Sprint Ups Ante With T-Mobile Cutting Prepaid Plan Price

Sprint Corp., the struggling U.S. carrier, is cutting the cost of its pay-as-you-go service and doubling the data available on the plans to retain users amid an escalating price battle with T-Mobile US Inc.

Starting tomorrow, Sprint is offering new and existing Boost Mobile customers prepaid plans with unlimited calling, text messaging and 1 gigabyte of data for $35 a month. The promotional offer, which ends Nov. 3, is less than the $40 for 1 gigabyte of data at T-Mobile and the $40, 500-megabyte monthly plan at AT&T Inc.’s prepaid business.

The move adds to two offers Sprint introduced last month as new Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Claure tries to sharpen the competitive edge of the carrier and reverse a seven-year streak of customer losses. The company, based in Overland Park, Kansas, has cut the price of its monthly subscriber package and doubled the amount of data for shared plans, initiatives aimed at preventing T-Mobile from taking more of its customers.

In the new offer, Sprint is also cutting the cost and doubling the data for its more expensive prepaid plans, which were priced at $50 a month and $60 a month.

Claure, who took over from Dan Hesse on Aug. 11 after Sprint, the third-biggest U.S. carrier, abandoned a plan to merge with T-Mobile, has told employees that Sprint is focused on cutting costs and competing aggressively for users. Since then, its competition with T-Mobile has intensified.

T-Mobile, the fourth-biggest carrier, announced on Aug. 21 that it’s enlisting its own customers to recruit new users, primarily from Sprint. The company’s refer-a-friend campaign will reward subscribers and the friends recruited from other carriers with one year of unlimited data.

T-Mobile, led by CEO John Legere, had been the most aggressive U.S. carrier until Claure’s arrival at Sprint. It added 2 million monthly subscribers last year through lower international rates and contract buyout offers to users switching service.