In an effort to poach each other’s largest data customers, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint appear to be locked in a battle to offer the biggest data plans for the lowest costs. All three carriers announced limited time offers on data plans that expire October 31. The offers only apply to the carriers’ shared family plans.
The latest round of price cutting began when AT&T announced it would double the amount of data on its existing 15 GB to 50 GB plans for any plan costing more than $130 a month. The deal applies to new and existing customers who sign up for the promotional Mobile Share Value plans by October 31. That prompted responses from Verizon and Sprint, which both lowered the costs of their own data plans.
Verizon, Sprint Hit Back
Verizon was the last of the three carriers to launch its sales salvo. According to the prices the company announced Wednesday, it will offer 15 GB of data for $110 month, an increase over the 12 GB it had previously offered at the same cost without the promotion.
For the $130 plans, Verizon will provide 30 GB under the special offer, compared with the 16 GB it offered before the promotion, and the company will boost its $150 plan from 20 GB to 40 GB. Verizon’s most expensive plan, at $375, will double the data from 50 GB to 100 GB. The plans are available to new and existing small business customers on shared plans, as well as families.
While AT&T and Verizon are offering similar data amounts for the same price point, Sprint is looking to outdo them both. The company doubled the amount of data available for all of its shared data plans. Its cheapest plan, at $130, will now come with 60 GB of data, which is also double the amount Verizon and AT&T are offering for similarly priced plans. Its most expensive plan, at $225, will now come with a whopping 120 GB of data.
Beginning Friday, Oct. 3, Sprint Business customers will get double the sharable data on the 40 GB, 60 GB, 80 GB, and 100 GB Sprint Business Share plans. This gives business customers 80 GB for $135; 120 GB for $200; 160 GB for $270; and 200 GB of data for $330 if they sign up by October 31.
For customers switching their numbers to Sprint from other carriers, Sprint is waiving the access charge for handsets, tablets and mobile broadband devices on 20 GB or higher data allowances for up to 10 lines. All devices must be purchased through Sprint Easy Pay or the Sprint iPhone for Life Plan. according to the company.
Reaction to T-Mobile
Although the offers are only available until the end of the month, AT&T said that once customers subscribe they can keep the cheaper data plans for as long as they remain with AT&T.
The average individual data user goes through about 1.4 GB of data per month on their mobile devices, meaning that business customers could potentially cover a number of employees with the larger data plans. That number is expected to climb to 9 GB in the next four years, however, as mobile users cram more and more apps demanding ever higher levels of data on their devices.
Despite the fact that AT&T initiated the latest price-cutting round, the moves by all three carriers may be delayed reactions to provocations by T-Mobile, which has tried to disrupt the market to escape the doldrums of its fourth place position. The company launched several budget plans last year and accelerated its plans to roll out its 4G LTE network. Currently, it is offering unlimited data plans starting at $80 a month, and has offered customers of its rivals $650 if they trade in their devices, and switch providers.
Posted: 2014-10-02 @ 1:05pm PT
While far from perfect, this is precisely the type of competition needed in the cable/ISP sector. Still $375 a month for 100 GB of data? Between that and the shenanigans from the cable/ISP quarters . . . it's indeed a strange life in a bizarro world.
Posted: 2014-10-02 @ 12:30pm PT
What about the AT&T customers on the 10 gig plan? Are we left out?
Posted: 2014-10-02 @ 12:21pm PT
TMO is AWESOME!!!!! No matter when you call cust. service, you ALWAYS get a native English speaker. There are NEVER any weird charges on your bill and they are just plain NICE!!!