Sprint’s new unlimited plan isn’t the SoftBank magic analyst expected
Kansas City Business Journal
A new unlimited plan from Sprint Corp. isn’t the price cut it appears to be, telecommunications analyst Jennifer Fritzsche warned.
It’s also not the “magic behind the black curtain” she expected from SoftBank Corp., which closed on its $21.6 billion deal last week to acquire a 78 percent stake in Overland Park-based Sprint
A couple of days after the deal closed, Sprint rolled out new unlimited data, text and calling plans for $80 a month, down from $110.
Effective Friday, the Unlimited Guarantee, plus the “Unlimited, My Way” and “My All-In” plans carry over for the life of the contract.
“While technically this looks like a price cut, practically it is not,” Fritzsche of Wells Fargo Securities wrote in an analyst note.
Fritzsche pointed out that Sprint’s prior Simply Everything plan, which sported unlimited talk, text and data for smartphones, cost $110 a month. But the Any Mobile Any Time plan, at $80 a month for 450 wireline minutes plus unlimited voice, data and text, was more popular and had the biggest load rate.
“What (Sprint) has essentially done today, in our view, is simplify its plans to be competitive with others without effectively lowering the (average revenue per user) it is realizing from most of its customers,” Fritzsche wrote. “We note that this is not the ‘magic behind the black curtain' moment that many were waiting for with SoftBank.”
Rather, she said her Sprint contacts indicated that the change had been in the works for a while.
With these changes, she said Sprint is targeting the roughly one-third of T-Mobile US Inc. and Verizon Wireless customers who were grandfathered into old unlimited plans.
It is a price cut on a plan - unlimited voice to land lines, granted that is a plan that not too many people chose. However, this is just the first of many new changes to Sprint to get more competitive. Look for him to roll out the big guns later in steps. He doesn't want to use all his ammo at once.