September 22, 2010 | by Andrew Kameka
And the drum of inevitability continues to beat-on. Though Sprint has made it clear that it has no plans to offer tiered data plans, CEO Dan Hesse said that the carrier is “watching very closely” and “not ruling [it] out.”
That’s CEO talk for, “We’re waiting to see how the other guys do it.”
Sprint has decided not to follow its competitors and make plans for separate pricing based on how much data a subscriber consumes. AT&T has already introduced metered pricing for new customers, and Verizon has signaled that it may do the same when its LTE network launches.
That presents a unique opportunity for Sprint to swoop in and promise to offer a better value that AT&T and Verizon are unlikely to match. Hesse wisely notes that Sprint has a chance to make money in volume by being an alternative to companies that are implementing tiered data plans.
Critics will point out in the comments section that Sprint already has a tiered plan of sorts because the carrier requires a $10 surcharge on 4G devices like the EVO and Epic 4G; however those prices are still cheaper than what AT&T and Verizon offer. The gap in price differences could increase further once LTE is deployed.
At the moment, Sprint customers can rack up the data without worry. However, that could change in a year or two should Sprint opt to adapt to new competition factors. The current climate doesn’t make sense for Sprint, currently the No. 3 carrier in the U.S., to follow suit and give up a potential selling point.
We’ll see how long that lasts.
“We’re not ruling out metered pricing…Tiered pricing is something we look at.”
- Dan Hesse