we think of family plans and gives our customers the power to decide who will be a part of their group and gain greater savings as more members are added," Dan Hesse, Sprint CEO, said in a statement. "Sprint continues to be a leader in offering customers choice, flexibility and value. The Sprint Framily Plan makes Sprint the best choice for families and friends."
Sprint's new offer comes as competitor T-Mobile has been shaking up the market with its so-called UnCarrier strategy. Last year the company eliminated carrier contracts, introduced an early upgrade program, started giving away tablet data for free and offered free international roaming. The company is expected to make another big announcement this week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. And it's expected that the announcement will also include changes to T-Mobile's family plans.
Separately, Sprint also announced on Tuesday an expansion of its 4G LTE network to Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Houston, and San Antonio, Texas as well as to Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The company now offers its fastest speed network with download speeds up to 60Mbps in 11 markets.
The company also announced that its prepaid brand Virgin Mobile customers who sign up for the Broadband2Go service using the Netgear Mobile hotspot, will also enjoy these faster speeds on Sprint's growing 4G LTE network.