Sprint is bringing out the big guns to promote its new All-In “unlimited” calling, texting, and data plans. The third-player U.S. wireless carrier has brought out none other than David Beckham to pitch All-In, but there are a lot of “gotchas” that you must take into consideration before you start jumping up and down for joy.
For starters, at $80 per month with an included smartphone lease, All-In is actually $10 a month more expensive for iPhone users that were on Sprint’s old iPhone for Life program. But by upping unlimited plan pricing $10 (CEO Marcelo Claure is a man of his word), Sprint is hoping that it will garner more attention from potential customers by expanding the number of handsets that are eligible for All-In. Currently, the Apple iPhone 6 (16GB), Samsung Galaxy S6 (32GB) and HTC One M9 (32GB) all qualify for the $80/month pricing ($60 for phone service, $20 for the phone lease).
Despite the price increase, Sprint says that its plans are cheaper and more transparent than competing offerings from AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and T-Mobile:
For example, Verizon advertises 10GB of data $80, but they don’t mention as loudly the additional monthly charges including $15 line access and $27.08 for the phone. AT&T frequently advertises 10GB of data for $100 per month, but down plays the additional monthly charges including $15 line access and $27.08 for the phone. T-Mobile is advertising 4 lines for $100, but doesn't shout the additional $108.32 in monthly phone payments.
Another thing to consider is that although Sprint won’t technically throttle your data speeds to dial-up levels for cruising past a set gigabyte threshold (we’re looking at you, AT&T), one particular features is for all intents and purposes throttled 24-7-365: video streaming. Sprint says in the fine print that streaming video is limited to 3G speeds at all times, specifying data speeds of 600Kbps “which may impact quality.” 3G speeds for streaming video isn’t the end of the world, but it’s something to consider when selecting All-In.
Customer who opt for All-In will pay $0 down and a one-time activation fee of $36.