The carrier pricing wars entered a new phase today, as Sprint announced it will pay customers’ early termination fees if they leave their current wireless providers and sign up for a one of Sprint’s Framily plans. According to Sprint, customers who ditch their carrier will get up to $350 in the form of a Visa gift card, and up to $300 in trade-in value for their current smartphones.
If that offer sounds familiar, it’s because T-Mobile has been doing the exact same thing since January. Unlike T-Mobile, however, Sprint will only shell out cash for your business through May 8. T-Mobile, on the other hand, hasn’t announced when or if it will end its offer.
T-Mobile has made a series of major moves that have shaken up the wireless industry over the past year through its Uncarrier initiative, including ending monthly contracts and letting consumers upgrade their handsets more than once every two years.
As a result, the carrier saw its user base grow by 1.6 million customers in the third-quarter if 2013, a full quarter prior to launching its early termination fee payback program. Sprint has been adding customers, but is still losing money.
During our recent 4G LTE speed test in New York City, T-Mobile’s networked scored the second fastest average download speed, behind Verizon. Sprint, however, came in dead last, despite the fact that its enhanced Spark LTE network is live in the city.