Struggling operator Sprint is hitting back at AT&T in the battle to win over subscribers to DirecTV, the US satellite TV provider, with an eye-popping offer.
Subscribers to AT&T-owned DirecTV who switch to Sprint for their mobile service are being offered one year’s free subscription. They will get unlimited voice, SMS and 2GB of data per line for 12 months.
Sprint’s aggressive move is a response to AT&T’s own wooing of DirecTV subscribers. AT&T’s acquisition of the satellite TV provider closed at end-July and it is desperate for DirecTV’s base to adopt its mobile service.
Sprint’s response is its aggressive offer, which is effective from today (28 August) until 30 September.
DirecTV subscribers must pay a one-off activation fee of $36 if they switch to Sprint, although the operator will pay off their old phone and contract. If the DirecTV user is not under contract or doesn’t have instalment phone payments, Sprint promises to buy back their current smartphone for up to $300 per line.
“DirecTV customers love their TV service – but they shouldn’t have to settle for AT&T wireless,” said Kevin Crull, Sprint’s CMO.
Eat the free lunch
After their one year of free service from Sprint, DirecTV switchers are automatically moved to a rate-per-line plan for unlimited voice, text and 2G. One line costs $50 per month; two lines cost $90 per month; three lines cost $120; four lines cost $150; and five lines cost $180.
Sprint’s latest salvo is part of an ongoing battle between US operators. As well as price wars, they want to create multiplay bundles, by integrating TV into bundles of broadband and mobile services.
Earlier this month, AT&T announced what it claims is the first nationwide package including TV and mobile services in the US, involving DirecTV and its own mobile service.