Sprint is canceling its long-running promotion where it offered 50 percent off competitors’ plans to customers who switched over to Sprint, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal.
It’s not an entirely surprising move. According to analyst Jeffrey Moore, the entire driving point of the 50 percent offer was to upsell customers to equally priced plans than competitors with more data. But in today’s cellphone industry where everyone offers unlimited plans, Sprint has nothing more to offer than the rival carriers it hopes to convince customers to switch over from.
Sprint’s unlimited plan starts at $50 per line — cheaper than AT&T, Verizon, or T-Mobile — but offering half off even the most expensive of those plans (AT&T, at $90 a month for a single line) still undercuts Sprint’s own plan, which can’t be a viable long-term strategy. Even the company’s latest limited time promotion — $80 a month for two unlimited lines, which is by no means a bad price — isn’t as cheap as what you would have been able to get if the 50 percent discount was still available.
It’s another indication that, in a world where data is equal, companies will need to work harder to find ways for their plans to remain competitive. It’s something we’re already seeing from other carriers: T-Mobile offers weekly promotions for its subscribers, and AT&T just added free HBO for its highest paying unlimited customers. Ultimately, if there’s any lesson to be learned here, its that free competition ultimately leads to better service for customers, which is never a bad thing.