Options now include an Unlimited Basic tariff, which retains the $60 price tag of Sprint’s old Unlimited Freedom plan and includes 5GB of roaming data in Mexico and Canada as well as bundled access to Hulu.
However, the plan comes with less hotspot data (500 megabytes) than the original 10GB offered on Unlimited Freedom and lowers video definition from high to standard.
Customers will still be able to get that improved video quality and additional hotspot data, but will have to pay an extra $10 per month on the operator’s new $70 Unlimited Plus tariff. That plan includes 15GB of mobile hotspot data, full HD video streaming and 10GB of roaming data in Mexico and Canada as well as access to both Hulu and music service Tidal.
Dow Draper, Sprint’s chief commercial officer, said in a statement the move comes in response to customer feedback, noting the new tiers offer “something for everyone”. The new plans take effect on Friday (13 July).
The change follows similar moves from Verizon and AT&T to introduce additional tiers to their unlimited tariffs in June.
Sprint’s options remain cheaper than unlimited plans offered by its rivals, but the shift amounts to a price increase from Unlimited Freedom for similar service.
While T-Mobile US and Sprint have promised their proposed merger will lower costs for mobile consumers, Sprint’s decision to boost the cost of its tariffs isn’t a necessarily a surprise. Until the deal is approved, the companies continue to operate independently, and Sprint executives said in the past price hikes were part of the operator’s roadmap.
In May 2017, then Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure said at an investor conference “all carriers will have to increase prices” in the coming years as data use increases.