Sprint will soon launch a competitive new way for you to save on your monthly phone bill. According to a source familiar with the service, the new option will be called a ‘Framily’ plan — no, that’s not a typo — and it lets you share an account ID with up to ten of your friends (get it?) who are also on Sprint, while still being billed separately. The plans will start at $55 per month for an individual line, which gets you 1GB of data and unlimited talk and texting. Data hungry users can bump that up to 3GB for an extra $10 or to unlimited data for an extra $20 monthly.
What makes Sprint's Framily plans interesting is that the more lines there are on your account, the lower the prices get. Each line added to the account cuts $5 off, all the way down to $25 a month, provided you can find seven or more willing friends who are also on Sprint. It bears repeating that despite the family implication and shared account ID, everyone will still be billed separately.
The plans do not have a two-year contract or offer a device subsidy, so unless you want to use Sprint’s One-Up annual trade-in plan, you have to pay full retail price for your phone. Users who have the unlimited data add-on will also be able to do a device trade-in after one year.
T-Mobile has been very aggressive in offering lower cost rate plans, but this new option from Sprint will be different than anything else available from US carriers. Sprint and T-Mobile occupy a distant third and fourth place behind market leaders Verizon and AT&T, so it's not a surprise to see that they are the ones coming out with innovative wireless plans that cost less than traditional options. We expect Sprint to announce the new Framily plans in the very near future, and it will be interesting to see what T-Mobile will announce at its press conference tomorrow.
A Sprint representative declined to comment on the rumored new plans.
Dan Seifert contributed to this report
Update: Sprint CEO Dan Hesse just confirmed that the Framily plans will be coming to Sprint during an investor conference. The plans will be available to both new and existing customers starting on January 10th. Current customers that are on a traditional Sprint plan with a contract can sign up for the new Framily plan, but there will be a $15 per month surcharge until their contract is satisfied.