NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sprint Corp said on Tuesday it will offer an $80 a month cellular phone plan, including both service and smartphone device fees, hoping to draw users who dislike complex price plans and hidden costs.
The “All-in” plan will offer unlimited talk, text and data at $60, plus $20 to lease phones such as the iPhone 6 and Samsung’s Galaxy S6, chief marketing officer Kevin Crull said in an interview.
Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. cellular operator, is in the middle of a turnaround plan aimed at narrowing the gap with its larger rivals. It has focused on offers such as cutting subscribers’ bills in half to get them to switch from other carriers, doubling its data capacity and hand-delivery of new phones.
Analysts have raised concerns over Sprint’s heavy spending to acquire customers and whether it can balance costs with investments in network upgrades.
In recent years, the industry has moved away from traditional two-year contracts of subsidized phones to offering monthly leasing plans alongside service fees. The shift sparked a price war among Sprint and its rivals, T-Mobile US Inc, AT&T Inc and Verizon Communications and the proliferation of varied promotions and rate plans.
“The natural evolution of the industry is to advertise both combined: cost of the device and the rate plan, put them together and tell the customer what’s the rate all in,” Crull said.
The plan, which includes a one-time $36 activation fee, will roll out on Tuesday with a video campaign featuring soccer star David Beckham, Sprint said.
Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Editing by Dan Grebler